How the Raiders performed in a 13-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday at Acrisure Stadium:
Oh, if everything could have been like that first drive. The Raiders went 72 yards in 14 plays after receiving the opening kickoff, scoring the game’s first touchdown on a Derek Carr to Hunter Renfrow 14-yard pass. After that? Not much. Carr (16 of 30 passing for 174 yards) threw three second-half interceptions, and the Raiders had just 201 yards in the frigid temperatures. Josh Jacobs never got going, accounting for 44 yards on 15 carries. On a positive note, the Raiders were penalized just twice for 20 yards. But by far the biggest one was tight end Foster Moreau being flagged for a face mask that erased a 37-yard run by Jacobs deep into Pittsburgh territory. Darren Waller led the Raiders with 58 yards receiving on four catches, but Davante Adams was held to 15 yards on two receptions via a team-high nine targets.
Things were going so well … until they weren’t. The Steelers didn’t have a snap inside the red zone until 1:05 remained. But then a blown coverage sealed the Raiders’ fate, as Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett hit George Pickens with a 14-yard score. The extra point made the score 13-10, and that was that. Pittsburgh managed 350 yards on 66 snaps, a 5.3 average. The Raiders lost edge rusher Chandler Jones and linebacker Denzel Perryman to injury. Luke Masterson led the way with 10 tackles, and Maxx Crosby had four quarterback hurries. Clelin Ferrell had a tackle for loss and pass defended in place of Jones.
Special teams: C
Daniel Carlson made his only field-goal attempt of 40 yards, but it wasn’t the best of nights for punter AJ Cole. He averaged 41 yards on five attempts, but a 29-yarder in the fourth quarter eventually led to a Pittsburgh field goal that brought the Steelers within 10-6.
Didn’t like the pass play on third-and-5 with 3:07 remaining when a run would have burned more time off the clock or forced the Steelers to take a timeout. Didn’t think time management at the end of the first half was stellar. I suppose this grade also could be an A, given the loss probably moved the team up a few spots in the NFL draft.
Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sports column writing and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.