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Raiders week 14 Ballers & Busters vs Steelers

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

For the first time this season, the Raiders beat a winning team. They beat the AFC North leading Steelers to pick up their third win of the season. It was a wild one which take and lose the lead four times before getting a huge break when Steelers kicker Chris Boswell slipped on the turf on what would have been the game-tying 40-yard field goal.

Also helping matters was Ben Roethlisberger injuring his rib and sitting out most of the second half. Though when the Raiders took a late lead, Big Ben returned and led the Steelers right back down the field for a touchdown. A successful hook and ladder play put them in position to score again in the final seconds, but the botched kick would end it in regulation with the Raiders victorious.

With the firing of Reggie McKenzie the following day and the City of Oakland suing the team today, that big win feels like a lifetime ago. So, let’s refresh your memories of the outstanding performances for the Raiders.


Derek Carr

Carr had so many masterful throws in this game. He had a few last week against the Chiefs and carried that confidence over to this game as well and against a much tougher defense than he faced on this field vs the Chiefs.

Carr was back to leading the Raiders to an opening drive touchdown. The second play saw him hook up with Jared Cook for 30 yards. He went right back to Cook on the next play for 19 yards. A 9-yard connection with Seth Roberts would set the Raiders up in first and goal and three plays later, Doug Martin dove over the line to put the Raiders up 7-0.

Early in the second quarter the Chiefs would tie it up at 7-7. Carr got back on his horse and moved the Raiders downfield again. A 13-yard connection with Jordy Nelson on the first play was followed up by a 12-yard pass to Cook for 12 yards. Three plays later, it was back to Cook on third and 8 for another 12 yards. A few plays later and a field goal put the Raiders back up 10-7.

The offense couldn’t manage to get anything going in the third quarter and remained down 14-10 heading into the fourth. Then Carr got back on track, first throwing a perfect pass to Marcell Ateman for 28 yards. From the 12-yard-line, he made a pass to Jordy Nelson that was hard to believe even made it through. Nelson was tightly covered and Carr threaded the needle for a ten-yard completion to set the Raiders up in first and goal from the two. Two plays later, he lofted one into the outstretched arms of Lee Smith for the touchdown and a 17-14 lead.

With 5:20 left in the game, that was when the Steelers brought Roethlisberger back in the game. He would lead them for a touchdown to re-take the lead. But they left too much time on the clock.

Carr would have 2:55 with which to work to try for the go-ahead score. He completed passes to Ateman and Cook on consecutive plays to put the Raiders in Pittsburgh territory at the 46. And on the next play, he saw the coverage he wanted on Seth Roberts, who ran a post route and Carr aired it out for a perfect connection for 39 yards to put the Raiders in first and goal from the 7-yard-line.

It would take going for it on fourth and goal from the six, but Carr would throw what would prove to be the game-winner to Derek Carrier.

Carr finished 25 of 34 for 322 yards and 2 touchdowns and no interceptions – his 8th straight game without an interception. Though he did have a turnover when a pass attempt just slipped out of his hand for a fumble.

Jared Cook

Another 100-yard game for Carr’s favorite target. As has often been the case this season, Cook was a major weapon for an offense that is lacking weapons. This included a 30-yard catch and a 19-yard catch on the opening scoring drive, two 12-yard catches on the second scoring drive, and a 14-yard catch on the game-winning drive.

His 7 catches for 116 yards gives him 825 yards on the season, which is a new career high for Cook and puts him on pace for a 1000-yard season.

Clinton McDonald

McDonald is a two-way player for the Raiders. He had the team’s only sack in the game on defense, and was a lead blocker on goal line plays, helping clear the way for the 1-yard touchdown dive by Martin to open the game.

McDonald’s sack came on third and nine from the 15-yard-line to force the Steelers to settle for a 39-yard field goal attempt which Chris Boswell missed wide right. So, that may have been a 7-point play. He would add a couple run stuffs as well.

Seth Roberts, Jordy Nelson

Nelson had more catches, while Roberts had more yards. Both were clutch for Carr and the Raiders’ offense.

Nelson came up big on the Raiders go-ahead touchdown drive midway through the fourth. He caught three passes for 25 yards on that drive, including a 7-yard catch on third and 8 which would lead to a conversion on 4th and one, and a 10-yard catch on third and 7. That 10-yard catch was an impressive throw by Carr, but it was also a tough ball to catch as he was behind the defender. It put the Raiders in first and goal from the two and they scored two plays later.

Roberts had four catches for 37 yards going into the final drive. He and Carr connected in Friday’s practice on a pass play that was designed for Jared Cook. Out of the two-minute warning, Carr said if the Steelers show Cover-2, Roberts would get the ball. That’s just what happened and Carr threw a bomb for Roberts, who made the catch 39 yards downfield with two defenders closing in. It put the Raiders in first and goal from the seven, and they scored another go-ahead touchdown a few plays later. It turned out to be the last go-ahead TD they would need.

Honorable Mention

Karl Joseph – Had a pass defended in the end zone and made the touchdown-saving tackle on the final play of the game, pushing JuJu Smith-Schuster out of bounds.

Derek Carrier – Made a 23-yard catch to put the Raiders in scoring range in the third quarter (Carr would fumble it away) and the game-winning 6-yard catch. His first as a Raider and just the second of his career.

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