Keys and Predictions for Raiders vs. Steelers

We have the final keys and predictions for the Las Vegas Raiders matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers
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After beating the Baltimore Ravens in primetime, the Las Vegas Raiders have a chance to establish themselves as a legitimate playoff contender in the AFC on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

They come into, though, having to go on the road all the while dealing with several key players who won't be suiting up for the game. 

No one ever said winning was easy in the NFL, of course, and we'll go over the keys to a potential Raiders win as well as final predictions for the game. 

1. Surviving injuries on the offensive line 

We looked at the performance of the Raiders' new look o-line as being a key in the game against the Ravens, but injuries have only made this more important. 

Veteran guard Richie Incognito will miss his second game to start this season, and his opposite Denzelle Good will now miss the rest of this season with a torn ACL. 

Against the Ravens, they gave up three sacks. They're now going to face an even better defense in the Steelers that led all of football last year with 56 sacks. 

It likely won't be sustainable for quarterback Derek Carr to throw the ball 56 times in that environment, and with running back Josh Jacobs also missing the game, they'll need to establish a consistent running game with Kenyan Drake to succeed. 

2. Keeping the momentum on defense 

The Raiders defense wasn't perfect in Week 1, but they showed signs of turning a corner from last season. 

They were able to generate pressure much more consistently, especially the duo of defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. 

They did have their struggles in stopping the run, and that will likely be the best way to keep the Steelers' offense from posing a significant threat. 

When they can't run the ball, the Steelers and QB Ben Roethlisberger often rely on the short passing game, making them much more predictable. 

If the Raiders can prevent RB Najee Harris from getting going, then they should have plenty of opportunities to ramp up the pressure. 

Final Predictions

The Raiders showed they could hang with the upper crust of the AFC when they beat the Ravens. 

Even on the road, they should have their opportunities against the Steelers and a game into the fourth quarter. 

With the state that the offensive line is in, however, the strength of the Steelers' defensive front may be too much to overcome. 

The potential for offensive struggles could make this low scoring, which likely wouldn't favor the Raiders. 

Final score: 24-17, Steelers. 

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