Raiders vs. Steelers: 4 things we learned in 2021 Week 2
The defensive line will carry this team
We heard all off-season long that the Raiders’ strength on defense was going to be the defensive line, and these last two weeks have proven that this is more than just talk. A week after essentially bottling up Lamar Jackson except for a few tremendous plays, the defensive line came a big with another tremendous performance.
They limited the Pittsburgh Steelers rushing attack to just 39 yards and controlled the line of scrimmage. They were also in the face of Ben Roethlisberger for much of the game and as stated earlier, forced him into a turnover and several inaccurate throws.
In Week 1, the stars of the show were Maxx Crosby and Carl Nassib, but this week, another name popped up to take the headlines. Solomon Thomas signed a one-year deal in the off-season to prove that he could still play football at an elite level and today he did just that. Thomas brought down Roethlisberger twice and matched his sack total for the last few years in one afternoon.
It would be unfair to call Thomas an afterthought on this defensive line but he was not expected to do much other than provide some depths due to his positional versatility. What we got today was more than anticipated and it showed that the other guys could feast while the bulk of the offensive attention is on Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby.
Aside from Thomas, the Raiders got some contributions from Johnathan Hankins and Quinton Jefferson as well.