The Raiders are back from the bye week and are back (in black) at home as well. They haven't played at O.co for a while and since the A's were bounced from the baseball playoffs, the Raiders will see nice green grass across the stadium. And they sold out those of you in the Bay Area can see it from up close or from your couch.
Here's all you need to know to go into the game fully prepared:
Who: Oakland Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Where: O.co Coliseum, Oakland CA
When: 1:05pm Pacific time
TV: CBS with Spero Dedes and Rich Gannon calling the game
Radio: 95.7 The Game
Online: NFL Game Rewind after 9pm Pacific time
First let's get caught up on last couple weeks:
The last time the Raiders took the field it was a tough outing. Terrelle Pryor was sacked 10 times and he threw three interceptions - one returned for a touchdown. Pryor cracked under pressure and his newfound mechanics were lost in the process. He spent his bye week with Greg Olson as well as throwing coach Tom House to try and get himself back on track.
Another area that needed some TLC over the bye was the offensive line. It was decimated against the Chiefs and without at least one returning player, the Raiders would surely continue to struggle to keep opposing defenses out of the backfield.
There were some positive performances in that loss to the Chiefs, however. Namely the play of the defense. In the past two games, both Alex Smith and Philip Rivers were confused all day by the Raiders' alignments and neither could get anything going against them because of it.
Also helping matters on the defense is the play of Lamarr Houston. He has been a constant disruptor in the run game as well as the passing game. He has been a key piece of the Raiders suddenly stout run defense.
The Raiders may not have played last Sunday, but they lost ground in the division just the same.
The Raiders will be looking to end a ten-year long losing streak of games after the bye. In the process they are also looking to continue their recent winning ways against their old rival Steelers. As is always the case when these two teams meet up, the Raiders will be looking to make a statement.
Dennis Allen knows the key to beating the Steelers - winning the turnover battle. The Steelers turned the ball over a lot in their 0-4 start but in their two-game win streak they have turned the tables.
Come Wednesday, the Raiders hopes raised considerably when starting center, Stefen Wisniewski returned to practice. Dennis Allen said he is ready to go for Sunday's game and come Friday, he was a full go at practice.
The news isn't all good, however. Wisniewski is the only player to return from injury over the bye week which makes depth along the offensive line still very much a concern. The team called up Jack Cornell again as depth at offensive tackle. Lamar Mady will be the lone depth along the interior line.
Right tackle Tony Pashos is one of the injured players so stepping in for him for the third time this season will be Matt McCants. He will have his hands full with Steelers linebacker Lamarr Woodley rushing from his side of the line.
Anything else you would like to know about what the Raiders can expect from the Steelers you just might find in my Q&A session with a blogger from Steelers site, Behind the Steel Curtain.
I fully expect this to be a very good game and a hard-fought, close one as well. It may sound cliché but I truly believe the winner will be decided by a turnover.
Hopefully you now feel like you can go wow everyone with your knowledge of the current state of the Raiders.