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2021 Week Two GDT Steelers vs Da Raiders!


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TJ Watt and the Steelers defense will try to slow down the Las Vegas Raiders this Sunday

GDT Week Two:

Heinz Field Pittsburgh, PA 

Sunday, September  19, 2021 @ 1:00 PM 

Steelers home opener in week two

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Da Steelers 1 - 0  vs. Da Raiders 1 - 0

It's Yinzer Nation versus Just Win Baby Nation!

 

Series Record: Raiders lead the all time series 13-10 regular season and they are tied 3-3 in the play-offs.

Last meeting was week 14 in Oakland in 2018 won by the Raiders 24-21. Major upset after the Steelers played down to the Raiders and Boz slipped on a potential game tying FG late. The Steelers missed the play-offs by tanking at the end of the season aka a prequel to 2019, and  2020 after starting 11-0 last year and losing 5 of 6 games. Decembers have been rough the past several seasons. Fortunately (at least we hope) this one is being played in September.

 

Cam Heyward and the Steelers defense helped the Steelers steal one in Buffalo

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Derek Carr and the Raiders stole one from the Ravens

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Which team will victimize the other? 

Keys for a Steelers Victory

1. Start fast on offense - - This has not been the Steelers way the past several seasons. The Steelers offense rarely score an opening drive TD or give the defense a lead to play with.  Teams have long had the "pattern of the Steelers offense." Time for some changes. Over the past three seasons, this offense has struggled early and put the defense in some bad situations and kept them on the field too long. 

2. Ball Security - - The Steelers were fortunate a few tipped passes and stripped balls  did not land in the available hands of Bills defenders. No errant passes and hold onto the ball running. This starts with Big Ben making good decisions. While turnovers are a part of the game, you can limit those by playing smart football. Sometimes you have to live for another down or series. Third and fourteen and you have no shot, don't fore the ball with three opponents in a tight window.  Ravens got into fumble trouble going for an extra yard or two. Play smart and use good judgement.

3. Defense must cover TE Darrin Waller - - TE's have historically given the Steelers defense fits. They must devise a way to cover one of the games best. Derek Carr completed 10 passes to Waller versus the Ravens. I would really try to force the Raiders to beta the Steelers throwing to someone else. The Raiders did that against the Ravens, but if they drop Derrick Carr back that much, he may find it tougher to stay upright and clean in the pocket with Watt, Engram, Highsmith, Cam and company. Our Nickel defense will be tested. I hope to see more from Joe Schobert. Not that he played a bad game, I think this guy can make a huge difference playing next to Bush.

4. Don't let the Raiders rushing attack get going. Derek Carr was a hot hand throwing for over 400 yards, but the Raiders bread and butter would be controlling the clock with the ground game led by Josh Jacobs. Raiders OL in a bit of a transition/learning period as well. This could bode well on one hand, but they traditionally have a good rushing attack. Important to get them to play behind the downs (avoid early down success). Avoid setting up second or third and short. It could be a typical disappointing loss to the Raiders if this happens.

5. Pressure Derek Carr.  Steelers can't let Carr get his mojo passing. If the Raiders try to throw the ball 56 times, then the Steelers defense and pass rush should have some chances to hit, disrupt or force the Raiders passing attack into making mistakes. Pressure forces mistakes or disrupts timing. I am concerned with the secondary going against Waller and company. They are capable of making big plays or extending drives. This coupled with the offenses propensity for slow starts could be potentially dangerous. 

6. #$@% History! - - Since 2010 the Steelers are 3-2 versus the Raiders. Most of the games have been very close and the outcome determined late in the game. Don't let this happen again. The Raiders have been a thorn and nemesis of the Steelers over that period. Strap up and take care of business for four quarters. 

7. No Let downs. - - Both teams are coming off of emotional upset wins. The Raiders christened their new stadium upsetting a very good, but also very injured Ravens squad. The Steelers also beat a very good Bills team that no one gave them a chance to win. Both teams were expected to be 0-1 coming into this weekend by many so called pick experts. Hopefully the Steelers can catch the Raiders a little jet lagged after playing Monday night and having to fly  east and play an early game. Great opportunity to jump on them early and try to keep the foot on the gas pedal or their necks in this rivalry. 

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The Steelers rarely get out early or blow teams out at home. The good thing is that this is not a case of having to "play down" to an opponent. The Raiders are a good team with as many high hopes of post season as anyone else. I think last week proved the best team does not always win. However, I do think the Steelers are the better overall team. I think they finally play some complimentary football. The offense will hopefully get Najee Harris and the ground game going and the defense can stay off the field as much as they did in Buffalo. Steelers find a way to win, but the Raiders are the typical pesky Raiders. Steelers go up early and hold off a Derek Carr charge late.

Steelers 31 - 24 over the Raiders.    

 

Edited by Steeler Hitman
Completing Weekly GD Thread
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Two biggest differences in this game:

  • Ben versus Lamar Jackson
  • Steelers D vs. Ravens D

Ben is not going to try to run if the first read is not there. Question is, can the young Steelers OL hold up and allow him to find the secondary receivers? Will Ben even try?

I'm not sure the Ravens D was all that due to injuries and so forth. If the Steelers front 7 bring the same heat they brought versus Buffalo, and if the secondary is solid... this could be a huge Steelers blow out. Leatherwood for the Raiders has to be a concern for them. And if they help on that side, Highsmith and Melvin Ingram are going to feast. Plus, Cam up the middle? Damn!

My main concern is the Steelers O once again. There is a template out there to defend against the Steelers, and I am not convinced yet that the Steelers have a counter to it. The Steelers D could have another dominating performance, and despite that, the Steelers O might **** the bed again.

Edited by cjfollett
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The Raiders have pretty good pass rushers.    Crosby gave Villanueva fits.    Chuks was straight trash as RT vs the Bills.  Im a little worried about Benjamin's durability.  

I think Ben knows the OLine isnt in good shape and I think that will affect his mindset and his accuracy.   

We need Zach Banner back.    I dont think Chuks has much to offer, unfortunately.   We have gotten by with garbage lineman over the years (Jonathan Scott, Trai Essex, Sean Mahan, etc...), but Ben was much younger as well.   He hasn't had to deal with a line this sketchy in awhile.

Edited by 43M
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53 minutes ago, 43M said:

I dont think Chuks has much to offer, unfortunately.

I was very interested to see what Chuks had to offer on the left. Not because I thought he was going to be good, but I wanted to see what more comfortable looked like. He just isn't good on the right. It never seems like such a switch, but listening to former OL talk about it being like writing with your non-dominant hand, i was just curious to see what more comfortable looked like. 

AV is a really good example of this. He was never a RT. He was also never that bad as a LT as we saw on Monday night. Everything he was good at or everything he used to do to counter moves is different. You could almost see his brain stop working when Crosby was setting up a move and just failed to counter in situations he wouldn't have on the left. I was interested in seeing Chuks in a more comfortable spot, but it probably just doesn't matter. 

Getting back on track to this game:

I am actually more worried about the Raider offense than I am the Bills team we just faced. Feels weird to say, the Bills are a far more talented team IMO, but I don't think Gruden is going to have a game plan to throw 50+ times against us. He used 2TE and a FB often. I think we will be in more base defense and they will commit to running. I think the run defense is still a question with Highsmith and light ILBers. We will see, but I would rather someone throw 50+ and let our pass rush just go to work. 

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Good luck this week gentlemen. Hopefully no injuries and a good game. We both pulled upsets Week 1 and have a lot of momentum. Raiders always play well in Pittsburgh, and our pass rush against your inexperienced OL should be interesting. Your defense is also tough as nails and should be a tough matchup for Carr and the OL. I see a pretty low scoring game here. 

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2 hours ago, 43M said:
Quote

The Raiders have pretty good pass rushers. 

No doubt. This is why I am hoping that they can get some sort of semblance of a rushing attack. I think with our WR's we would like to throw, but sometimes you have to exploit a teams weakness rather than play to their strengths. When you can't just beat up defenses, you gotta confuse them and mix it up. 

 

Quote

Crosby gave Villanueva fits.    Chuks was straight trash as RT vs the Bills.  I'm a little worried about Benjamin's durability. 

 Big Al is on the downside of his career and playing the first real game on the opposite side of where he is comfortable. Yeah, I would expect some struggles there to be fair/honest. Chuks is a LT and has struggled some since Coach Munchak left for Denver. I think he will be more consistent, more confident, and outright better on the left side. Question will be is Chuk's ceiling as high as rookie Dan More's right now and going forward?  Not concerned about Ben's durability as I think they know how to manage him (to get rest, stay healthy). Don't let him take monster shots from 300+ pound  DL's.  I believe Neville Gallimore's hit on Ben in Dallas was the beginning of the end of the offenses' mojo. Don't let him get hit like that in 2021. It was all downhill after that. 

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I think Ben knows the OLine isn't in good shape and I think that will affect his mindset and his accuracy.   

I think Ben knows that it will take the OL and the offense some time to completely jell. That doesn't mean that they can't have series, halves or games of success in the process. The Steelers need to be playing their best brand of football late in the year. They have been the opposite the past three or four years. 

Quote

We need Zach Banner back.    I don't think Chuks has much to offer, unfortunately.

I agree that they need Zach Banner. He is built for and his game is modeled to be a mauling run blocking RT.   Chuk's is not Banner and his game and style are different. Coach Tomlin said something this summer that stuck out when talking about Chuks and Banner battling last year. He said that he felt that Chuks would have beaten Banner out on the left side. Chuks is not playing where he will best develop. Dan Moore struggled at RT as well when he got a shot to play there. 

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We have gotten by with garbage lineman over the years (Jonathan Scott, Trai Essex, Sean Mahan, etc...), but Ben was much younger as well.   He hasn't had to deal with a line this sketchy in awhile.

I agree. I do think that the 2021 OL will be better overall than the 2020 OL. I think that line was better at pass protection, but became so one dimensional that DL's were teeing off every play.  I don't see the mauling scrappers inside getting pushed around all season (Dotson, Green, and Turner). When Zach comes back RT is immediately better. LT is deeper with Chuks and Moore. They need to hold it together for another few games until some players get back and healthy. 

I expect a better game from Najee as well. I think he is learning to adjust to NFL game speed versus pre season speed. There were a couple of plays against Buffalo, that I think he may have underestimated the speed of some lineman and LB's and we missed a few opportunities to get him the ball cleanly one on one against the Bills.

19 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:
Quote

I was very interested to see what Chuks had to offer on the left. Not because I thought he was going to be good, but I wanted to see what more comfortable looked like. He just isn't good on the right. It never seems like such a switch, but listening to former OL talk about it being like writing with your non-dominant hand, I was just curious to see what more comfortable looked like. 

I think you are spot on with these comments. Even fighters struggle with their non dominant side. I remember studying karate and Tae Kwon Do. I kicked great with my dominant side. I had instructors who forced me to develop my non dominant side. It was heck learning to accurately kick with my non dominant side. 

Quote

AV is a really good example of this. He was never a RT. He was also never that bad as a LT as we saw on Monday night. Everything he was good at or everything he used to do to counter moves is different. You could almost see his brain stop working when Crosby was setting up a move and just failed to counter in situations he wouldn't have on the left. I was interested in seeing Chuks in a more comfortable spot, but it probably just doesn't matter. 

I think Chuks needs to be given an opportunity to do well where he is comfortable. I don't think he will ever be Tony Bosselli, but he can be decent and effective. Right now he is almost viewed as a liability on the right side by some.

Getting back on track to this game:

Quote

I am actually more worried about the Raider offense than I am the Bills team we just faced. Feels weird to say, the Bills are a far more talented team IMO, but I don't think Gruden is going to have a game plan to throw 50+ times against us.

I agree. I don't think they are anywhere as talented overall as Buffalo, but I think Gruden will attack! I do not think he will be conservative against our defense. The Raiders may win or could possibly lose big by that gamble/thinking on offense against our defense. 

Quote

He used 2TE and a FB often. I think we will be in more base defense and they will commit to running.

While the Raiders OL and rushing attack gives me some pause, I think the Steelers are actually better playing in their base (even without Tuitt). They have much more consistent ILB play with Schobert and a more experienced Bush. Buffalo had a decent drive rushing late against our Nickel and the defense playing/expecting the pass. 

 

 

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I think the run defense is still a question with Highsmith and light ILBers. We will see, but I would rather someone throw 50+ and let our pass rush just go to work. 

I agree. Although it is early in the year and these questions won't be answered or start to be answered until we see four or five games. I think the Raiders and others would try to attack the run defense until the Steelers prove they can stop it. The real reason would be to better set up the pass. I think Schobert is a key component to helping the Steelers defense stop this. Getting Tyson back will go a long way as well to shoring up the base run defense. I still believe the base is a strength and most teams ultimately would prefer to test our CB's than face our front seven consistently. 

 

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The key to the game with be getting the running game going with Najee. He only had 16 carries last week, I’d expect to see him get at least 25 this week. If we can’t get him going a bit and get his YPC closer to 4 against the Raiders at home I think we can start to worry a little about the running game this season.

I also hope they use him a bit more in the passing game this week.

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53 minutes ago, bigben07MVP said:
Quote

The key to the game with be getting the running game going with Najee.

I think he will improve each week. I honestly believe that he learned that he wasn't playing SEC talent in the NFL. There were some plays that he missed that I think he makes later in the season. With his size, speed, and vision, I hope that he can also help manufacture rushing yards while the OL develops and until it gets healthy. 

Quote

He only had 16 carries last week, I’d expect to see him get at least 25 this week.

I don't want to see them over-run him like they did Connor his first few games. It leads to fatigue, carelessness, and mistakes. They have some change of pace guys like Ballage and Snell who can also help get a change of pace timing to the rushing attack. Give him a carry or series or two.  

I

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f we can’t get him going a bit and get his YPC closer to 4 against the Raiders at home I think we can start to worry a little about the running game this season.

I would agree with having some concern, but this is a new offensive scheme and the OL is not fully healthy or has it fully jelled together. Again, it would only be game 2 of 17.  Last year the Steelers had back to back 100 yard runners to open the season.  After the first four games was either near the top or leading the league in rushing if I recall. It meant nothing later that season. The same could hold true here, but in reverse. Too many other factors to consider hitting the panic button on the run game yet.

Quote

I also hope they use him a bit more in the passing game this week.

Me too. They missed a few opportunities to  get him isolated one on one or alone in space.

 

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