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3 Burning Questions: Steelers vs. Raiders

Can the Pittsburgh Steelers return to Heinz Field and walk away 2-0?

The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2 following an impressive road victory in Buffalo. Both teams come into Heinz Field 1-0 with much still to prove. 

As kickoff inches closer, we begin wondering what to expect. There are three burning questions heading into Sunday.

Will Matt Canada’s Offense Start Faster? 

Slow starts on offense have been an unpleasant and familiar theme over a good portion of the last decade in Pittsburgh. That theme continued in Buffalo last Sunday as the Steelers only mustered up a measly three first downs through their first half of football. 

A slow start in 2021 was somewhat expected, given that the Steelers were starting an almost entirely new offensive line to go with a rookie running back and tight end. Like we mentioned last week, Roethlisberger’s first quarter splits were ugly in 2020. Getting the signal-caller comfortable early on would do wonders for this unit. 

New Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada would like to start changing the narrative surrounding his offense sooner rather than later. 

Will We See the Return of Blitzburgh? 

Keith Butler’s defense blitzed just twice against the Josh Allen-led offense last week. An extremely unfamiliar but effective approach was key in shutting down the high-powered attack. 

The Steelers front got after Allen in relentless fashion on Sunday, even without extra rushers. Both Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt had a couple of arguably their best games in a Steelers uniform. Melvin Ingram looked like he was back to his old self after being riddled with injuries last year in Los Angeles. 

Las Vegas will likely be without both starting guards on offense. Denzelle Good was placed on IR this week and Richie Incognito has not practiced in a while, either. We shall see if they dial up some exotic blitzes to throw at Derek Carr or if they elect to win with just their front four once again. 

Will Ben Roethlisberger Throw for TD No. 400?

Big Ben needs just three passing touchdowns to become the eighth quarterback in NFL history to reach the 400-career touchdown milestone. 

Few quarterbacks in history have been better at home than Roethlisberger at Heinz Field. In his 18-year career, the future Hall of Famer has thrown for 226 touchdowns in 116 career games at home, with the Steelers winning 87 of those contests. 

After watching Monday Night Football, The Raiders offense certainly looks capable of putting up points in a hurry. A big game from number seven would increase the chances of the home team fans going home with a victory. 

Derrick Bell is a contributor with AllSteelers. Follow Derrick on Twitter @derrick_daKidD, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.

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