Steelers get burnt by a familiar face
By all accounts, you have to marvel at the career of Robert Spillane. An afterthought at Western Michigan with below-average size and athleticism, he went undrafted and eventually found his way to the Steelers practice squad. He worked his way up from there, first on special teams and eventually into a hybrid starting role.
I was surprised by the contract that the Raiders gave him this offseason, but the early reports are that he is well worth the money. Spillane was voted as a team captain, wears the green dot for Las Vegas, and has played every snap on defense so far.
He seems to have found his footing, and I think he will make the Steelers pay this week. It starts early in the game, as he shoots his gap and stops Najee Harris on a critical third and short, forcing a field goal. Right before the half ends, he sacks Pickett, forcing a punt and preventing points.
Finally, when the Steelers are trying to make their comeback in the fourth quarter, a poorly placed pass by Pickett is picked off by Spillane, which essentially ends the game. I think the former Steelers linebacker comes up big this week.
While the Raiders are the easiest opponent for the Steelers so far this season, I am not confident in the outcome of this game. This offense looks horrible, and I’m not sure it will improve this week. Keep these four bold predictions as the Steelers play the Raiders this Sunday.