The Pittsburgh Steelers will look to build on their Week 2 performance when they make their only west coast trip of the season to Oakland. The Raiders have had an underwhelming start to their 2012 campaign and will look to get back on the right track in week 3.
Last time Pittsburgh paid a visit to the Black Hole, it was 2006 and the Steelers were in the midst of their Super Bowl “hangover season.” Ben Roethlisberger was coming off a concussion the previous week (versus Atlanta) and showed ill effects by tossing four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns in a 20-13 loss.
1. The Steeler running game will average more than 4.5 yards per carry. Oakland’s front seven should be fairly stout, but they have been playing from behind for the majority of each contest.
2. Ben Roethlisberger throws for at least two TDs. Oakland’s starting cornerbacks are injured, so they are relying on backups and recently signed free agents. Tyvon Branch and Michael Huff are excellent safeties, but look for completions outside the numbers.
3. Oakland runs the ball with better efficiency than in previous weeks. Darren McFadden will run for 75 yards or more in an effort to keep Pittsburgh’s offense off the field.
4. Carson Palmer has at least two turnovers. Even though Troy Polamalu will sit out this week, Palmer has a tendency to turn the ball over when facing the Steelers.
5. There will be 6+ combined sacks. Neither offensive line has done well in protecting their signal-caller.
6. Oakland will have more time of possession than Pittsburgh. The Raiders will make every attempt to run the ball, while the Steelers will feature a quick strike offense.
7. Oakland will use play action to attempt multiple 20+ yard pass plays.
8. Despite the early season start, this game will be closer than anticipated. Oakland views this game as a last opportunity to turn around their season.
Pittsburgh 30, Oakland 24
About the Author
Written by Rob Stroup
I grew up in western Pennsylvania, so I have followed the Pittsburgh sports teams (Steelers, Penguins, Pirates) since the womb. It has become a tradition to make the yearly trek to a Steelers and Penguins game each year despite the distance. I hope to make writing a profession because I thoroughly enjoy attempting to paint a picture with words.