NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 2 Game Recap: Las Vegas Raiders 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr throws a first quarter pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr led the Las Vegas Raiders to a 26-17 road win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Week 2. Carr threw for more than 350 yards for the second week in a row and added two more passing touchdowns to his season total, giving the Raiders a 2-0 start to the season.

Ben Roethlisberger looked improved compared to his Week 1 performance, but losing T.J. Watt early to injury combined with a nearly non-existent rushing attack cost the Steelers dearly.

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Las Vegas Raiders


Quarterback Derek Carr picked up right where he left off in the fourth quarter and overtime against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. He completed 28-of-37 passes for 382 yards and two touchdowns while taking just two sacks behind a battered offensive line.

Derek Carr: Passing by depth
Target depth Attempts Completions Yards PFF grade*
Behind L.O.S 4 4 29 64.7
1-9 yards 19 15 142 59.5
10-19 yards 8 5 77 82.2
20-plus yards 4 4 134 99.9

*Grades will be reviewed and finalized by 1 p.m. EST Monday

After earning a 74.9 PFF grade in the Raiders’ Week 1 win over Baltimore, Carr should finish PFF’s grading reviews with an 85.0-plus grade. He completed all four of his pass attempts of 20-plus air yards and committed just one turnover-worthy play on the day.

Las Vegas goes as Carr goes, and so far this season, things are going well for Carr and the 2-0 Raiders.

Running Backs
Las Vegas’ rushing attack was nothing short of a disaster on Sunday. With Josh Jacobs sidelined, veterans Kenyan Drake and Peyton Barber combined for 41 yards on 20 total carries.
The Raiders’ offensive line gave the two backs next to nothing in terms of yards before contact, and neither Drake nor Barber added many yards above expectation. Both running backs gained more yards after contact than they did total yards with the constant onslaught faced behind the line of scrimmage.
Second-year wide receiver Henry Ruggs III continues to be a big-play bright spot for the Raiders offense. He caught 5-of-6 targets for 113 yards, including a clutch 61-yard touchdown to help put the game away.
After catching 10-of-18 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, tight end Darren Waller came back down to earth against Pittsburgh. He finished second on the team in receiving, with five receptions for 65 yards on seven targets.
Bryan Edwards flashed on a handful of plays, as he hauled in three catches for 40 yards in the game. He also had a touchdown reception called back due to a penalty.
Raiders receivers: PFF receiving stats
Name TGT REC YDS Yards per
route run
Darren Waller 7 5 65 1.86
Hunter Renfrow 6 5 57 2.38
Henry Ruggs III 6 5 113 3.77
Bryan Edwards 3 3 40 1.18
Foster Moreau 3 2 34 2.62
Derek Carrier 2 2 13 2.17
Willie Snead IV 1 1 14 4.67
Offensive Line

This was not a banner performance for Las Vegas’ offensive line. Rookie right tackle Alex Leatherwood earned a sub-30.0 PFF pass-blocking grade (on first review) before exiting the game with an oblique injury. Center Andre James was the only player to earn a PFF grade above 60.0 on PFF’s first review of the broadcast film.

Leatherwood played just 31 offensive snaps before being sidelined with injury. Backup Brandon Parker played the final 35 offensive snaps of the game and earned a sub-60.0 PFF grade, as well.

Defensive Line

Despite battling a hamstring injury on a short week, veteran edge defender Yannick Ngakoue suited up for Las Vegas and turned in one of the best defensive performances on the team. He recorded two pressures and a PFF pass-rush win rate above 15%. Maxx Crosby and Solomon Thomas also totaled four pressures apiece.


Raiders linebackers Johnathan Abram and Cory Littleton were up and down in their performance against Pittsburgh. The duo combined for six missed tackles and should both earn sub-60.0 PFF grades after reviews.

Veteran K.J. Wright was the Raiders’ best off-ball linebacker by a landslide — he didn't miss a single tackle attempt and made very few mistakes in run defense.


