Defense Showcases Improved Pass Rush in Oakland Raiders Win over Steelers

All week long the Oakland Raiders talked about the importance of needing multiple defenders to sack Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. On Sunday, they discovered they didn’t need that many after all.

The Raiders sacked Roethlisberger five times, matching their season high, hurried him into two interceptions and knocked him around numerous other times while hanging on for a much-needed 21-18 win.

It was another step forward for Oakland’s defense, which has gotten better each week.

The most impressive part? The Raiders were able to bring down Roethlisberger often with just one defender.

“When we got hands on Ben we got him down,” Oakland safety Charles Woodson said. “There were a couple of times when we could have got him and he ended up making a play. But the guy who hit him got him down. If he was escaping, someone else was there to get him down.

“That’s huge against Ben because he makes so man plays shedding guys off of him and spinning off tackles. Today our guys got him down to the ground.”

Rookie linebacker Sio Moore led the way with two sacks. Defensive end Lamarr Houston and tackles Vance Walker and newly signed Daniel Muir each had one apiece.

Moore, who also had a pair of quarterback hits, dropped Roethlisberger for a seven-yard loss on Pittsburgh’s second drive then sacked him for a nine-yard loss on the Steelers’ opening series in the third quarter.

“It’s really about targeting him in the right place and playing relentlessly,” said Moore, who has three sacks this season. “(Roethlisberger) is a good quarterback, so the less opportunities you can give him puts us in an advantageous situation.”

Roethlisberger lost 34 yards on the five sacks, which matches the most allowed this season by the Steelers’ offensive line. The Tennessee Titans and M...

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