When the Pittsburgh Steelers and Las Vegas Raiders were slated to square off in 2022, it made sense the two teams would play in December to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception. That’s exactly what the NFL did, placing the game in prime time in Week 16, but what no one knew at the time of the schedule was release was the Steelers’ decision to retire Franco Harris’ No. 32, and the tragic passing of the legend just days before the game.
With sad hearts, the Steelers still had a game to play, and the two 6-8 teams were clinging to very thin playoff hopes in the AFC Playoff Picture. The Steelers won the opening coin toss, and elected to defer their possession to the second half. This mean Derek Carr and the Raiders offense took the field first.
Las Vegas’ first drive was an impressive one, culminating in an opening-drive touchdown. However, the biggest play of the drive was a 3rd and 16 screen pass which gave the Raiders a new set of downs instead of settling for a field goal. When they reached the red-zone, it was Carr who hit Hunter Renfrow who was able to make two defenders miss on his way into the end-zone. The extra point made the score 7-0 with 6:38 left in the first quarter.
Kenny Pickett and the Steelers’ first drive was only able to flip the field before punting the ball back to Las Vegas. The Raiders only had one first down before punting for the first time in the game. The Steelers were across midfield at the end of the first quarter.