Watch: Keeanu Benton gets first career sack with massive hit on Jimmy Garoppolo
Steel City Underground will pick an exceptional play of the game as a highlight each week of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 NFL regular season. Stay tuned as we hand-select the very best from the Black and Gold!
The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Las Vegas for the first time as a franchise to face the Raiders in their new home, for their home opener. The game was also set for primetime on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, as the two storied franchises each struggled in their first two games but came into this matchup 1-1 apiece.
The Steelers had a firm command of the game nearing the beginning of the fourth quarter, with a 27-3 lead. On 1st-and-10 from Pittsburgh’s 27-yard line, one of the Steelers rookies would spoil whatever plans Raiders head coach and offensive play-caller Josh McDaniels was scheming.
Most fans would easily recognize Pittsburgh’s 14th-overall pick LT Broderick Jones or 32nd overall pick CB Joey Porter Jr. However, it’s the team’s other second round pick, 49th overall, DT Keeanu Benton, who stole the spotlight on Sunday evening.
Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took a snap with 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter, presumably to the run the final play before switching sides. In this moment, Benton, listed at 309 lbs., easily bypassed his opposition and made like a torpedo at Garoppolo.
Benton’s sack would cost the Raiders nine yards and end the quarter.
The Raiders would follow up this play with a false start and offensive holding penalties, setting up an eventual 2nd-and 34, before punting the ball away after a failed 3rd-and-18 attempt.
The sack would be Benton’s first. The rookie out of Wisconsin started playing more this season following a Week 1 injury that would sideline Cameron Heyward. Benton would be featured in 21 of the Steelers 72 defensive plays on the evening, as Pittsburgh climbed to a 2-1 record with a 23-18 victory.