Looking to put their Week 2 drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills in the past, the Las Vegas Raiders head home for their home opener on Sunday night. Their opponent in primetime will be the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are playing their second primetime game in a row after beating the Cleveland Browns on Monday night.
To win this one, they will have to dominate on both sides of the ball, as well as win these three key matchups.
Raiders vs Steelers 2023 Week 3: Key matchups to watch
Josh McDaniels vs Mike Tomlin
The battle of the two head coaches will go a long way in deciding the outcome on Sunday, as Josh McDaniels and Mike Tomlin will look to get the upper hand. Last season, the Steelers were able to take care of business against the Raiders late in the season, a game that proved to be the final start for Derek Carr.
Tomlin is likely headed to the Hall of Fame, and McDaniels is still trying to prove he can be a legitimate head coach at the NFL level. The Steelers have the better head coach by a mile, and that could play a huge role on Sunday night.
Raiders OTs vs TJ Watt
The Pittsburgh Steelers will be without one of the elite defensive tackles in the NFL in Cameron Heyward, but they will have TJ Watt ready to go on Sunday night. Watt is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and is currently leading the league in sacks, making him priority No. 1 in this matchup.
The Raiders are getting great play from both of their offensive tackles this season, but this will be the biggest test to date. If they can neutralize Watt in the pass rush, it should give Jimmy Garoppolo time to operate downfield.
Marcus Peters vs George Pickens
The Raiders brought in former All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters to lock down the No. 1 wide receiver on the opposing team, and that matchup will be with George Pickens on Sunday night. Pickens is a young wide receiver, but he has played very well in his one-plus years in the league, and can be a matchup nightmare.
Kenny Pickett loves to throw to Pickens, and he is certain to go his way time and time again on Sunday night. If Pickens has a big game, that could mean Pickett finally got it going in the passing game.