The injury bug struck the Pittsburgh Steelers hard this week before and during their game with the Las Vegas Raiders. Prior to the game it was announced that Joe Haden and Devin Bush would miss the game with groin injuries. During the game, Tyson Alualu (ankle) and T.J. Watt (groin) would exit before halftime.
Las Vegas had injuries of their own, but their offense took advantage of the depleted Pittsburgh defense, while the Raiders defense had their way with a Steelers offense that lacked any kind rhythm. Pittsburgh did manage two offensive touchdowns today, but overall looked like the same predictable offense that hurt them towards the end of 2020.
Las Vegas scored the only points of the first quarter when Daniel Carlson connected on a 46yd FG with 3:10 left in the quarter. He would score the first points of the second quarter with a 33yd FG at the 9:34 mark. Pittsburgh took their only lead of the day later on when JuJu Smith-Schuster rushed for a 3yd TD. That lead would be short lived when Carlson kicked a 41yd FG just before the half.
The Raiders came through with a touchdown from Derek Carr to Foster Moreau from 9yds out to take a 16-7 lead in the third. The Steelers would cut that lead to two points in the fourth when Roethlisberger connected with Najee Harris for 25yds. That would be as close as Pittsburgh could get, because less that two minutes later Carr found Henry Ruggs III for a 61yd TD pass. Chris Boswell got the final Steelers points of the day with a Heinz Field record 56yd FG, but Carlson scored the final points of the game with a 45yd FG to cap off a 26-17 Las Vegas win.
Pittsburgh is heavily reliant on their defense and having four key components out for much of the game was definitely a factor in this loss. The Raiders looked good on both sides of the ball and deserved to win this game. The Steelers offense still appears to be figuring itself out, though even with a new offensive line and coordinator, it still looks eerily similar to last year. Up next is another home game, this time against the division rival Cincinnati Bengals.
Overall Record: 1-1