Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: What’s the Game Plan for Oakland?

The Oakland Raiders' Week 9 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers features two high-powered passing offenses in a potential shootout on Heinz Field. 

While the Raiders offense rolled over two opponents after their bye week, the Steelers offense looked anything but dynamic in Ben Roethlisberger’s return under center in Week 8.

Will Roethlisberger lay two eggs on his home turf in back-to-back weeks? The Raiders shouldn’t count on it, unless they’re causing the turnovers and miscues with an effective defensive game plan.


Pressure Up the Middle

The objective to generate a pass rush usually finds its way into every defensive scheme week to week. For the Raiders, it’s important to apply the pass rush in a specific area. 

Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. should place the crosshairs on Steelers center Cody Wallace as the target for the pass rush. According to Pro Football Focus, Wallace grades minus-23.1 overall, allowing three quarterback sacks and 13 quarterback hurries this season.

In Week 8, the Cincinnati Bengals effectively utilized a four-man rush and brought pressure through the middle to accumulate sacks and force poor throws. 

The Bengals find an opening on the inside and force Roethlisberger into a poor throw from deep in the pocket.

In the second example, a defender puts an arm up with another defensive lineman bearing down on the Steelers quarterback.

The Bengals successfully flush Roethlisberger out of the pocket toward one side of the field, which limits his receiving options. He throws another interception near the sideline.

In a 4-2-5 alignment, the Raiders field a talented front four capable of generating pressure similar to the Bengals in Week 8.

Oakland must force Roethlisberger to keep his f...

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