The Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) will meet the Oakland Raiders (2-4) is an old time rivalry matchup. The game will be played at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and kickoff is set for 4:05PM (ET) and will air on CBS.
The Steelers are looking to keep then wins rolling: the Steelers have won two straight games since coming of the bye week. Their most recent win came against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers and Ravens played a Steelers-Ravens type game as it came down to a game winning field goal from Shaun Suisham that lifted the Steelers to a 19-16 victory. The Steelers are slowly climbing out of the deep hole they dug themselves by starting 0-4.
To keep the winning ways going they’ll be faced with a difficult task in Oakland. The Raiders haven given the Steelers a lot of problems in recent memory. The Raiders are never a team that comes up in playoff or Super Bowl talk and have been a subpar team for many seasons now. Despite their issues, one thing they manage to accomplish is beating the Steelers, especially at the Coliseum. The Steelers haven’t won in Oakland since 1995.
That statement holds true after last season. Last season, the Steelers found themselves on the losing end in the Coliseum once more. The Raiders, led by Carson Palmer at the time, scored the final 13 points of the game and won on a game-winning field goal from the always efficient Sabastian Janikowski. Ben Roethlisberger has only beaten the Raiders twice out of the five times he’s faced them since 2004.
Out of all the road games the Steelers play, this might be their most difficult. The Raiders are more than capable of beating the Steelers, who have dropped a lot of games to team’s they shouldn’t have. One particular problem the Steelers might face is the Raiders’ quarterback, Terrell Pryor. Pryor, a dual threat when it comes to playing quarterback, could certainly give the Steelers a headache on defense.
The Steelers haven’t been all that great at containing the quarterback in the pocket. The Steelers’ pass rush is improving but at a minimal pace. Last week, LaMarr Woodley managed to sack Joe Flacco but that was the only sack of Flacco the Steelers had all game. Keeping Pryor in the pocket is something the Steelers will need to do.
The Raiders also have running back Darren McFadden who is always a potential threat. He’s one of the better backs in the league and the Steelers will need to make sure they keep him in check. McFadden could provide the Raiders with that “splash-play” if he can break one. The Steelers contained the Raven’s running back Ray Rice last week and will look to carry that success into this game.
The Steelers’ offense is coming to life each game. Aside from settling for field goals, the team has been able to move the ball effectively these past two games.
Running back Le’Veon Bell is becoming a big part of this offense’s recent success. Bell displays a lot of patience when he plays. He’s added the much needed boost the Steelers’ backfield desperately needed. If the Steelers can produce another solid running day against the Raiders they’ll be in business. Bell was only four yards shy of a 100-yard rushing performance against the Raven’s defense. He’ll look to get over the hump come Sunday.
Roethlisberger passed for 160 yards and one touchdown last week and the touchdown pass was a shovel pass to tight end Heath Miller that Roethlisberger’s taken credit for drawing up. The Steelers are definitely improving on offense but need to find the end zone more often, especially when they’re in the red zone. Suisham has been phenomenal all season but the Steelers might find themselves in more comfortable situations if they can punch it in for six more often than just once a game.
The Steelers will try to keep their recent success going but the Raiders will give them a challenge. If the Steelers can come away with a victory in Oakland this could be the true start to a major turn around for the black and gold.
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