The Pittsburgh Steelers sought respite from their offensive struggles in Las Vegas, but this wasn’t a leisurely trip; it was strictly business. On Sunday night, the Steelers, fueled by the support of their devoted fans at Allegiant Stadium, delivered a triumphant performance against the Raiders, winning 23-18.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin expressed his satisfaction, saying, “I was genuinely proud of our team’s efforts and playmaking. We did what was necessary to secure the victory. Although it’s still early in the season, we have much to learn and teach, but starting with a win feels good.”
Kenny Pickett, who had a rocky start to the season with just two touchdown passes and three interceptions, had a breakthrough game, throwing two touchdowns to Calvin Austin III and Pat Freiermuth, amassing 235 passing yards. Pickett commented, “Achieving perfection is challenging, but this victory represents a major stride for our team, particularly with consecutive prime-time wins on the road.”
The game began as a back-and-forth battle, with both teams vying for an advantage. The Raiders managed to force the Steelers, who hadn’t yet secured a first down, into two consecutive three-and-outs. On the second drive, the Raiders scored a 32-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to Devante Adams on a fourth-and-inches play-action, taking a 7-0 lead.
However, the Steelers responded swiftly. On a third-and-7 play, Pickett connected with Austin for a stunning 72-yard touchdown pass, tying the game at 7-7. This touchdown was the Steelers’ longest of the season and Pickett’s first completion of the game.
In the second quarter, Levi Wallace’s interception of Garoppolo set the stage for a 43-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, putting the Steelers ahead 10-7. They extended their lead to 13-7 with another Boswell field goal from 42 yards just before halftime.
The Steelers’ defense was relentless, sacking Garoppolo four times in the game. T.J. Watt’s two sacks in this game brought his total to six sacks in three games, a franchise record.
The third quarter saw the Steelers widen their lead to 16-7 with a 57-yard field goal by Boswell. Later, Watt forced an interception, setting up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Pickett to Freiermuth, bringing the score to 23-7.
Despite a late surge by the Raiders, including a 2-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to Adams and a two-point conversion, the Steelers held their ground, ultimately sealing the victory. The Raiders attempted a late comeback, but DeMarvin Leal’s penalty and the Steelers’ stout defense kept them at bay.
In the end, the Steelers secured the win, with Wallace intercepting Garoppolo for the final time, putting a cap on a hard-fought and well-earned victory.
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