Las Vegas Raiders: Studs and Duds from Week 2 vs. Steelers
Studs: Casey Hayward and the defensive backs
Last week the Raiders’ new-look defensive backfield came up big against the Baltimore Ravens with several big plays. This week that trend continued as we saw nearly every member of the unit make a memorable play.
Jonathan Abram is thriving in his new role, playing closer to the line of scrimmage and he had a tremendous tackle for loss along with six tackles. Trayvon Mullen had the Raiders’ first interception of the season as he showed great awareness on a Roethlisberger overthrow and he had two passes defended as well.
The much-maligned Dallin Leavitt made a huge play as he jarred the ball loose from Chase Claypool to force the Steelers to kick a field goal when they were down nine late in the game. Damon Arnette, who came into the game in relief of the injured Casey Hayward and Mullen, made a big play himself and is beginning to show that he has learned a lot from this off-season.
The two biggest plays by a defensive back, aside from the interception, came courtesy of Casey Hayward as he broke up two deep balls to Claypool including one in the end zone. One was nearly intercepted and it’s just a matter of time before Hayward comes down with an interception or two. Just like the defensive line, this unit has gone from a glaring weakness to a potential strength and they should only continue to improve as well.