Steelers’ record: 7-3
One year ago: 6-4
Series record (including playoffs): Steelers lead, 14-11
One year ago, a loss to the Raiders qualified as an “oh no” moment, one of the low points of the unmitigated disaster that was the five-game losing streak ruining the Steelers season. But this Raiders team bears little resemblance to the editions that had produced seven straight losing seasons, and a victory deserved to be considered a quality win for the Steelers.
Points at the end of the first half can be critical, and so it was in this game. With the Steelers leading, 14-3,
STAT THAT STANDS OUT
The Raiders came into the game averaging 10 penalties a game, but it was the Steelers who were highly penalized. The Steelers cracked the 100-yard mark in penalties on their first offensive snap of the second half, and they went on to set a franchise record for penalty yards in a game with 163. That broke the previous record of 154 yards set on Sept. 17, 1989 vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
* On the 85-yard drive that ended with
* During a Raiders three-and-out following the Steelers’ first touchdown,
* One play after getting flagged for pass interference, Ike Taylor stripped the ball from receiver Louis Murphy after a completion, and Lawrence Timmons recovered at the Raiders 35-yard line with 2:49 left in the first half and the Steelers holding a 14-3 lead.
* The Steelers got a touchdown that extended their lead to 21-3 and the Raiders lost their best defensive player on the same snap of the ball. After Roethlisberger completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, who made a very nice catch by the way, Richard Seymour knocked Roethlisberger down with a shot to the head. Seymour was ejected, and the Steelers held a 21-3 lead at halftime.
* The Steelers have been looking for
WHAT WENT WRONG
* The Steelers won the toss and elected to receive, but the offense did nothing with it. Included in the three-and-out was a second down play where the Steelers barely got the snap off in time because of a couple of separate on-field scuffles with Raiders ends Trevor Scott and Lamar Houston, and a third down play where
* The game is not even 10 minutes old, and the Steelers have been flagged for three major penalties – roughing the passer on Woodley, unnecessary roughness on Clark and a clipping on
* A holding penalty on
* Ike Taylor had a pick-six nullified in the third quarter by a roughing the passer penalty on James Harrison that was neither late nor did it involve hitting Jason Campbell in one of the restricted areas. It was called because Harrison landed on Campbell “with the full weight of his body.”
* With a 28-3 lead and less than five minutes remaining, Rashard Mendenhall lost his first fumble of the season. The Raiders recovered at their own 24-yard line with 4:09 remaining.
As has been the case more weeks than not, the Steelers were forced to do some shuffling along the offensive line because of injuries.
“I think Maurkice Pouncey had a knee-to-knee hit with somebody in the game. It’s a contusion,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “Hopefully it won’t be long-term. I don’t think it will be. The rest of the stuff is bumps and bruises.
Based on the practice reports throughout the week, there were no real surprises when the Steelers’ list of inactives was reported.
There were only three guys on the inactive list for the Steelers due to injury –
Tomlin did make one change to the starting lineup that was unrelated to injury, and that was replacing
“It was based solely on performance. Trai was below the line,” said Tomlin. “We felt like Ramon gave us a better shot today. We like his tenacity. We’ll assess his work and proceed from there. We’re not going to be bashful about what it is we need to do here. We need quality play. We need winning performances from everyone.”