The Raiders dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers on the defensive side of the ball on Sunday, which could be the tone-setter for the rest of the season.
Nobody gave the Las Vegas Raiders much of a chance to win in Pittsburgh in Week 3, as nearly all of the national media had them going on the road and getting beat. However, the Raiders proved everybody wrong, dominating on both sides of the ball, and coming away with a nine-point victory.
On Sunday, the win over Pittsburgh could have ended up being the tone-setter for the rest of the 2021 season.
Las Vegas Raiders: Win over Pittsburgh could be a tone-setter for 2021 season
The Defense Paves the Way
The Las Vegas Raiders followed up their massive win on Monday night with an impressive Week 2 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. And, while the team’s first victory over the Baltimore Ravens was a great one, their win against Pittsburgh can be a tone-setter for their season.
Let’s start by talking about the type of win that this was. That game wasn’t a shootout, with both team’s offenses going blow for blow until the clock expired. Rather, it was a defensive battle throughout, and it was a battle that Las Vegas was able to win thanks to Gus Bradley’s ability to completely change the defense.
In the first two weeks of the season, Las Vegas has only allowed 44 points and 737 total yards. This puts them right in the middle of all defenses in the league, which is much better than where they were ranked last year or the year prior. This success has come because Bradley has made the defensive plays much simpler for the players.
They now know their assignments on every play and swarm to the football whenever it moves.
The defense’s success is also being led by Maxx Crosby, who currently leads the league in pressures and quarterback hits made by a pass rusher. Also, Solomon Thomas, Yannick Ngakoue, and the rest of the defensive line have done a fantastic job of creating pressure and stopping the run. So far, they have been the key to the defensive success of Las Vegas.
If the defense continues to play at this level during the rest of the season, then they’ll be the biggest reason why Las Vegas wins games and potentially makes a playoff push.