If the Raiders want to go east and win, they will have to lean on their suddenly explosive defense, as well as a banged-up offensive line.
The Las Vegas Raiders went up against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 as the underdog, and they looked like one early on. Derek Carr was forcing the ball to Darren Waller, and Darren Waller only, as the offense sputtered, and the Ravens got out to a 14-0 lead in the first half.
From there, the Raiders started rolling, scoring ten points in the second quarter to go into halftime down by the score of 14-10. The rest, as they say, is history, as the Raiders came all the way back, sent the game into overtime thanks to a 55-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson, and then won the game in overtime on a Carr to Zay Jones strike.
The win was huge for the Silver and Black, beating a playoff team in primetime, and in Week 2, they will attempt to knock off their second AFC North foe in as many weeks. Pittsburgh comes into this game boasting one of the best defenses in the NFL, as they have playmakers on all three levels, so this will be another big test for Carr and this offense.
Raiders overcome injuries to win on the road
Las Vegas goes into this one with a ton of injuries, including upfront on both sides of the ball. For them to come away with the victory, they are going to have to have an answer for Cameron Heyward in the interior of the Steelers defensive line, as the star had 12 pressures against Buffalo last week.
With T.J. Watt coming off the edge, both Kolton Miller and Alex Leatherwood have tall tasks ahead of them too, but the Raiders are no slouch on defense either. Maxx Crosby is a bonafide star, the linebackers have improved, and you have to like what you saw from the new-look secondary against Lamar Jackson and company last week.
Continuing their tough slate of games to start the season, the Las Vegas Raiders travel to Pittsburgh to take on TJ Watt and the Steelers.
This one is going to go down to the wire, and in the end, I like the Raiders to get to Roethlisberger enough to force some big turnovers. The offensive line will have to step up big-time in this one, and while Carr could be eating the turf more than he would like in Week 2, he makes enough big plays down the stretch to win a crucial game on the road.
Prediction: Raiders 27, Steelers 24