It was a cold and windy Christmas Eve at Acrisure Stadium where the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders met once again in this long-time rivalry. The pregame festivities were in memory of the late Franco Harris who passed away earlier this week, as yesterday marked the 50th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, which Harris was a key figure of.
The game itself wasn’t the prettiest, which sums up the season for both teams. A loss for either squad would knock them out of the playoff race. Las Vegas struck early and led for much of the game, but ten fourth quarter points gave Pittsburgh just enough to get by with a 13-10 victory and send the fan base home happy.
The Raiders got on the board midway through the first quarter when Derek Carr threw a 14yd touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow. The Steelers cut that lead to four after the two-minute warning on a 44yd field goal by Chris Boswell. Las Vegas answered before halftime on a field goal of their own by Daniel Carlson from 40yds out.
After a scoreless third quarter Boswell got his team three more points, this time from 40yds out with 9:52 left in the fourth quarter. After trading possessions, Kenny Pickett would toss a 14yd touchdown pass to George Pickens to put Pittsburgh ahead. An interception by Carr, his third of the night, capped off the Steelers victory.
The Pittsburgh defense should get the majority of the credit for this win. They limited the Raiders to 174yds passing and 58yds rushing, while causing three turnovers, and sacking Carr three times. Two missed field goals by Boswell and an offense that didn’t move the ball much until that last drive put the pressure on the defense and they responded.
Pickett would finish the game going 26-39 for 244yds with a touchdown and an interception. Najee Harris led all rushers with 53yds on 16 carries, he would also have 42yds receiving on 6 catches. Pat Freiermuth had the most receptions and yards by any receiver, with 7 for 66. The Steelers will hit the road next week, trying to keep their playoff hopes alive, when they take on the Baltimore Ravens on New Year’s Day.
Overall Record: 7-8