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  • Tarrian Rodgers

Raiders run through the Steel Curtains 26-17

One of the NFL’s most storied rivalries was renewed today as the Las Vegas Raiders traveled to Pittsburgh to square off with the Steelers. Derek Carr took full advantage of a Steelers defense that had four starters out with injuries, as the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback threw for 382 yards on 28 of 37 passing and tossed 2 TDs. Carr has 817 passing yards over the past two games which is a franchise record to start a season.

Derek Carr really deserves his flowers in this game as he came in with a banged up offensive line and no Josh Jacobs. The Raiders run game was pretty non-existent today only accumulating 56 yards and numerous penalties. Carr also survived a scary injury as his past surgically repaired ankle was rolled up on after a touchdown pass to Foster Moreau.

The Raiders revamped defense also deserves tons of credit for this win. Defensive tackle Solomon Thomas had two quarterback sacks, a tackle for loss, a tipped pass and three quarterback hits. Raiders’ defensive captain Maxx Crosby, who is coming off an AFC defensive player of the week, set the tone on the edge,which led the way for Thomas and the entire group. Crosby laid several big hits on the Steelers’ star signal-caller Roethlisberger up with five official QB hits.

Pittsburgh lost more than Sunday's game. They may have lost defensive lineman Tyson Alualu for the season after he reportedly suffered a fractured ankle. The Steelers also lost T.J. Watt to a groin injury during the first half. Pittsburgh entered the game without starting inside linebacker Devin Bush and starting cornerback Joe Haden. Both players missed the game with groin injuries.

The feel of this Raiders team just feels so different than it did a year ago. The Raiders have a history of finding ways to lose games they were poised enough to win. The Steelers stole the momentum after Roethlisberger connected with Najee Harris on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Carr's 61-yard bomb to Ruggs came on a 3rd-and-10 play with the Raiders ahead, 16-14, with under 10 minutes remaining. Despite pressure from rookie defensive back Tre Norwood, Carr stood tall before tossing a perfectly thrown pass to Ruggs, who caught the ball. Ruggs had a game-high 113 receiving yards. He now has three-career touchdown catches of at least 45 yards.

After the win Jon Gruden spoke on the differences between this teams 2-0 start and last season's 2-0 start. “"I'm not going to be a philosophical Socrates up here. We're all confident. We have a confident group. We were confident last year. We lost heartbreaking [games]. Gut-wrenching, disgusting losses at the end of football games. We have a long way to go. We're nowhere near perfect. God bless you.”

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