It hasn’t been a good rookie season for this third-round rookie tackle. He managed not to upend the Raiders opening drive, but he showed up on the second one. First he was flagged for illegal formation and on the next play he ended up flat on his face to give up the sack on Carr for a ten-yard loss. In third and 21 from their own 9-yard-line, they opted for a short pass to give themselves some breathing room to punt.
Parker would also allow his man to bat down a Carr pass on third down in the second quarter, was called for holding on third down in the third quarter and Carr fumbled it on the next play.
He threatened to stall the Raiders’ go-ahead scoring drive in the fourth quarter when he was flagged for a false start, leading to a third and five. Then giving up a pressure to force Carr to throw the ball away to set up third and 8.
It’s tough to give this defense too much credit when they only had success while Josh Dobbs was in at quarterback. That same defense forced just one punt while Ben Roethlisberger was in the game.
After the first Steelers’ possession, Roethlisberger drove into scoring position on every one of his drives. He drove for a touchdown, then a missed 39-yard field goal attempt, and another touchdown to close out the first half. When he came back from his rib injury late in the fourth quarter, he went 6 for 6 for 75 yards and a touchdown. Along the way, the Raiders were gouged on screen and dumps for chunk play after chunk play. Then the hook and ladder play in the final seconds set them up for the game-tying field goal. The defense was bailed out by the slippery turf.
Mike Tomlin knew he could score at will with Roethlisberger in the game. He just waited too long to bring him back in.
That one Roethlisberger led possession that ended in a punt saw Morrow make the pass breakup to stall it. That was his best play. On the Steelers touchdown drive late in the first half, Morrow was blocked on a 19-yard screen to the tight end. Later he would miss the tackle on third and nine to give up a 10-yard catch which set the Steelers up in first and goal at the two.
When Roethlisberger came back in late, Morrow would again miss a tackle on a dump pass that went for 13 yards. Then with 15 seconds left to get a score, Morrow was the closest to the receiver but couldn’t disrupt the hook and ladder play that went for 47 yards.
With three minutes left in the first half, down 10-7, the Steelers got the ball back off a punt. What would have been possession at their own 32 became their own 47 after Harris was flagged for a facemask penalty.
That drive would end up in third and goal from the one-yard-line with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Harris let JuJu Smith-Schuster get open behind him in the back of the end zone and Smith-Schuster made the tough catch and dragged his toes inbounds on the end line for the touchdown. Gotta keep track of that guy. He’s pretty good.
Just like the end of the first half, the Steelers would line up with 15 seconds left. But this time they were at their own 30. They would have to do it in one play. Roethlisberger took his time to look over the defense, before taking the snap and throwing for James Washington short. That’s a hook and ladder every time and Harris went after Washington, once again missing JuJu Smith-Schuster crossing underneath and couldn’t recover to catch Smith-Schuster. Had Karl Joseph not came over from his deep safety spot to stop him, that would have been a game-winning touchdown much like the one in Miami earlier in the day to beat the Patriots.