Steelers Drop To 1-2 In Week 3 Loss To Raiders – Game Recap

Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 43 yard as time ran out to hand the Pittsburgh Steelers their second loss of the 2012 season.

For the Raiders it was their first win of the season as quarterback Carson Palmer  was 24-of-34 passing in the game for 209 yards with 3 touchdown passes. The Steelers defense had no answer for the Raiders on 3rd down as they allowed the West Coast style offense to convert 7-of-12 in the game.

While the Steelers offense was able to move the ball through the air via the no-huddle offense, turnovers at crucial times in the game killed them. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 36-of-49 in the game for 384 yards with 4 touchdowns, 2 of which went to tight end Heath Miller. Miller recorded 8 catches 60 yards.

Fumbles by running back Jonathan Dwyer and wide receiver Antonio Brown resulted in 10 points for the Raiders and running back Darren McFadden rushed for 113 yards on 18 carries, which  included a 64 yard touchdown run on the Raiders second offensive possession.

Penalties also didn\’t help the Steelers on Sunday as they were flagged 10 times total for 81 yards. The Steelers special teams units, which had played well through the first two games of the season, gave up 87 yards on 2 kickoff returns.

Although the offense moved the ball  fairy well though the air, the running game produced just 54 yards of offense on 20 carries, 8 of which came via an 8 yard scramble by Roethlisberger.

The Steelers defense only forced 1 turnover in the game and it came via an interception by safety Ryan Clark on the Raiders first offensive possession. The defense also only sacked Palmer once in the game as linebacker LaMarr Woodley notched his 50th career sack in the loss.

The Steelers have plenty of time to think about this loss as they now head into their bye week. They will return to action in two weeks to host the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field in week 5.

  • SteelSpine

    – Our special teams defense gave up long runs…Antonio & Dwyer each turned it over…we had 10 penalties. But Steelers defense USED to be able to carry the team. Thanks to a great game by Ben (wow!) for keeping us in this one.

    – Steelers D didn’t get pressure on Carson Palmer.

    – Are you ready to agree the too-many articles this past season advertising Ziggy Hood’s sculpted body, were rediculous waste of writing.

    – Mundy is useless. In Oakland he gave up too many big gains to be able to count. Too bad we gotta wait till not-re-signing him at end of season to try anyone else.

    – Now I understand “Beachum’s position flexibility” (the supposed justification for having him on 53 insteadof PS): Beachum can offsides penalize Steelers on the right side of our OLine TOO!. I guess being worthless on the right side of the line too, technically that is “position flexibility”. I still dont question signing him because all along I said his place should be on the PS though this year.

  • GunsDontKillWoodleyKills

    You are right on Mundy. He’s horrible.

  • zyzak

    Adams needs to get healthy and play RT

  • RW

    You may think the turnovers killed us, but when you watch the all-22, you’ll see that Ryan Mundy was responsible for this loss – he missed an open field tackle on McFadden after failing to square up, he couldn’t catch up to heyward-bay on his first td and he had a blown coverage on the 3rd TD. He was AWFUL today. They put will allen in and he made a tackle on the goal line but unfortunately he was hurt. Time to go shopping for a reliable backup safety.

  • JT

    The Steelers have to have one of the worst defenses in the NFL on the road right now. It can’t be chalked up to a fluke traveling west when it’s so consistent. Safety and OLB need to be a priority in the draft this year. The Pass rush and splash plays from the safeties just aren’t there.

    The running game is dead. It won’t be coming back anytime soon. Give up. Maybe when DeCastro comes back we can try again, but blocking is atrocious, and the backs aren’t making plays. Throw the ball. Why on Earth the Raiders respected the play action I don’t know. Just give Ben’s the whole offense.

    I heard it mentioned on the radio, and I agree that the Spence injury is going to hurt more than expected this year. He could have been a life saver in coverage. Rolling the dice on another old year at ILB is going to hurt.

