The Raiders vs Steelers Week 3 matchup ended in a lost opportunity for the Raiders as coach Josh McDaniels selected to go for a field goal in the red zone with two minutes left in the game, leaving the Raiders insufficient time on the clock to gain another possession. We’ll just have to put this one behind us and move on.
“Those are the decisions you’ve got to make,” said McDaniels. “I thought we put ourselves in third down there the next series with the defense to try to have a play to get off the field, and we just didn’t handle that play very well. You’re going to need another possession anyway, you know what I mean? So it’s not a lack of confidence. We went for it on fourth down multiple times.”
A loss should never be ruled by one play, but there’s times when correct decisions need to be made in the right instances. Of course we wouldn’t be saying any of this if the Raiders came out with a W, but lowering the chances to win a game, or lessening opportunities, is never the approach we expect to see.
Regardless of the outcome, the Silver and Black performed quite well as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finished with 324 passing yards and two touchdowns, both to Davante Adams who recorded a whopping 172 receiving yards on 13 receptions. Josh Jacobs controlled the ground game and finished with 62 yards on 17 carries.
The first touchdown came on a 32-yard pass from Jimmy G to Adams during the middle of the first. Steelers’ Kenny Pickett followed up with a 72-yard bomb to Calvin Austin III to tie the game. Up 16-7 after three consecutive field goals, Pickett threw another touchdown to his tight end Pat Freiermuth in the middle of the third quarter.
Another connection between Jimmy and Davante lessened the deficit to 23-15. The Raiders were able to gain another possession without a score change, but McDaniels opted to use Carlson for a 26-yard field goal on a 4th & 4. In hindsight this wasn’t the correct choice but we can’t think of a situation where it was ever one.
The Raiders will visit the Los Angeles Chargers this Sunday, October 1.