Raiders Captain, "We are going to stay focused. We see what’s at stake, and how attainable it is. We won’t lose focus."

These are the welcomed words of Oakland's Strong Safety, Tyvon Branch, expressing exactly what we all needed to  hear having experienced our Beloved Raiders coming out flat 7 straight years after a Bye-week.  This trend, like the StD dominance, will also end Sunday. Regardless of what the media might think, the Raiders are a transformed group. Anyone whose watched them play this season (since the opener and not counting the painful (and shameful) loss in SF) knows that this team has more heart and innate athletic ability than any Raider team this Century - including the SB team with Gannon et alia. 

With the players and coaches very close to a single mind (the essence of a team), the Raiders advance upon playoff caliber Pittsburgh, who've lost 3 games: to the NFL Champions, NE and Baltimore. Of those three, Baltimore most resembles the Raiders, a very tough Defense and balanced Offense. Like Baltimore, we will attack the Frankenstein-like QB - relentlessly and ruthlessly - for this monster carries the team on his shoulder.

Offensively, we have seen Pittsburgh picked apart with short quick passes, its vulnerability against sets that disperse them, spreading their formidable LBs. Hue knows Pittsburgh well, having coached against them in the AFC North. The game is probably determined already, at least on paper in the abstract, and now will be played out. We have the speed, strength, athleticism, and intelligence to beat the Steelers and beat them badly. What we must do is EXECUTE solid mistake-minimized and ruthlessly cool football. Then the penalties, gaffs, slip-ups, dropped balls, lapses, and fumbles will happen to the Steelers and not to us (not counting normal Referee bias handicap penalties).

Given the Raiders playing fast and loose with all their speed, ferocity, and die-hard spirit, I could almost feel sorry for those assholes in yellow pants.

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