5 takeaways from Steelers' 23-18 win vs. Raiders on Sunday Night Football

Pittsburgh moved to 2-1 on the season following the road win

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It was Kenny Pickett vs. Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday Night Football, and it rolled along as predicted.

The quarterback play was unpolished, making it easier for the defenses to dictate the tempo as both running games never quite launched, either.

After Pittsburgh led 23-7 going into the fourth, the Raiders scored 11 in a row to bridge the gap but it was too little too late.

In the end, the Steelers got the 23-18 road win to move to 2-1 and made it two on the bounce following a rough Week 1 home loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

It might not have exactly been a high-quality matchup, but it featured a close finish. Here are five takeaways from the Sunday Night Football affair:

Jimmy Garoppolo's weaknesses on display

You live by Jimmy Garoppolo, you die by Jimmy Garoppolo. Time after time with the 49ers, Garoppolo showed he could make the basic throws when needed but also made simple picks that were not needed. And sometimes those rollercoaster displays ended in a win. Today, it didn't.

Garoppolo completed 28-for-44 passes for 324 yards, two touchdowns and three picks, including one on the potential game-winning drive. A severe lack of composure under pressure cost Garoppolo and the Raiders, which leads to the next takeaway.

T.J. Watt's sack streak continues

The Steelers had no issues pressuring Garoppolo on the night. Pittsburgh sacked the Raiders quarterback four times and logged eight QB hits, and, as usual, T.J. Watt was behind it all. Watt continued his hot start to the season with a two-sack night, adding to his three sacks in Week 1 and one in Week 2. Markus Golden and Keeanu Benton also got home for Pittsburgh.

Davante Adams a lone star for Raiders' offense

Josh Jacobs didn't see much success on the ground, collecting 62 yards on 17 carries. Adams, though, put the receiving game on his back with 13 receptions for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 19 total targets. Pittsburgh just didn't have an answer for him despite the win, but Adams has torched defenses quite often throughout his career.

Jakobi Meyers added 85 receiving yards on seven catches to give Garoppolo another outlet while Hunter Renfrow (two catches, 17 yards) was kept quiet.

Steelers run game slightly improves

Pickett has had his fair share of struggles under center thus far, but he hasn't been aided with a quality running game to ease the pressure off him. Pittsburgh came into the Week 3 matchup averaging a feeble 3.1 rush yards per attempt (31 attempts, 96 yards). That boosted on Sunday with the unit collecting 105 yards on 31 attempts, with Najee Harris rushing for 65 yards on 19 carries.

The average came out to 3.4 which isn't exactly a significant boost, but given the context of the game, it was a needed showing.

Kenny Pickett not stellar but functional

Pickett had a mistake-filled rookie year that seemed to fade away this preseason before returning again in the first two weeks. And though he wasn't perfect on Sunday, it might be a performance that gives him some momentum going forward. The sophomore completed 16-for-28 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns, no picks and just one sack, with one of the touchdowns being a 72-yard heave to Calvin Austin III. George Pickens led Pittsburgh with four catches for 75 yards.

Again, there's a long way for Pickett to go, but young quarterbacks need some games to go their way like this to pick up steam. Now it's up to Pickett to continue improving.

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