Carr throws for 382 yards as Raiders top Steelers
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Derek Carr threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns, including a pretty 61-yard strike to Henry Ruggs midway through the fourth quarter, as the Las Vegas Raiders toppled Pittsburgh 26-17 on Sunday.
Carr completed 28 of 37 passes against a Pittsburgh defense that finished the game without a handful of starters, including All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who exited in the second quarter with a groin injury and did not return.
The Steelers (1-1) lost defensive tackle Tyson Alualu in the first quarter and played the entire game without veteran cornerback Joe Haden and inside linebacker Devin Bush, both of whom were inactive with groin injuries of their own.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 295 yards, including a 25-yard catch-and-run early in the fourth quarter that rookie running back Najee Harris turned into the first touchdown of his career that drew the Steelers within 16-14.
The Raiders (2-0) responded immediately. Carr uncorked a rainbow down the middle of the field, giving Ruggs plenty of time to run away from Pittsburgh's Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ahkello Witherspoon and into the end zone that gave Las Vegas enough cushion to beat the Steelers for the sixth time in their last eight meetings.
Ruggs finished with five receptions for 113 yards. Foster Moreau added a 9-yard touchdown grab as Carr was more than happy to spread the ball around on a day the Steelers focused Las Vegas tight end Darren Waller.
Waller was held in check for most of the afternoon before he hauled in a 25-yard pass on Las Vegas' final drive that set up Daniel Carlson's fourth field goal with 20 seconds remaining, sending the first full crowd at Heinz Field in nearly 21 months trudging toward the exit.
A week after pulling off a stunner in Buffalo in the opener, the Steelers got off to another slow start. This time, there would be no second-half surge. Harris again found little room to run behind Pittsburgh's retooled offensive line, managing just 39 yards on 10 carries. The first-round pick added five receptions for 43 yards, including an acrobatic stretch across the goal line for his first touchdown as a pro.
It wasn't nearly enough to fend off a Las Vegas offense that thrived once Watt headed to the sideline in the second quarter. With Watt unavailable, Pittsburgh struggled to generate much pressure on Carr in the second half. Carr hit 16 of 21 passes for 261 yards and two scores over the final two quarters.
The Raiders needed Carr with the running game almost non-existent as starter Josh Jacobs was out with ankle/toe issues. Peyton Barber led the Raiders with 32 yards on 13 carries.
Steelers veteran right guard Trai Turner was ejected in the fourth quarter following an altercation with the Raiders after Harris' touchdown. Video seemed to indicate Turner spit on a Raider, leading to referees to toss him from the rest of the game.
Raiders: Rookie LT Alex Leatherwood left in the second quarter with an oblique injury and did not return. ... S Dallin Leavitt was evaluated for a concussion. ... CB Casey Hayward Jr. dealt with cramps.
Steelers: Alualu appeared to sustain a significant right-ankle injury in the first quarter. The 34-year-old veteran had to be helped off the field by two teammates before being taken to the trainer's room on a cart.
Raiders: Host Miami next Sunday. Las Vegas is 0-2 against the Dolphins since Gruden returned as coach in 2018, including a 26-25 setback last December.
Steelers: Open AFC North play next Sunday when Cincinnati visits Heinz Field. Pittsburgh has won 14 of 16 against the Bengals.
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