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Steelers outlast Raiders in 23-18 win on the road

The Pittsburgh Steelers were coming off a prime time win in Week 2 over division rival Cleveland Browns, but Week 3 had the black-and-gold on the road for the first time in the 2023 regular season. It was another prime time matchup vs. the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football, and the two 1-1 teams were hoping to get on their second win of the season.

After the Raiders chose to defer their possession to the second half, it was the struggling Steelers offense which took the field first. However, the Steelers offense wasn’t the only unit which was struggling. Both teams went three-and-out to start the game, and it wasn’t until inside 10 minutes when the Raiders finally got a first down in the game.

The same drive moved into Pittsburgh territory and would equate in the first points of the game. On the fringe of field goal range, Josh McDaniels chose to go for it, but he didn’t run the ball with Josh Jacobs. Instead, he ran a play action pass with Jimmy Garoppolo hitting Davante Adams for the touchdown. Following the extra point, it was 7-0 Raiders with 7 minutes left in the first quarter.

Desperately needing an answer, the Steelers got just that on a 72-yard strike on third down to Calvin Austin III.

Following the Chris Boswell extra point, the score was tied 7-7.

The Raiders’ next drive was another three-and-out, giving the ball right back to the Steelers, but the quarter ended with the Raiders having the ball deep in their own end with the score tied. The Jimmy G to Adams connection was strong as the Raiders were threatening to add to their point total; however, Garoppolo’s pass was intercepted by Levi Wallace ending the drive.

The Steelers were able to turn the interception into points, albeit a Chris Boswell field goal. The 43-yard kick made the score 10-7 with 8:33 left in the first half.

After the Raiders failed drive, the Steelers received the football with 7:04 left in the half, and they did something they haven’t done much this season — possess the ball and end a drive with points. The Steelers took up over 5 minutes of game time as they moved the ball into Las Vegas territory. The drive ended in a Chris Boswell 42-yard field goal to make the score 13-7 with 1:56 left in the half.

The score would hold as both teams headed into halftime.

Coming out of halftime the Raiders received the football, but a quick three-and-out gave the ball right back to the Steelers. The Pittsburgh offense continued to show signs of life, moving the ball down the field and getting into Boswell’s field goal range. The veteran kicker nailed the 57-yard kick to make the score 16-7.

A 3rd and 1 conversion for 19 yards to Davante Adams on the Raiders’ next drive had them feeling good about adding to their own point total; however, T.J. Watt’s pressure was constant and resulted in another Garoppolo interception.

Patrick Peterson’s first interception as a member of the Steelers set up the offense at the 19-yard line. What ensued was the Steelers’ best drive of the day. A drive which featured Pickett having time in the pocket and hitting his receivers on time and in space. It took just a handful of plays before the Steelers were in the red-zone, and once there it was Pickett hitting Pat Freiermuth for the touchdown.

The extra point was good, making the score 23-7 in the 3rd quarter.

In desperate need of an answer, the Raiders moved the ball into field goal range, but with time not on their side they elected to go for it on a critical 4th and 5, bypassing a field goal, and the pass intended for Jakobi Meyers fell incomplete.

The Steelers took over on downs at their own 22-ard line with 13:13 left in regulation, but the Pittsburgh offense went back into their lull with a three-and-out.

11:32 was left in regulation when the Raiders took over at their own 20-yard line, and put together the drive they needed. Aided by several penalties, the Raiders got into the red-zone and when it looked like Minkah Fitzpatrick stymied the drive with a sack, a roughing the passer call gave them new life. It ended in another Adams touchdown, and a two-point conversion, this after a questionable defensive pass interference call on the first failed attempt, made the score 23-15 with 5:41 left in the 4th quarter.

The Steelers offense got the ball next with a chance to ice the game away, but the struggling and predictable offense returned for a three-and-out. Giving the ball right back to the Raiders proved costly as Las Vegas moved the ball quickly down the field. On a 4th and 6 the Raiders were going to attempt a field goal, but DeMarvin Leal was called for a penalty which gave the Raiders a new set of downs half the distance to the goal. Nonetheless, the Steelers defense forced another field goal attempt, making the score 23-18 with 2:22 left.

With the pressure solely on the Steelers offense, the unit converted on 3rd and 2 to get the clock to the two-minute warning and force Vegas to burn two of their three timeouts. While the drive didn’t equate in points, or a game-clinching first down, it left just 23 seconds left on the clock as Pressley Harvin punted the ball away.

The punt was a beauty, and was downed at the 15-yard line with 12 seconds left. Jimmy G’s pass was intercepted by Levi Wallace, ending the game.

The Steelers win moves their record to 2-1 on the season as they now prepare for the Houston Texans in Texas in Week 4.

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