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Raiders-Steelers: 5 things we learned from another close loss

Add another chapter the Raiders’ 2022 misery

Las Vegas Raiders v Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers win
Photo by Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

There was no Christmas Eve magic for the Las Vegas Raiders as they added to their miserable 2022 season in an all too familiar way in a 13-10 loss at the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday night.

Let’s look at the keys to the game:

Another close game:

These Raiders play nothing but close games. Seemingly every game goes to the final minute. This team has a lot of talent. But it is also extremely poor coached and more often than not the poor coaching overrides the top talent that is on this team. In the end the Raiders just aren’t good enough. They blew another game in which they led by, at least, a touchdown at halftime. These Raiders are built to fail and it was evident again as the porous Pittsburgh offense mustered its only touchdown on its last drive of the game.

Playoff chances almost dead:

The Raiders are barely alive in the AFC playoff race, but essentially it’s over, folks. They’re not getting in at 8-9, which would be their best-scenario finish. Las Vegas will be eliminated if the Dolphins win at home Sunday against Green Bay and the Chargers beat the Colts on Monday night. This team is resigned to praying for a miracle outside of its control. That’s not what Mark Davis and the Raider Nation had in mind when Josh McDaniels took over a 10-7 playoff team. This season is a bitter disappointment and it’s wearing on players.

Carr struggles:

Buckle up for speculation about Derek Carr’s future. Yes, that has happened every year, but this year could be different. There were multiple reports that stated the new Raiders’ brass would determine Carr’s future based on the final four games. He has not played well in the first two of those final four. He threw three interceptions Saturday night and has thrown nine interceptions in the past five games. We all know he struggles in cold weather and it was no different Saturday night in temps under 10 degrees. He couldn’t hook up with Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams, who had just two catches for 15 yards. It may fall on Carr and with the Raiders’ hopes dead, expect rampant talk about the Raiders moving on from their nine-year starter.

Go Maxx go:

Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby had another strong overall game, both against the run and the pass. He has 81 tackles on the season. It’s the most in the NFL by a defensive lineman and Crosby, who was named to his second straight AFC Pro Bowl team last week, has the most tackles by a Raiders’ defensive lineman since 1987. The man is simply an elite performer.

Playing for Franco:

The Steelers were playing with heavy hearts. Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris died unexpectedly Wednesday morning at the age of 72. It was just two days before the 50th anniversary of the ‘Immaculate Reception’ Steelers playoff win over the Raiders and it was celebrated this weekend. Harris was to see his No. 32 retired during halftime Saturday night. To honor him, every Pittsburgh player entered the stadium for the game donning Harris’ jersey. It was a special way to end a tough week for the city.