The Las Vegas Raiders take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16, and here are their X-Factors for the matchup on Christmas Eve.
To keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the Las Vegas Raiders will need to go into frigid Pittsburgh and beat the 6-8 Steelers. This game will be played with heavy hearts on both sidelines, as legendary Steelers running back Franco Harris shockingly passed away this week.
The game will also honor the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, a matchup that is historical for both franchises. On the field, there should be no shortage of excitement, and if the Raiders are to win, they must dominate these three X-Factors.
Las Vegas Raiders X-Factors against the Steelers in 2022 Week 16
Can Derek Carr play better in the cold?
Throughout his nine years as the starter for the Raiders, Derek Carr has had his fair share of highs. However, when the temperatures dip, and he is forced to play in inclement weather, he has struggled in a big way, never winning a game when the temperature dipped below freezing.
To say it will be cold in Pittsburgh on Christmas Eve would be an understatement, so this going to be a great opportunity for No. 4 to change the narrative. If he can come out with a victory on Saturday night, it would be a signature win for him and prove he can win games despite the elements.
Can the Raiders’ offensive line stop TJ Watt?
The matchup on Saturday night features two of the best edge rushers in the game, as TJ Watt and Maxx Crosby square off. The issue with this is that the Raiders’ offensive line struggles in a big way in terms of protection, so Watt could be in for a monster game against the Silver and Black.
Whichever team wins the battle in the trenches is certain to win the game outright, especially when you consider the weather, and the talent each team has coming off the edge.
Run, Josh, Run
The game plan should be simple for Josh McDaniels on Saturday night, and that should be getting the ball into Josh Jacobs’s hands early and often. The NFL’s leading rusher will need to be at his best if the Silver and Black hope to come away with victory No. 7, as the weather will make it very hard to pass.
The Las Vegas Raiders reignite a historic rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16. Here are the key players to watch in the matchup.
The Steelers counter with a solid young running back of their own in Najee Harris, so you can expect plenty of rushing plays in this game. If Jacobs can outrun the Steelers’ defense, as he has been doing all season long, Las Vegas has a great chance to win this one as a road underdog.