Veteran Casey Hayward Jr. continues to be a bright spot for an otherwise underwhelming Raiders secondary. On PFF’s first review of the broadcast film, Hayward allowed zero receptions on three targets and recorded two forced incompletions.

Injuries pushed second-year cornerback Damon Arnette on the football field for 13 coverage snaps, and he allowed two receptions for 68 yards en route to a sub-40.0 PFF coverage grade.

Pittsburgh Steelers


After earning a league-low 38.0 PFF grade in Week 1, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger turned in a much more impressive performance against the Raiders’ defense.

Roethlisberger: Play under pressure vs. from a clean pocket
Kept clean Under pressure
21/29 Comp./Att 6/11
7.2 Yards per attempt 7.9
75.9 Adjusted comp. % 75.0%
103.8 Passer rating 42.6
75.1 PFF grade* 69.0

*Grades will be reviewed and finalized by 1 p.m. EST Monday

Roethlisberger recorded two big-time throws and just one turnover-worthy play on his 42 dropbacks. He was accurate with the football but fell victim to strong defensive back play from Las Vegas on a handful of his downfield throws.

Running Backs

Najee Harris’ best plays came through the air, as he hauled in five receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. He also broke six tackles on his five receptions, many of which coming on his 25-yard touchdown reception.

On the ground, Harris continues to struggle behind a woeful Steelers offensive line. He totaled just 38 yards on 10 carries, and 36 of them came after contact.


Steelers’ Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool are the obvious focal point of the team’s passing attack. Johnson led the team in targets (12) and receiving yards (105), while Claypool caught 3-of-7 targets for 70 yards.

JuJu Smith-Schuster also caught six passes, but his low average depth of target (2.3) continues to limit his yardage totals. He put up just 41 receiving yards, and 27 of which came after the catch.

Offensive Line

Chukwuma Okorafor was the only offensive lineman in a Steelers uniform who finished PFF’s first review of the broadcast film with a grade above 60.0 — and even he didn’t clear a 62.0 PFF grade.

B.J. Finney played 11 pass-blocking snaps and allowed one pressure at guard while filling in for the injured Trai Turner. Finney and Dan Moore Jr. (42 pass-blocking snaps played) were the only two Steelers linemen who didn't allow multiple pressures.

Steelers offensive linemen: PFF pass-blocking stats in Week 2
Name Pass-blocking
pressures allowed
rate allowed
Trai Turner 31 62.6 2 6.5%
B.J. Finney 11 53.1 1 9.1%
Chukwuma Okorafor 42 61.3 3 7.1%
Kevin Dotson 42 42.9 4 9.5%
Kendrick Green 42 58.8 2 4.8%
Dan Moore Jr. 42 57.9 1 2.4%

*Grades will be reviewed and finalized by 1 p.m. EST Monday

Defensive Line

Veteran Cameron Heyward was his usual dominant self for Pittsburgh. He played more than 50 defensive snaps, totaled three defensive stops and recorded an 89.0-plus PFF grade on first review.

Superstar T.J. Watt played just 16 defensive snaps before leaving the game due to injury. He beat rookie Alex Leatherwood for a strip-sack and earned a 95.0-plus PFF grade in limited action. Melvin Ingram III also impressed against Las Vegas, totaling five pressures and a 21% pass-rush win rate on the day.


Robert Spillane and Joe Schobert both played more than 50 defensive snaps for Pittsburgh. Schobert was the more impressive of the two, with his seven defensive stops and two forced incompletions, but he still missed two tackles and allowed 80 yards in coverage. Spillane notched just four defensive stops and three missed tackles, along with his 11 yards allowed in coverage.


With Joe Haden sidelined, the Steelers’ lead trio at cornerback consisted of James Pierre, Cameron Sutton and Tre Norwood — and none of them had a good day at the office. All three should finish PFF’s grading reviews with sub-60.0 PFF grades.

Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will also record one of the lowest single-game PFF grades of his career once reviews are complete. He missed a tackle and allowed multiple first downs in coverage.

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