Another game and another fast start by the Raiders. The Raiders received the kick and were forced to start inside their own 10 but Terrelle Pryor thought that was perfect though.
He kept the ball on a read option and proceeded to sprint 93 yards for a QB rushing record breaking TD on the very first play from scrimmage. The 1 play, 93 yard drive was also a Raiders rushing record as it passed up the great Bo Jackson as the longest run in franchise history. It was perfect blocking and all it took was some turbo by Pryor but damn is he fast as the Raiders start out up 7-0.
The Raiders offense wasn't the only part of the team to start fast though, the defense got in on that as well. Pittsburgh's first drive was a 3 and out which featured a high energy tackle by Sio Moore for the Raiders, though the Oakland offense just traded punts back anyway.
The next Pittsburgh drive though was more of the same with another 3 and out by the Steelers, but this one was followed up with the Raiders special teams getting in on the action. The Steelers punt was blocked by Rashad Jennings (his 2nd blocked punt this year) giving the Raiders a short field to work with.
Work with it the Raiders would happily do. They drove right down the field and into the endzone to make the score 14-0. The TD came on a nice and powerful run by Darren McFadden where it was obvious the defense was slow to react due to watch Terrelle Pryor. It was a 5 play scoring drive that covered 26 yards and featured a 3rd and 10 conversion on a catch and run pass to Denarius Moore.
The Steelers finally got a first down on their next drive but they had to fight the refs for it. The play was originally called incomplete but then was challanged and overturned after the replay. The Raiders defense wasn't phased though, when play returned they played stout and forced the Steelers to punt it from midfield.
Once Oakland got the ball back they finally made a costly mistake. Pryor had an open Brice Butler but his footwork was mangled throughout the play and he was never able to get set. The ball was way too high and right into the arms of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu.
Oakland's defense minimalized the damage though thanks to a sack by Sio Moore and a great 3rd down tackle by DJ Hayden. The Steelers made the 47 yard field goal but the Raiders defense didn't let the momentum fall towards the Steelers. The field goal did make the score 14-3 after the 5 play, 19 yard drive but it could have been worse.
The Raiders offense got a first down on a nice athletic pass by Pryor but it didn't lead to anything so Oakland punted back to Pittsburgh. Their defense was still playing well though as they forced another 3 and out by the Steelers who just had to trade punts.
That punt was an exciting one as Jacoby Ford fell down while trying to field it and looked as though he had muffed it. Luckily the refs called illegal touching on the Steelers so Oakland got to maintain possession. Pittsburgh challenged the call but the pla stood. It was the second challenge by the Steelers so they had to play the rest of the game with no coaches challenges.
Oakland took advantage of their luck by driving right down the field for their 3rd rushing TD of the day. The scoring drive was a 11 play, 72 yard drive and was capped off with a wildcat run TD by DMC which was his second of the day. On the drive there was also a 20 yard run by McFadden and two nice run fake, pass plays completed to Rod Streeter for first downs.
Oakland then forced a quick 3 and out to get the ball back with 1:08 left in the half. Unfortunately Bryce Butler dropped the first pass of the drive and it was intercepted by the Steelers. With only 1 minute left in the half Pittsburgh drove down the field but couldn't score a TD. They settled for a 34yd field goal but their kicker missed it wide right and the score remained 21-3 at the half.
The Steelers started out the 2nd half with a long drive but again they couldn't score a TD, and again their kicker missed a chip ahot field goal. This one was almost a mirror image, it came from the 32yd line and was missed wide left. The drive almost never got that far even after Sio Moore had his 2nd sack of the day but the Steelers kept the drive alive by converting a 3rd and 17.
The next three drives in a row all ended in punts. After that it was the Steelers going deep only to be intercepted by Mike Jenkins. Unfortunately Jacoby Ford fumbled the ball back to Pittsburgh and this time the momentum of the game seemed to be fumbled to the Steelers with it.
Pittsburgh appeared to score a touchdown right away off the turnover but the booth review overturned the play. Then on 3rd down the Raiders D was all over Ben Roethlisberger but they just could not take him down. It was a classic Big Ben moment where he stood tall long enough for a receiver to break out wide open and walk into the endzone. The scoring drive was a 3 play, 11 yard drive and the TD made the score 21-10.
The Raiders offense was still stuck in the mud and punted the ball right back to the Steelers. The Oakland defense thankfully was not so stuck and forced a 3 and out from Pittsburgh who had to trade punts. Again though, the Raiders stay conservative and fail to get solid drive going and have to punt it back to the Steelers.
The punt was a long one, but not a good one. Marquette King kicked it 58 yards but the return was a great one where King himself had to make the tackle. Thank goodness he did because it allowed the Raiders defense to get back on the field and make another big play.
This one was an amazing interception when Tracy Porter just barely got his hands under the ball. It was an extr huge play because the Steelers were driving with all the momentum on their side. The Raiders offense again couldn't put the game away though and again had to punt the ball back to Pittsburgh. This punt was better and the coverage was very good.
Despite the good punt and the strong defense Pittsburgh still drove right down for a TD. It was frustrating watching them be so unstoppable on the 12 play, 83 yard drive that took up 2:58 of clock time. The Raiders defense appeared to get a game clinching interception but it was called back for defensive holding and then the Steelers ran the ball into the endzone on the next play.
The Steelers converted their 2-point conversion on a ridiculous looking receiver reverse pass play that turned into a sneaky run to get in. That 2pt conversion made the score 21-18 which luckily is what it would finish as. The Raiders recovered the onside kick and ran out most of the time before punting the ball back to Pittsburgh.
The coverage was fantastic and the Steelers were forced to start inside their own 5. They got one long completion in bounds but they couldn't get another play off. Raiders win a huge but nerve racking game 21-18 despite not being able to do anything well offensively in the second half.