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Stopping Run, Containing Davante Adams Key To Beating Raiders, Says DC Teryl Austin

Aside from a disappointing first drive, it’s hard to ask much more out of a defense than what the Pittsburgh Steelers accomplished in Saturday’s must-have win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Holding them to three points the rest of the way and shutout in the second half, the Raiders’ potent offense looked every bit of frigid as the temperatures.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, DC Teryl Austin outlined how his unit kept Las Vegas in check. It started with stopping the run and minimizing WR Davante Adams. Here’s what he said as tweeted by The Trib’s Chris Adamski.

“One of the things we did was, the guys did a really good job up front of attacking blocks, getting off blocks,” Austin said. “Not letting the running back get started. Causing them to maybe throw. I think we did a good job on the back end of mixing up our looks and coverages and not allowing 17 to get started…we couldn’t let 17 get started.”

Of course, “17” is referring to Adams, the Raiders’ #1 receiver and one of the best in football. He had his least efficient game of the season, finishing with just two grabs for 15 yards on nine targets. His only two receptions came on a shallow cross that gained no yards after the catch and a fake-jet pass in the flat where Adams beat LB Robert Spillane to the edge and gained eleven. Quarterback Derek Carr repeatedly looked his way but couldn’t connect beyond that.

But for Pittsburgh, it started up front. RB Josh Jacobs had an equally quiet night. The NFL’s leading rusher entering the game, he slogged his way to a season-low 2.9 yards per carry with a long of just 11, coming early in the game on the team’s lone touchdown drive.

After the Raiders’ opening-drive score, the Steelers responded and shut them down. Here’s how the rest of their drives went.

Raiders Drive Outcomes After Touchdown

Punt
Punt
Field Goal
Interception
Interception
Punt
Punt
Punt
Interception

Nine drives, three points, three turnovers. In the second half, the Raiders were held to 55 yards and just three first downs. Pittsburgh took the ball away, highlighted by a crucial Arthur Maulet interception one play after Kenny Pickett’s pick and Cam Sutton’s game-sealing pick on a great catch deep downfield.

Pittsburgh will need a similar performance Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens. With Lamar Jackson out of the lineup, the Ravens have averaged a league-worst 11.5 points per game. But in Week 14 against the Steelers, they controlled the clock and ran for 215 yards. If the Steelers can stop the run this weekend the way they did last weekend, they’ll win this game. And their season, so long as the New England Patriots can beat (or tie!) the Miami Dolphins, will continue to have hope.

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