Sunday against the Oakland Raiders the Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking for their first road win against the Silver and Black since 1995 when they won 29-10.
The Steelers last trip out to Oakland was not a memorable one for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who went 25-of-37 in the game passing with 4 interceptions, of which 2 were returned for touchdowns by Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Carr. Roethlisberger was also sacked 5 times in that game.
The bad performance by the Steelers quarterback can most likely be blamed on the concussion he suffered the week before in the game against the Atlanta Falcons. As tough as the league is now on players with concussions, it is a good bet that Charlie Batch would have made that start against the Raiders instead. In fact, he probably should have.
As good as Roethlisberger has been over the course of his career on 3rd downs, he wasn\’t in that game against the Raiders as 3 of his 4 interceptions came on the all-important down.
“I remember throwing something like 6 or 7 picks and it being a crazy, hostile place. That’s about it,” Roethlisberger said on Wednesday when asked about that game.
While the Steelers lost the game, it certainly wasn\’t because of their defense, as the Raiders totaled 98 net yards and just nine first downs in the game. They also only allowed 81 yards rushing on 29 attempts in the game without nose tackle Casey Hampton and Raiders quarterback Andrew Walter completed just 5 passes in the game for 51 yards.
The Black Hole is a tough place to play and it is hard to believe the Steelers haven\’t won there since 1995. The Raiders secondary is hampered by injuries heading into the game Sunday, but there is no such thing as a gimme in the NFL. Regardless of how the Steelers play defensively, another 4 interception, 5 sack day for Roethlisberger on Sunday will likely make the quarterback never want to visit Oakland ever again.