Oakland Raiders: 5 Most Critical Matchups Against the Pittsburgh Steelers

For the Oakland Raiders and their fans, it's safe to say that Sunday's matchup with the Steelers can't come soon enough.

Left with the bitter taste of being upset by the Dolphins on Sunday, Oakland returns to action this weekend to face a 1-1 Steelers team that has played Jekyll and Hyde thus far this season.

For the Raiders to reclaim their winning ways and move to 1-2 on the season, there are five key matchups that Oakland needs to focus on.


1) Oakland Offensive Line vs. Pittsburgh Defensive Line

While most games in the league would list this as a key matchup, no team in the NFL needs better offensive line play more than Oakland.

The Raiders are coming off a week in which they ran for just 23 yards on 14 carries—and that's with one of the best running backs in the league.

Unfortunately, those blocking woes also extended to the passing game. While quarterback Carson Palmer was able to avoid being sacked, he was knocked down nine times on Sunday, leaving him little opportunity to get comfortable.

Opposite Oakland's line this week is a Pittsburgh unit that has already logged four sacks this season and have hit the quarterback an additional five times. Despite the absence of James Harrison, the Steelers are stacked with guys like LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote, Casey Hampton and a slew of other pass-rushers who are licking their chops.

If the Oakland line can open up some running lanes and give Carson Palmer a bit more time to throw the ball, the Raiders could surprise some people this week.


2) Oakland Corners vs. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown

Now without their top two cornerbacks, the Oakland Raiders are relying on a number of castoffs and no-names in hopes of hiding this glaring weakness.

Against guys like Wallace and Brown, however, that definitely won't be easy.

If the Oakland defens...

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