Chris Mack's Eye Opener: Loud Enough For Ya?, Offensive Identity, Defensive Dominance

Pittsburgh West

Whether you buy in to the myth that “Steeler fans travel well,” or just understand that Steeler fans are simply everywhere, you had to be impressed with the impact those fans had on the Steelers’ 23-18 win in Las Vegas last night.

At one point, late in the 4th quarter as the Raiders were trying to piece together a possible go-ahead drive, T.J. Watt was waving his arms in the direction of the crowd, encouraging them to be louder, so as to disrupt the Raiders offense.

And when the Steelers defense made the final stop of the night, it sounded like Heinz Field.

While it may not be comparable to Vegas, it’s hard not to foresee something similar happening in each of the Steelers’ next two road games. Sunday they’ll be in Houston, and following their bye week they’ll travel to Los Angeles to face the Rams. Sandwiching those two around a home game against the Baltimore Ravens, and it’s likely the Steelers won’t face a truly 100% hostile environment until they head to Cleveland on November 19th, in Week 11.

Finding an Identity

While it was far from a perfect game on offense, and the numbers weren’t gaudy, it’s hard to ignore several positives on the offensive side of the ball.

After a rough first few series, Kenny Pickett seemed to find some confidence once he connected with Calvin Austin, and then again once he started getting out on the move. His best quarter was the 3rd, where he went 7-of-9 for 109 yards, including a 6-play drive that ended in a Pat Freiermuth TD catch as Pickett went 4-for-4 for 60 yards.

The best part of that drive wasn’t even necessarily the execution, but the fact that it seemed to be the first time all season Matt Canada looked to successfully sequencing plays off of others, both earlier in the game, as well as on the same drive.

Look aht, friends. This offense may be getting its [redacted] together, after all.

They’ll Be Your Number One With a Bullet…

…a loaded down defense, cock it and shoot it.

After the win in Vegas, the Steelers defense now ranks Top 10 in the NFL in the following categories:

Completion % allowed: 61.1 (6th)

Interceptions: 4 (T-4th)

Sacks: 13 (1st)

Forced Fumbles: 7 (T-1st)

The individual stats are highlighted by T.J. Watt’s NFL-leading 6 sacks.

It was hard to ignore the fact that the Steelers corners, Patrick Peterson & Levi Wallace, who struggled mightily early on, ended up with three combined interceptions, and Wallace in particular had as good a game as he’s had as a Steeler following the Raiders’ first TD.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports