Sure, fans know the big name players from their conference foe, but a lot can change from one year to the next.
With that said, I reached out to Silver and Black Pride’s contributor Matt Holder and asked him a series of questions about the upcoming game. He was more than generous to provide answers to these questions, and in this article I asked him what the Raiders’ plan to counter the Steelers offense in Week 2 will be.
How will Maxx Crosby and company try to stop Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense?
Check out his answer below, and be sure to follow Silver and Black Pride for the latest news and notes from the other side of the fence leading up to the game at 1 p.m. ET.
When the Steelers have the ball, how will the Raiders try to slow them down?
“Well, hopefully, Yannick Ngakoue will be able to play. He was limited in practice on Tuesday which is positive after fearing he might miss an extended period of time after the game. If Ngakoue suits up, I’d expect a very vanilla and boring game plan from new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
Bradley is known for having a pretty simple scheme and preferring to sit back in coverage rather than blitz. That’s what we saw on Monday night, however, to do that you must be able to put pressure on the quarterback with just four guys. So if Ngakoue isn’t healthy, that could change things a bit.
Now, Maxx Crosby was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week while playing the second half with Ygankoue sidelined, and Carl Nassib played while Ngakoue was out so the Raiders do have some depth there. Given the way the Steelers’ offense is built, a strong receiving corps and a shaky offensive line, I think Bradley will want to keep as many guys in coverage as possible”
The Raiders’ pass rush will be the latest test for the Steelers’ inexperienced offensive line. With injuries nagging Ygankoue and Nassib, it will be interesting to see how much, or how long, they play in Week 2. If the Steelers can protect Ben Roethlisberger, it will open up the entire offense, which could mean a big day not just for the franchise quarterback, but also running back Najee Harris.
How do you see this game shaking out? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the upcoming Week 2 game.