In hindsight, the Las Vegas Raiders played well enough to win this game, which made it all the more disappointing to lose in the fashion they did – 13-10 to the Steelers.
The Silver and Black played with the lead for the majority of Saturday night's game, managing it well with clean football and off the back of the defense. The team only committed two penalties for 20 yards, had four quarterback hits and converted 50 percent of third downs. Their lead was also helped by two Steelers missed field goals in the windy, frigid conditions.
However, several critical miscues and injuries down the stretch resulted in the Raiders giving up the lead with less than a minute left.
"Hard-fought game. Guys hung in there, but just too many mistakes," Head Coach Josh McDaniels said postgame. "Too many self-inflicted errors. Not good enough football in critical situations and that'll get you every time."
Already a bit banged up coming into the game, the Raiders lost Pro Bowlers Chandler Jones and Denzel Perryman in the second half. Despite their exits, the defense kept the Steelers out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter.
With less than three minutes left, Steelers rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett led a 76-yard drive, going 6-for-8 and throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens to take the lead.
"I thought the defense hung in there," said McDaniels. "Played really pretty well most of the game. ... We gave up a few plays here and there, but I thought they hung in there for the most part and tried to make it as tough as we could on the quarterback. He's a good, young player.
"Reality is, giving too many chances with the score right there in the balance, ultimately guys in this league are going to find a way to win. That's what happened."
Derek Carr had some difficulties against a stingy Steelers defense, as he was sacked three times and threw three interceptions. Additionally, Josh Jacobs was limited to 44 rushing yards on 15 carries and Davante Adams had two catches for 15 yards.
"We felt like we were making strides in some areas, and obviously, we didn't do that well enough today," said Carr. "We've just got to do our job, move on. As much as it sucks, tomorrow you've got to get ready for the next one and that's how it goes. But this one, this one stings."
"When you fall short, I mean, my heart breaks," continued Carr, baring his emotions to the media again. "I just care so much and when you don't do your best, let your team down, let your organization, the fans down, it hurts. It breaks your heart. At the end of the day, nobody cares. You get back up and you keep going."
The Raiders are tasked with the challenge of making corrections and putting it all together on the field to end the season on a high note. The Silver and Black's 2022-23 season concludes with two home games in the new year – against the 49ers and Chiefs.
View photos from the Raiders' Week 16 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium.