OAKLAND – It sounded on Sunday in Oakland as if there will be a great deal to talk about this week on the South Side of Pittsburgh.
For starters, defensive end Brett Keisel wanted to talk about the Steelers falling behind 7-0 on the first offensive snap, and then falling behind further to 14-0 midway through the first quarter on the way to an eventual 21-18 loss to the Raiders.
"We gotta come out of the locker room ready to play, we do," Keisel said. "We can't ease into football games. When the National Anthem goes, you gotta be ready to go. So far this season we've struggled in that area. We gotta step into stadiums ready to go.
"It's gonna be addressed. It'll be addressed. I might address it. It'll just be something where I'll talk to the team. We've gotta be better in that area. I want everyone to understand that."
TIME OR YARDS?**: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might have a word with Coach Mike Tomlin about whether to use a timeout inside the two-minute warning or take a delay-of-game penalty when the game clock isn't running but the play clock is about to expire at a stage of the game in which the Steelers are trying desperately to cut into a two-score deficit.
"Maybe (today) Coach Tomlin will tell me what he wants me to do in that situation," Roethlisberger said. "I know timeouts are valuable, but for an offense that wasn't scoring touchdowns so are 5 yards."
The situation was this yesterday in O.co Coliseum:
Trailing, 21-10, the Steelers faced a second-and-3 at the Oakland 12-yard line with 1:43 left in regulation after running back Le'Veon Bell was tackled out of bounds following a 7-yard completion.
Amid the confusion that followed, the Steelers were unable to get into position for the next snap in a timely fashion.
"The play clock was running down," Roethlisberger said. "I ran over there because the ref was grabbing for his flag for a horse-collar call on Le'Veon, and then he didn't (make the call). The ref asked (another official), 'Was there a horse collar?' They were kind of discussing it, and I guess they decided not to call it. By the time we got back to the huddle, you look up and there's three seconds (on the play clock) by the time we break the huddle."
Referee John Parry huddled with side judge Joe Larrew and head linesman Derick Bowers before the non-call resulted.
"You either take 5 yards (for delay of game) or you take the timeout," Roethlisberger said. "I know timeouts are valuable but I thought 5 yards were, too, so I had to burn it."
Taking a timeout there left the Steelers with two remaining.
They needed three timeouts to prevent the Raiders from running out all but the final 18 seconds once Oakland recovered an on-side kick with 1:24 left in the fourth quarter after the Steelers had closed to within 21-18.
"I was looking for the flag," Roethlisberger said. "The one ref talked to the other one and said, 'I was gonna call it, I couldn't tell. What did you see?' They decided not to. I was waiting for either a re-set (of the play clock) or a penalty, because I'm following the ref back over and couldn't tell what he was going to do.
"We just kinda got caught in a bad situation."
THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY**: Wide receiver Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 82 yards and also contributed a 44-yard punt return but talked afterward about a couple of plays he was unable to make.
Third-and-15 from the Steelers' 35 with 9:25 remaining: Roethlisberger hit Brown for an apparent first down just inside the Raiders' 40-yard line, but safety Brandian Ross hit Brown and Brown didn't secure the catch upon hitting the ground out of bounds.
And, third-and-3 from the Raiders' 24 with 6:52 left: Roethlisberger hit Brown for an apparent first down to the Raiders' 20-yard line, but the ball came out again and Oakland cornerback Tracy Porter came up with it.
The announced ruling was a catch by Pittsburgh and a fumble recovery by Oakland.
The NFL Game Summary eventually credited Porter with an interception.
Of the first one, Brown said, "I made the catch. I got a little lax on the tuck, the guy came in late and made a great hit and got it out of there."
Of the second one, originally ruled a fumble but then changed for the time being to an interception, Brown explained, "The one they called a fumble, I thought I was down. I had my knee down. The guy came in late and punched the ball out. I thought it was a weird call, but I gotta do a better job securing the ball."