Las Vegas Review-Journal
Quote of the day
With their schedule featuring two historically tough AFC North teams to start the season, few predicted the Raiders would be 2-0. And that’s not even factoring in the short week between the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday and the injuries to several key players.
None of which dismayed the Raiders, who have conducted themselves in a far different manner this season going back to OTAS. There is a level of confidence and conviction that hasn’t been seen around this team in years.
“It’s kind of something you feel in the air” is how tight end Foster Moreau described it after the Raiders’ 26-17 win over the Steelers on Sunday. And it’s enabled them to easily dismiss those who thought the Raiders would start the season 0-2.
“None of it matters,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s the beautiful thing about football. You still gotta put the ball down. You still gotta play. And whatever team put the work in and is on their stuff and on the details, that’s the team that ultimately and hopefully is gonna win.”
As Carr also pointed out, it’s on the Raiders to change the perception of the team.
“We haven’t done what we’ve wanted to do for the last couple of years,” Carr said. “We haven’t been to the playoffs since 2016. I don’t blame that thought process. But at the same time, just as a competitor, you’re just like, I don’t care about any of that. Let’s just put the ball down and see if we can turn these into wins.”
Play of the day
Facing a second-and-7 from their 30-yard line and leading 23-17 with 2:55 remaining, everyone in Heinz Field thought the Raiders would run for a second straight time to shave as much time as possible from the clock.
But the Raiders’ run game had been suspect all afternoon, and not wanting to give the ball back to the Steelers leading by only six points, the Raiders dialed up a pass from Derek Carr to tight end Darren Waller that covered 25 yards to the Steelers’ 45-yard line.
On the next play, Peyton Barber rumbled 13 yards to the Steelers’ 32 for another new set of downs while taking the clock to the twominute warning. The Raiders essentially bled the clock from that point — forcing the Steelers to call their last timeout — before handing it over to Daniel Carlson to kick a 45-yard field goal — his fourth of the day — to put the Raiders up 26-17 with 20 seconds left.
Much like the 61-yard touchdown connection between Carr and Henry Ruggs earlier in the fourth quarter, it not only put on display all their various tools but also the ability to execute when they absolutely had to have it.
“It feels so nice to have guys to do all that,” Carr said.
The Raiders’ offensive line situation went from bad to worse Sunday when rookie right tackle Alex Leatherwood went down with an oblique injury. It meant the Raiders would finish the game with three backup offensive linemen. Brandon Parker replaced Leatherwood, with left guard John Simpson (backing up regular starter Denzelle Good) and right guard Jermaine Eluemunor (backing up regular starter Richie Incognito) filling out the line.
The extent of Leatherwood’s injury is not known.