Is someone getting the best of you?
In recent years, the Raiders have had the Pittsburgh Steelers' number.
The two teams have intensive history with each other and is one of the better rivalries in football history. They have played each other in six playoff games since 1972, the first one being the notorious 'Immaculate Reception' or 'Immaculate Deception' as many Raiders fans refer to it as.
However, those games were ages ago. The Raiders are 3-1 against the Steelers since 2012, and the last time the two teams faced off in December 2018, Derek Carr threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns. The Silver and Black ended up beating the Steel Curtain 24-21. In fact, the last four matchups between the two teams has been decided by three points.
There will be lot of Drake, with no Josh in Pittsburgh
Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs has been ruled out for Sunday's game due to a toe/ankle injury. While Jacobs being down is unfortunate for the Raiders, people should not fret about the run attack.
Kenyan Drake will now lead the backfield for the Raiders against the Steelers. The running back is not new to big stage, with nearly 30 rushing touchdowns in his NFL career. He also will be a key component in the passing game, as he recorded 59 receiving yards against the Ravens last Monday. He and Peyton Barber will be on track to replicate the success of Jacobs.
"Kenyan will continue to play a role in our system, no matter who the other back is," said Head Coach Jon Gruden.
Another milestone on Wall Street
Darren Waller is on the verge of making more history Sunday, but what else is new.
Last season, the star tight end broke the Raiders' season reception record that stood for over 20 years. Now, he could break an NFL record that will put him in the upper echelon of tight ends. If Waller has at least 100 receiving yards against the Steelers this Sunday, he'll be the first tight end to have five straight 100-yard regular-season games. He's currently tied at four games with the likes of Tyler Higbee, All-Pros Jimmy Graham and Travis Kelce and Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez.
No Roof, No Problem for Daniel Carlson
One of the defining moments in the 33-27 win against the Baltimore Ravens was kicker Daniel Carlson nailing a 55-yarder to take the game into overtime.
While it's been overshadowed by a few other great moments in the game, it was a career-long for Carlson and the Raiders wouldn't have won the game without it. In Pittsburgh, there is no roof like in Allegiant Stadium and that can hinder kickers with weather conditions. While Pittsburgh is known to be a windy and cold place to play, it won't be this Sunday.
The high for Sunday at Heinz Field is forecast at 80 degrees with five mile-per-hour winds. Couldn't ask for better weather conditions on the road if you're a kicker -- especially a kicker that made over 94 percent of their field goals last season.
Bolt Gang, no more
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has acquired many of his former star players from his previous coaching stints since joining the Raiders. This Sunday, he'll have to go up against one of the best players he coached in Melvin Ingram.
After dealing with a variety of injuries last season, Ingram remained a free agent throughout most of Training Camp until he signed with the Steelers. In Bradley and Ingram's four seasons together at the Los Angeles Chargers, Ingram was a three-time Pro Bowler and racked up 24.5 sacks. Ingram, alongside T.J. Watt, could definitely cause some headaches for rookie right tackle Alex Leatherwood on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson believes that Leatherwood will be ready for task, considering who the rookie has to block at practice every day.
"I think again the way that we practice and the way that we substitute during practice and throwing a young player out there to have to block Yannick Ngakoue, or block Maxx Crosby, those guys are blocking two of the better defensive ends in the league every day at practice," said Olson. "So, it's repetition more than anything, but for the young players, it's a lot of film study that's involved with our assistant offensive line coach."
In the Steelers' win against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday, Ingram played 64 percent of defensive snaps with a tackle for loss and a pass deflection.
Madd Maxx will see yet another familiar MAC opponent
Going into this showdown the showdown between two MAC conference standouts between Maxx Crosby and Ben Roethlisberger has been highly publicized. But in order to get to the quarterback, Crosby will have to get past another man he faced while he was in college.
No. 98 will be matched up on the line against Steelers right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, who's in his fourth NFL season out of Western Michigan. The Western Michigan Broncos went undefeated against the Eastern Michigan Eagles the four years Crosby was there. However, Crosby did have a bit of impact against Okorafor in their one game against each other his sophomore season with a quarterback hit.
The reigning AFC Defensive Player of the Week will have to once again have to make a difference if the Raiders want to be 2-0 to start the season. He'll probably want some revenge for his EMU Eagles too.