Steelers vs. Raiders: Breaking Down Oakland’s Game Plan

The Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers renew one of the AFC’s oldest and most storied rivalries when the two teams hook up in Week 8. The winner will take an important step toward getting back in the playoff hunt, while the loser will drop three games under .500 and face an uphill climb the rest of the season.

Both teams have more in common than just their respective 2-4 records.

The Raiders have gotten an up-and-down performance from their quarterback, very little production out of the running game and have had to mostly rely on a rebuilt defense.

The Steelers likewise have had issues at the quarterback position, not to mention a mostly mediocre ground attack and a defense that is nowhere near the dominant unit Pittsburgh has been accustomed to.

At least Oakland has history on its side. The Raiders have won three of the last four in the series with the Steelers, including the last two at the Coliseum.

Here are five ways the Raiders can get an edge on the Steelers in Sunday’s game.


Get after Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh’s veteran quarterback has played extremely well the last two games after getting off to a sluggish start along with the rest of the offense. That’s why it’s critical that Oakland puts pressure on Big Ben the entire afternoon.

While he’s thrown just two touchdowns over the last eight quarters, Roethlisberger has nevertheless been very efficient. In wins over the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, he completed 40-of-53 throws for 424 yards without an interception.

Oakland’s defense has done a pretty good job all season of pressuring the quarterback, but they had just three sacks in the Week 6 loss to Kansas City, even though Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was knocked around for most of the day.

Roethlisberger’s size (6’5”, 240 pounds) makes it di...

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