Bob Pompeani: Steelers Will Handle Oakland Raiders
By Bob Pompeani
The Steelers visit the “Black Hole” this Sunday and playing Oakland recently has put the Steelers in a hole.
Considering how bad they have been over the last decade and a half, the Raiders have had more than their share of success against the Steelers.
Oakland beat the Steelers in 2006 on a day when Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted four times.
The Raiders then came to Heinz Field and produced an even bigger stunning result with a last second 27-24 win. Oakland recorded 3 fourth quarter TD’s including a Bruce Gradkowski TD pass to Louis Murphy with 11 seconds left in the game.
The following year, The Steelers exacted their revenge by clobbering Oakland 35-3 in a game Roethlisberger dominated with 3 passing touchdowns and one rushing score…
This edge in this game goes to the Steelers who are coming off a complete 17-point win over the New York Jets. After a slow start, the Steelers took total control of the game…limited Mark Sanchez on offense mostly because he never held the ball.
The Steelers put together a 14-play 75 yard drive which occupied 10:30, their longest scoring drive since 2007.
The Raiders are off to a horrendous start. They lost their home opener to division rival San Diego in a game which featured an injury to their long snapper. You never know the important of your long snapper, until you lose him.
The Raiders had 2 punts subsequently blocked and one snap so badly in the dirt, the punter could do nothing but fall on it.
They followed that loss with a blowout loss at a bad Miami team…
One of the problems with Oakland as I see it, they have switched from a power blocking team on offense…to a zone blocking team…and the results have been bad
RB Darren McFadden has not holes and QB Carson Palmer has no time..
On defense, they have not been able to put pressure on the opposing quarterback…which has resulted in big plays from opponents wide receivers like last week, when the Raider defense made an average Brian Hartline look like a Pro-Bowl receiver. I imagine Mike Wallace is licking his chops.
The Raiders still operate under the slogan…”Commitment to Excellence” which has simply not been the case: 27 wins and 80 losses over the last 7 years indicate this organization is committed to nothing but underachieving
Prediction: Pittsburgh 28 Oakland 10