Las Vegas Raiders offensive line gets tough Steelers test in Week 3

Sep 19, 2023, 3:15 PM

Ed Oliver #91 of the Buffalo Bills pressures Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the Las Vegas Raiders during th...

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 17: Ed Oliver #91 of the Buffalo Bills pressures Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the Las Vegas Raiders during the second quarter at Highmark Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

With the conclusion of Week 2, the Las Vegas Raiders can boast about one stat that puts at the top of the NFL.

Through the first two weeks, the Raiders offensive line has not allowed a sack. Las Vegas is the only team to allow no sacks through two weeks of action.

But, this coming Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo and his offensive line face a tough test in T.J. Watt and the Pittsburgh Steelers. On Monday night against the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers recorded six sacks, eight passes defended, and 11 quarterback hits. The Steel Curtain even picked up the slack for its offense, scoring two touchdowns, one off an interception and another off a forced fumble.

Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi says there is some familiarity with Sunday’s opponent because the Raiders and Steelers faced off late last season.

“It’s like a division game almost with some familiarity, which is great,” Lombardi said. “Because you always like that, the players feel comfortable, and they know what to expect from the scheme and personnel standpoint.”

And while Watt might be an intimidating figure on his own, Lombardi knows he’s not the only player who will line up against the Raiders offense on Sunday.

“They play great as a unit. I think that’s what makes them so good is that they’re all connected, and they play to the ball. They play tough, they’re hardnosed. And Coach Tomlin has done a phenomenal job his entire tenure there of making sure that’s the identity of his defense because they’re coming in here to make it a dogfight,” Lombardi said. “And if your team is not ready to go in that fight, well often we’ll lose. We have to do a good job of making sure we’re ready to know that and ready to go because whether it’s T.J. Watt on the edge, or it’s Highsmith on the edge, or we talked about the secondary. They are all going to play as one and if you don’t play as one on that unit, you’re probably not going to play on the unit. We got to be ready to go because it’s an aggressive, fast and physical defense.”

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