Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) gets a block by teammate Diontae Johnson (18) against Las Vegas Raiders safety Duron Harmon (30) during the second half in Pittsburgh on Sat Dec 23, 2022 (AP News photo)
Raiders Fall to Steelers in Final Minutes 13-10
By Barbara Mason
Christmas Eve the Las Vegas Raiders (6-9) traveled cross-country to the frozen tundra of Acrisure Stadium home of the Pittsburg Steelers (7-8). Both teams are in the hunt for a playoff berth needing a lot of help.
The Raiders took the field Saturday evening with snow flurries throughout the first half. The Steelers got a game winning touchdown with 46 seconds left from wide receiver George Pickens who scored on a 14 yard pass for the 13-10 win.
Las Vegas got right to work driving downfield to start the first quarter. The Raiders got up on the scoreboard in their first possession taking a 7-0 lead. Derek Carr connected with Hunter Renfrow for 14 yards and the early lead. The Steelers was unable to score in the opening quarter.
The Raiders defense was doing a great job holding Pittsburg to a single field goal late int he second quarter. Las Vegas would extend their lead with five seconds left in the half. Daniel Carlson made a 40 yard field goal for a 10-3 halftime lead. This had been an efficient first half for both teams with very few penalties and no challenges. Pittsburg would get the ball to start the second half.
The Las Vegas defense continued to dominate and at 11:57 in the third quarter Denzel Perryman intercepted the ball at the Raider 29 returning it to the Pittsburg 47 yard line.
The Steelers returned the favor on the very next play intercepting a Carr pass intended for Foster Moreau returning it to the Steeler 44. The Raiders’ had squandered a golden opportunity. Las Vegas held the Steelers to a 52 yard field goal attempt which failed with 7:22 left in the third quarter.
With 4:40 left in the third, the Steelers pulled in their second interception of the game. A pass intended for Hunter Renfrow was tipped by Renfrow and landed in the hands of Pittsburg’s Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Raiders defense continued to come up big holding Pittsburg time after time.
The Raiders offense had cooled off even more than the 12 degree temperature on the field. Going into the fourth quarter there had been three interceptions, a missed field goal in this game with the Raiders stubbornly holding onto a slim 10-3 lead.
At 9:47 in the fourth quarter the Raiders held the Steelers to a 40 yard field goal. Las Vegas still led 10-6. With under two minutes the Raider defense collapsed allowing the Steelers to drive deep into the red zone. With 46 ticks left on the clock the Steelers Kenny Pickett connected with George Pickens for 14 yards in the end zone to take the lead 13-10.
Derek Carr would target Hunter Renfrow deep in Steeler territory that was intercepted by Pittsburgh and that was the game. The final was 13-10.
Las Vegas did not score once in the second half, not the first time we have seen this . It was a total collapse on both sides of the ball in the second half. Derek Carr finished with 143 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Josh Jacobs only had 44 rushing yards. With stats like this it’s pretty hard to win a football game.
The Raiders will travel home to take on the former rival San Francisco 49ers on New Year’s Day. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 PM.