Raiders’ defense stands tall, offense breaks through steel curtain 


Josh Delillo, Staff

 The Raiders busted open the Steel Curtain at Heinz Field this Sunday, putting up stellar numbers on both sides of the ball. A familiar theme in these two wins has to be their critical plays made on defense. 

We have seen some great flashes these two past weeks upfront. Similar to last week, the Raiders were able to generate pressure on the not-so-mobile Ben Roethlisberger. Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue both rallied in 5+ pressures. This duo seems to be living up to the hype. Even when they are not in the game, the depth on this defensive line really shines when you need a big play. Solomon Thomas was able to get in the backfield and sack Big Ben twice. “First time in my career getting two,” he said. Thomas had dealt with injuries and mental struggles in the past.  “Hopefully I can have more games like this, and help this team win,” he stated, wearing a big smile after the game. 

The Silver and Black generated enough pressure for third-year corner Trayvon Mullen to pick off Big Ben. Mullen praised his teammates’ performance and all the strides they have made on defense. “I feel like we have a group of guys that love playing football and have a sense of urgency.” 

The defense’s tough performance allowed for Derek Carr to do what he does best — be clutch in the 4th. Vegas held onto a 2 point lead, Pittsburgh had the chance to force a punt on a 3rd and 10 and get the ball back. However, Carr once again demonstrated why he deserves respect around the league, and oh boy did he deliver. On their own 31 yard line, Las Vegas lined up in a bunch wide-receiver set to the right. Carr launched a bomb to a receiver downfield. Of course, the speedy Henry Ruggs III chased the deep ball down, ran under it, and jogged into the endzone, thus sealing the victory for the Raiders. 

The Raiders must lick their wounds and prepare for their next opponent as the Dolphins come to town. It is unsure yet whether or not Tua Tagovailoa will be suiting up in this one, as he went down with a concerning rib injury in their blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills. Tua or no Tua, the Raiders should have a field day upfront defensively, as the Dolphins offensive line had another disappointing week. PFF ranked the Fins with low grades in pass-blocking, with four out of five starters having a grade under 40, and allowing 4 or more pressures on passing attempts. Raider Nation has a good chance to hit the jackpot on defense in week 3.

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