This past week was a heartbreaker for the Las Vegas Raiders. In all likelihood, their playoff hopes are nearly at an end due to their 10-13 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. The defensive line struggled to put much pressure on rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. As a result, the former Pitt signal-caller found himself with multiple opportunities to come back. The loss was entirely not the fault of the defense. Let’s face it, the offense just couldn’t get their mojo going and froze up when the team needed them most.
The Steelers’ O-line outshone the Raiders’ D-line
Regardless, the Steelers’ offensive line proved to be a worthy opponent for the Raiders. By the game’s conclusion, it had been a sackless night. The game as a whole was tough for players like defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. The latter was eventually carted off due to an elbow injury. The defensive line was doing what they could under the weather conditions, and this game was only going to be won with a rallying team effort.
“Everybody wants to talk about the defense, but fu*k, they made their stops when they were supposed to. So, we have to help them out. And I’m tired of saying we have to fuc*ing help them out,” said running back Josh Jacobs. The sense of frustration can be felt on both sides of the ball, but the defensive line definitely struggled in this one. It’s pretty safe to say that the offense and defense underperformed.
The pressure is getting to Josh McDaniels’ squad
The secondary definitely outshined the line as they were coming up with major stops when necessary. Pickett looked like a superstar due to how much time he had in the pocket that night and seemed almost pressure-free throughout the game. There wasn’t much else that could have been done, as the Steelers definitely had something to play for with the unexpected death of Franco Harris and the playoffs still a possibility for them.
The Silver and Black’s defense definitely looked weathered after the four long and freezing quarters that followed kickoff. Although this wasn’t a good performance by the defensive line, all fingers are pointing toward the offense and their extremely poor performance. “I thought the defense hung in there and played pretty well most of the game. They tried to hang in there in the running gameâ€”a tough team, a physical group, a good runner. We gave up a few plays here and there,” said head coach Josh McDaniels.
*Top Photo: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images