Steelers, Raiders going for a 2-0 start after Week 1 rallies

·3 min read

LAS VEGAS (1-0) at PITTSBURGH (1-0)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EDT, CBS

OPENING LINE: Steelers by 5 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Las Vegas 1-0; Pittsburgh 1-0

SERIES RECORD: Raiders lead 16-13

LAST MEETING: Raiders beat Steelers 24-21 on Dec. 9, 2018 in Oakland

LAST WEEK: Raiders beat Ravens 33-27 in overtime; Steelers beat Bills 23-16

RAIDERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (1), RUSH (21), PASS (1), SCORING (6T).

RAIDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (32), PASS (10), SCORING (17T).

STEELERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (29T), RUSH (23), PASS (28), SCORING (18).

STEELERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (13), RUSH (18), PASS (14), SCORING (7T).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Raiders plus-1; Steelers plus-1.

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: DE Maxx Crosby. Crosby had a dominant opener with two sacks, five quarterback hits and a league-high 13 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

STEELERS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Najee Harris. The rookie first-round pick had a quiet 45 yards on 16 carries in his NFL debut behind a patched-together offensive line. He also was on the field for every offensive snap, an indication of how the Steelers feel about his conditioning.

KEY MATCHUP: Pittsburgh's secondary against Raiders TE Darren Waller. Las Vegas QB targeted the 6-foot-6 Waller 19 times in the opener against the Ravens. The Steelers will need to throw two bodies — and who knows, maybe three — in an effort to slow him down.

KEY INJURIES: The Raiders placed RG Denzelle Good (knee) and DT Gerald McCoy (knee) on IR after they went down with season-ending injuries. Backup QB Marcus Mariota is likely out with a quadriceps injury and DE Yannick Ngakoue’s status is in doubt after hurting his hamstring in the opener. LG Richie Incognito could return after missing the opener. ... Steelers are relatively healthy going into Week 2. DE Stephon Tuitt (knee) remains on IR but the defensive line was no worse for wear in upset over the Bills.

SERIES NOTES: The Steelers have enjoyed far more success than the Raiders over the past two decades, but have struggled against the silver and black. Las Vegas is 5-2 in its past seven meetings with Pittsburgh going back to 2006 even though the Raiders finished with a losing record in each of the seasons in which they beat Pittsburgh. The Steelers, by comparison, haven't had a losing season since 2003. ... Pittsburgh's loss in Oakland three years ago was part of a late collapse in which the Steelers dropped four of their final six to miss the playoffs after a 7-2-1 start.

STATS AND STUFF: The Raiders are seeking back-to-back 2-0 starts to the season for the first time since doing it three years in a row from 1982-84. ... QB Derek Carr engineered his 22nd career fourth-quarter comeback in last week’s 33-27 overtime win over Baltimore. ... The Raiders have lost the past six times they went on the road after a Monday night win. ... Pittsburgh owns a 51-34-3 record in home openers, including an 11-3 mark under coach Mike Tomlin. ... Steelers LB T.J. Watt has 34 sacks in 32 games at Heinz Field and has had at least a half-sack in 20 of his past 22 home games. ... Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger needs 3 TD passes to become the eighth player to QB to reach 400 passing TD plateau. ... After allowing NFL-low 14 sacks in 2020, new-look Pittsburgh offensive line that features two rookies and four new starters allowed two sacks in Buffalo. ... The Raiders' pass rush was an issue for Ravens in Monday night win, sacking Baltimore star QB Lamar Jackson three times and forcing the game-turning fumble.

FANTASY TIP: Expect first-year Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada to find creative ways to get Harris in space against a defense that allowed the Ravens to run for 189 yards last week even with Baltimore missing its top three running backs.

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