3 Steelers most responsible for Pittsburgh’s disappointing loss to Raiders
After a solid Week 1 win, the Pittsburgh Steelers suddenly hit a snag as they succumbed to the Las Vegas Raiders on a 26-17 defeat on their home turf. Looking back, the shallow depth of the defensive unit was one of the major factors as to why the Steelers were stunned by their visiting counterparts.
However, defensive coordinator Keith Butler can only do so much as four of his starters didn’t get to finish the game along with defensive end Stephon Tuitt who also failed to suit up due to a knee injury. With a depleted defense, the offense couldn’t get anything going on their end as well which led the team to lose the game and drop to a 1-1 record.
After a tough outing, Pittsburgh will surely be eager to bounce back and get back on the win column in their upcoming Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Here are three Steelers players who should be held responsible for their Week 2 loss against the Raiders:
Wide receiver Chase Claypool remained to be one of the Steelers’ main weapons on the receiving corps though he failed to deliver in their game against Las Vegas. He only managed to catch 3-of-9 total passes for 70 yards without a touchdown scored for the Steelers.
In their Week 2 game, most of the receivers looked slightly disjointed as they seemingly didn’t know which routes to run on the field. In addition, miscommunications with the quarterback were also evident all game long. Certainly enough, the Notre Dame product in Claypool has the ability to haul in those long passes that were sent his way and can also do so much better than his previous outing against the Raiders.
Once again, the Steelers will continue to count on him on the offensive end and they can’t afford to let him come out with another subpar performance in Week 3 proceedings.
The new-look offensive line of the Steelers easily became one of their biggest question marks heading to the 2021 season. In two games, the entire unit still looked cranky which also affected the flow of their offense, especially the play of their quarterback.
In the fourth quarter of their game against the Raiders, right guard Trai Turner got involved in an altercation and was ejected for an unsportsmanlike foul. He allegedly spat on opposing defensive end Maxx Crosby who got to finish the game but was eventually fined for his involvement in the incident as well, per Pro Football Talk.
As one of the veterans of the Steelers offensive line, Turner could’ve just tried to keep his cool throughout the entire incident. His team eventually had to suffer the consequences of his actions as they missed him for the latter parts of the game. His absence definitely made it even harder for the team to mount a comeback late in the game as the Steelers’ offense failed to get any momentum going on their side.
Luckily for Trai Turner, he didn’t receive any suspension from the league even though his involvement in the fiasco was clearly seen. The five-time Pro Bowler will certainly have to avoid those types of actions in the future and put his focus on helping his team win games instead.
Through their first two games, the team’s rejigged offensive line is already having a major impact on QB Ben Roethlisberger’s level of performance thus far. The veteran didn’t get to produce efficiently in their Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills as he merely went 18-of-32 for 188 yards and a passing touchdown.
In Week 2, the Steelers had another slow start to the game and had to play catch up in the second half against the Raiders. Roethlisberger ended the game with 295 yards on 27/40 passes completed to go with a touchdown and an interception recorded. To make matters worse, he also suffered a pectoral injury in the game and was limited in their recent practice heading to Week 3 against the Bengals.
It could be his advanced age or his inability to run the ball but the Steelers will need Roethlisberger to orchestrate their offense more smoothly moving forward. Additionally, Mike Tomlin will also have to urge his players to come out with more eagerness and push for a quick start in order to not dig a deep hole for themselves in their coming games.
Luckily for the Steelers, the season is still young and their offensive line can create more chemistry within the unit in order to provide better pass protection for their QB in the pocket. Hopefully, Ben Roethlisberger can pick up the pace and get back to his previous playing form in the weeks to come.