In Week 2, the Las Vegas Raiders will travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. To get you prepared for that contest, we talked to Curt Popejoy, the managing editor of the Steelers Wire, about this matchup. Here are his thoughts on the Steelers this season and what to expect from this heavyweight fight.
1. I know we are only one week into the season, but how has Ben Roethlisberger looked so far?
For the most part, he seems to be healthy and in good shape. The arm doesn’t appear to be an issue and his opening weekend struggles were more related to the problems with the offensive line. If the line gets going and he can run the offense without feeling the pressure to get rid of the football so quickly, his game will look much better.
2. Who is the receiver that the Raiders need to be the most concerned about in Week 2?
If you are looking for the player who will see the most targets, it seems Diontae Johnson is the guy who gets the most looks. I suspect this has more to do with Johnson being the receiver who seems to be able to get the most separation in his routes. The most dangerous guy is Chase Claypool but through one game there doesn’t seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to how Roethlisberger distributes the football.
3. Who is one under-the-radar player for the Steelers that should be monitored?
With Eric Ebron dealing with an injury, rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth is the guy to keep an eye on this week. If Steelers pass-catchers continue to struggle to get separation, Big Ben might just decide his best choice is the biggest guy on the field and who excels in those post-up situations. The Steelers had to settle for field goals last week but have to find ways to turn those into touchdowns.
4. How did Pittsburgh’s new-look offensive line play against the Bills?
Kind of terrible if we are being honest. The two rookies, Kendrick Green and Dan Moore Jr. were the most consistent but no one stood out. This team might be able to win games but they won’t be a great team until the offensive line plays better.
5. Who wins this game and why?
The Steelers and Raiders both pulled off upsets last week but this week, I look for the Steelers to take care of business in front of Steeler Nation. The Raiders are really beat up and Pittsburgh should be able to take advantage of that. The offense gets going and the defense plays well. Steelers 28, Raiders 13
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