The Las Vegas Raiders are one of four teams to start the 2023 NFL season with back-to-back road games. The team split those away contests, but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the Raiders are undoubtedly looking forward to finally being in front of their rabid home fans.
And the stage will be even bigger as the Raiders host their longtime rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. It is a huge contest for both teams as each is sitting at 1-1 and would love to show the rest of the league that they are a team that can make a postseason run.
The Raiders will undoubtedly have an electric crowd behind them, and Garoppolo is very much excited about the scene that will take place at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday night.
“It’s going to be fun,” Garoppolo said. “We had the Sunday Night Football music playing out here today to get you in the mood. Sunday Night Football is fun, man. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. I can’t wait to see the fans. So, Raider Nation hopefully will be rocking on Sunday night.”
Raiders fans are known for being some of the most passionate and raucous of any fans not just in the NFL but across all of American sports. The fact that they have had to wait until Week 3 to see their squad on the field in Las Vegas, not to mention it being a Sunday night game against a long-hated rival should make for one of the best atmospheres of the season.
It is great that Garoppolo and the Raiders are embracing that and preparing for Sunday night, but more important will be how the team prepares and performs against a Steelers defense that is known for making plays and creating turnovers.
Garoppolo threw two interceptions against the Bills, and he can not afford to make those same mistakes against Pittsburgh. The Steelers have created five turnovers in two weeks already, and two of those were returned for touchdowns as they got an interception and fumble return score in their Monday night win against the Browns.
It is looking like the Raiders’ offense will be at full strength, with Davante Adams avoiding a concussion while Jakobi Meyers is taking steps toward his return as well. Josh Jacobs will be looking for a huge bounce-back game and getting Hunter Renfrow involved has been a talking point as well, but the onus will be on Garoppolo to bring all these weapons together and get a big win in front of their home fans.