On Sunday night, two AFC middle-of-the-road teams looking to make an impression collide as the Las Vegas Raiders host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams are 1-1 this season, although Las Vegas won two out of their previous three head-to-head meetings (13-10 last season). However, Las Vegas is favored by 2.5 points going into Sunday’s matchup at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas at 8:20 p.m.
Last Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders got hit hard as they were defeated 38-10 by the Buffalo Bills. I suspect this defeat stemmed from their poor showing against the Bills had against the Jets during week one; perhaps taking their frustration out on Vegas instead. With this loss, their record dropped to 1-1 following their 17-16 win against the Denver Broncos; moreover, they turned it over three times, including two interceptions by Jimmy Garoppolo, while Davante Adams made six grabs for 84 yards and one touchdown during that game alone!
Last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers posted an impressive comeback victory, defeating their divisional foe, the Cleveland Browns, 26-22 to even their record at 1-1. Not surprisingly, it was the defense that provided the critical turning point as Alex Highsmith sacked Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson with approximately 7 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and TJ Watt scooped it up and ran 16 yards for what proved to be the winning score. The defense gave up 408 yards while the Steelers trailed time of possession 35:28-24:32, yet turnovers proved the equalizer as they forced four turnovers themselves. Kenny Pickett led their offense but only completed 15 out of 30 passes for 222 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
After two games this season, these are two of the worst offenses in the NFL and rank last in rushing yards per game. Surprisingly enough, both have great running backs who have underperformed. I expect the Raiders to capitalize on this matchup, with Jacobs taking advantage 0f an average Steelers run defense.
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