PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers defense suffered a series of body blows in their Week 2 game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The team lost starting cornerback Joe Haden and starting inside linebacker Devin Bush to groin injuries in practice on Friday. During the first half of the game on Sunday, starting outside linebacker T.J. Watt and starting defensive lineman Tyson Alualu left the game with injuries, as well.
Despite the absences, the Steelers did a fair job job holding the Las Vegas Raiders’ offense in check.
The Derek Carr delivered the knockout punch.
On a 3rd and 10 from well within their own territory, Carr unleashed a bomb right down the middle of the field for Henry Ruggs III, who beat Ahkello Witherspoon and Minkah Fitzpatrick and streaked 61 yards for a back-breaking score on the way to a 26-17 Raiders victory.
In the first half, the Steelers bent, but didn’t break, forcing Las Vegas to settle for three Daniel Carlson field goals while JuJu Smith-Schuster added a touchdown on a jet sweep.
In the third quarter, Carr found tight end Foster Moreau over Joe Schobert in the corner of the end zone to make a two-score Raiders lead. Moreau caught two passes for 34 yards and Darrin Waller had five for 65, including a long completion over Schobert on the Raiders’ final offensive possession to help ice the game.
In total, Carr threw 37 times, completing 28 for 382 yards. The Raiders did not turn the ball over.
The Steelers responded with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Najee Harris to cut the lead back to two, before Carr and Ruggs secured the Raiders win.
Chris Boswell added a 56-yard field goal with 3:42 to play to again make it a one-score game, but the Steelers could not get the ball back, yielding a final Carlson field goal in the final minute.
Roethlisberger dealt with pressure all day while throwing 39 times, completing 26 for 284 yards. He was intercepted once, the game’s only turnover. Harris rushed 10 times for 38 yards and caught five passes for 43 yards.
The Steelers, now 1-1, will continue their season by hosting the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Sept. 26 at Heinz Field.