After facing two playoff teams from last season, the Las Vegas Raiders are 2-0. It wasn’t always pretty, but here is how they got it done.
Miscues and Early Penalties
The story early on, like last week, was the Raiders’ ineffective offense. In this one, the lack of a running game was notably impactful. Also alarming in the early going was the lack of involvement from tight end Darren Waller. After a week in which he had nineteen targets, the Steelers did a good job limiting him in the first half.
On the defensive side, the Raiders were lights out. In the first quarter, they managed to snag their first interception of the season. That was, of course, courtesy of Trayvon Mullen. Again Las Vegas has proven that under Gus Bradley, they are a different defense. They held the Steelers to just seven first-half points.
The big story of the first half was the botched drive at the end. After a Bryan Edwards touchdown catch was called back, the Raiders failed to score another one. They settled for a field goal before the half to make it 9-7, but overall, it was a letdown.
Offense Comes To Life
In the second half, the Raiders and their quarterback came to life. The highlights were a couple of Derek Carr touchdown passes. The first was a perfectly placed pass to the corner of the end zone to Foster Moreau. During the play, Carr was hit late and laid on the field injured. In turn, Carr gave his teammates and Raider Nation a collective scare. However, Carr returned to the game. The other pass was a 61-yard bomb to Henry Ruggs III on third down. That catch shifted momentum for the Raiders. Fans of the Silver and Black can rejoice knowing the Raiders have remembered their playmaker. The Raiders did not trail in the second half.
The Raiders will again have to get healthy for next week and will have work to do. The offensive line could be much better, and the slow starts cannot continue. However, they are 2-0. Rejoice Raider Nation as your team finally has a good defense and is undefeated against two of the best teams in the NFL.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic