That helped set up the Steelers for a 43-yard field goal from Chris Boswell with 8:33 remaining in the second quarter and a 10-7 Steelers lead.
The Steelers forced a three-and-out on Las Vegas’ next possession and drove to the Raiders’ 24 on their next possession before stalling and settling for another Boswell field goal, this one from 42 yards, for a 13-7 lead with 1:56 remaining in the first half.
The Raiders got the ball back and moved to midfield, but TJ Watt got his second sack of the game on third down, forcing another Las Vegas punt to end the inning.
Garoppolo has not been sacked in the Raiders’ first two games. The Steelers got it four times in this game. Watt’s six sacks are the most sacks by a Steelers player through three games in team history.
The Steelers forced the Raiders into a three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half, but Las Vegas’ AJ Cole hit a booming punt that went out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 9 to turn the field over.
It didn’t matter, however, as Pickett connected with Pickens for a 32-yard gain on third-and-5 to get the ball out to midfield and set up a 57-yard field goal by Boswell that pushed the Steelers’ lead to 16-7 early in the third quarter.
Watt struck again on Las Vegas’ next possession, forcing a fumbled pass from Garoppolo as he approached. Garoppolo tried to throw the ball to Jacoby Myers, but Patrick Peterson hit him on the ball and intercepted it before it went out of bounds. In Pittsburgh 19.
The Steelers drove 81 yards from there, getting big catches of 17 yards by Pickens, a 16-yard screen run by Jaylen Warren and a 17-yard run by Najee Harris before Pickett threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Freiermuth for a 23-7 lead with 3:56 into the third quarter.
The Raiders went on a rushing attack the remainder of the game, but turned the ball over on downs early in the fourth quarter before driving 80 yards on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Garoppolo to Adams with 5:41 remaining. Adams caught 15 passes for 172 yards and two scores on 19 targets.
Garoppolo connected on a two-point conversion pass to Myers to cut the Steelers’ lead to 23-15. The Steelers tried to run more time off the clock, but Pickett’s third-down pass deep up the middle to Freiermuth was broken up by Nate Hobbs and the Raiders got the ball back in the 48th minute.
The Raiders were stopped on fourth down and Karlsson kicked a field goal, but DeMarvin Leal was penalized for a personal foul on the kick, giving the Raiders new life at the Pittsburgh 14. But the Raiders again failed to convert from there and kicked another punt. A field goal, this one from 26 yards, cut the deficit to 23-18 with 2:22 remaining in the game.
“You’ve just got to hold them down. That was the mentality, we knew we were probably going to come out again. But we needed to hold them down. We weren’t perfect by any means, but we took steps,” linebacker Alex Highsmith said.
But the Steelers picked up one first and forced the Raiders to use all three timeouts before giving the ball back to Las Vegas with 12 seconds remaining in the game before Wallace Garoppolo was intercepted for a second time to end it.
“Our job is to take the ball away and set up the offense to score points,” Wallace said. “We want to put them on short pitches as much as we can. And when we can do that, it’s good.”
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