The Las Vegas Raiders are technically still alive in the AFC Playoff race, and here, we look at what to expect from their opponent in Week 16 of the 2022 NFL season.
For a team that has struggled as much as it has this season, the Las Vegas Raiders now sit at 6-8 with their season still up for grabs and a trip to Pittsburgh against a very beatable Steelers team next up on the docket.
As many things that have gone wrong this season for the Raiders, it was nice to see good fortune finally swing their way in Week 15 with their miracle walk-off victory over the Patriots.
The Pats were a team that had a lot of success against the Raiders historically. Bill Belichick had Derek Carr’s number as well in three lifetime matchups. They even looked as though they would defeat the Raiders once again in Week 15 after a strong second-half showing despite Carr leading a game-tying drive deep in the fourth quarter.
To have a team as storied as the Pats lose the way they did with one of the dumbest plays in NFL history from a “decisions” standpoint, it was almost as if the wheel had finally broken in favor of the Raiders.
They finally had something crazy go their way and now they’re looking at three winnable games down the stretch (they are catching San Fran and KC in good spots) to somehow come out of this train wreck of a season with a winning record.
For all of his flaws, that is something nobody can ever take away from Derek Carr- he does not go away. Ever. The Raiders now head up to Pittsburgh where it’s supposed to be frigid temperatures and all that jazz.
Raiders: What can we expect from the Steelers in Week 16?
In theory, it should not matter. The Raiders are the better team at this juncture with the better quarterback and run game respectively. They’re scoring 24.1 points a game while Pittsburgh is scoring 17.9 points a game. They’re passing for 231.9 yards a game while Pittsburgh is passing for 201.8 yards a game.
The Steelers are very well-coached and their defense can be electric depending on the day, but if there is one game left of the schedule the Raiders should take it would be this one against a rookie quarterback who is still hit-or-miss in the passing game.
The Raider O-line looked terrible on paper going into the season, but it has surprised only allowing 26 sacks, 33 hurries, and a 19.3% pressure rate. Mighty impressive for a unit many believed was going to be bottom tier in football before the season began. The strength of Pittsburgh is their pass rush, so one would think the Raiders can handle their own in that area given their 2022 track record.
If you are the Raiders, this is going to be a tough man’s type of game in very cold weather, so run the football ad nauseam. Josh Jacobs has been crushing it all year. He’s a powerful back who hits defenders hard. In the cold, that’ll be amplified. And above all else, you’ll be taking away the Steelers’ strength in their pass rush.
The Las Vegas Raiders will battle it out against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16 on the road, and here are the best bets for the Silver and Black.
The tougher team is going to win this Week 16 matchup. And as crazy as it may seem to say an indoor team is “tougher” than an outdoor team in what is expected to be freezing conditions, I think there is a very valid argument to be made about this Raiders team as battle-tested as it is might be a little bit tougher than the younger Pittsburgh Steelers at this juncture.
The Raiders should win this game. The season is on the line.