Week 2 brings another tough test for the Las Vegas Raiders as they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers for an early morning matchup. The Raiders will be missing a few key starters, but they can’t let that kill the momentum their Monday night victory over Baltimore created. Could we see an even more memorable finish at Heinz Field tomorrow? Here are some bold predictions for this showdown.
Mad Maxx Rides Again; Delivers a Three Sack Game
Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby is coming off the performance of his life. The Eastern Michigan alum made life tough for the Ravens offensive line and their quarterback Lamar Jackson, recording two sacks on top of double-digit pressures. Sunday brings a different challenge but one that could be just as favorable for Crosby. The Steelers’ offensive line struggled to deal with the Buffalo Bills’ front. On top of that, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is far less mobile than the previously mentioned Jackson. With news that fellow pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue will indeed suit up for action, Crosby adding to his sack total should surprise no one.
Tre’von Moehrig Snags His First Career Interception
Second-round selection Tre’von Moehrig had a solid professional debut on Monday night (excluding one bad angle on Ty’Son Williams’ 36-yard touchdown run). A true deep safety is crucial with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 scheme. The Ravens were far less likely to test the Raiders deep, but the Steelers have the weapons to do so. Big Ben is also prone to forcing throws at inopportune times, a flaw I expect Moehrig to capitalize on.
Carr Finds Ruggs Deep… Twice!
Everyone’s seen the footage of quarterback Derek Carr ‘missing‘ second-year receiver Henry Ruggs III deep during the first quarter of Monday’s game. Carr would hit Ruggs late in the game for a big game, but I expect Carr to connect with Ruggs for two deep scores on Sunday. While the Steelers deploy a stellar defense, they can be susceptible to big plays, especially with a secondary that lacks the speed to keep up with the 4.27 burners of the Alabama product. No doubt that ‘DC4‘ will be sure to mix these shots in between the twenty targets set aside for tight end Darren Waller.
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images