  • JT

    Also, just putting it out there, how different might things look on defense with Ray Horton leading the charge…….

  • mghjr88

    Mundy was exposed

  • mghjr88

    The Steelers failed to play a complete game, it easily could have and should have been a blowout.

    The defense in general was very disappointing and the offense had too many bad turnovers.

    The running game was pathetic and Ryan Mundy stuck out like a sore thumb.

  • GunsDontKillWoodleyKills

    Mundy’s horrible play has show for a while now. He surprisingly had a good game last week….but honestly this turd shouldnt even be in nfl.

  • mghjr88

    I agree with the idea that the Spence injury is really going to hurt. I think his ability in coverage would have been a great asset to the team.

    Hopefully Sylvester will return after the bye and show he can contribute

  • zbluez1

    Issues List 1. Can’t run football 2. Can’t stop the run 3. Can’t turn the ball over 4. Can’t finish games ( offense can’t get a first down-defense can’t stop anyone) 5. Can’t take stupid costly penalties based upon mental mistakes 6. Undisciplined – do not stay in coverage lanes, do not stay in rush defense lanes, do not turn heads back around and look for football in secondary 7. Two games lost through POOR TEAM play- not that I think Mundy is better than sliced bread- but one person alone did not lose these games. 8. Team not healthy and next man up NOT READY to play at a level that is acceptable for a winning team 9. Offensive line play still offensive- Colon at guard experiment should be over- backup tackle at best- reach onto the practice squad, reach onto another teams practice squad, reach onto the street- get another guard or two if necessary and shore up guard positions and RUN the football!

  • RW

    I agree with all of the issues on this list, but the loss is squarely on the shoulders of Mundy this time. We could have won easily with all of the rest of these issues. I’m also real concerned about # 2 on this list. That shouldn’t even be a question for this team.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    The only people on this team that still perform at a high lvl are all Cowhers players, Taylor, Polo, Harrison, Keisel, Foote. Only Woodley from this administration has played well. Cowher isnt here anymore to help find us more talent! and I do not think Timmons is good…he gets lost in coverage and makes absolutely NO splash plays as a ILB. He is practically worthless

  • zbluez1

    No it should not, but, the facts are it is. Mundy has his issues agreed, but, he is being asked to play out of his natural position in schemes his physical skill set doesn’t match up to. That, is a coaching issue, not a player issue. I am afraid Lebeau and Lake have as much blame to shoulder as Mundy does.

  • Keisel was awful and has become one of the worst players on the team this year.Blame Colbert. Remember he and ownership took Ben over Cowher’s objections. They could have overridden TOmlin on people like Timmons or Hood.

  • Mundy is a late round pick. He is a backup filling in as starter. Was he worse than top round picks like Timmons or Worldis? The front 7 takes the main blame in this.

  • Ray HOrton has revamped that defense real fast. But it helps to have talent too. It also helps to get rid of Joey porter and haggans.

  • Your defense is in trouble if Mundy is counted on too start that many games. But the real problem is Carson was sacked only once and very rarely hurried. Right there, that is the biggest problem by far.

  • JT

    Timmons makes tackles and gets penetration. Worthless is ridiculous. His position is not one where you make as many splash plays as fans would like to see. Does he have coverage problems? Yes. But he’s hardly the only ILB in the NFL who does.

    Aside from Mundy, the secondary has played well enough considering there is almost no pass rush. That is the core of the problem. The best coverage falls apart when the QB has all day.

    But really, the sky isn’t falling. It’s week 3, and the D still isn’t at 100%. It’s not time to rake Tomlin over the coals.

  • JT

    Worlids is horrid. What happened to the Chris Carter we saw this August?

  • SteelSpine

    I agree Timmons has never had top instincts in the pros. He has gotten some stats & big plays by moving him around, but if he played in any defense other than LeBeau’s, he would be a no-name we never woulda heard of on any other team. I remember back when Tomlin’s first draft pick was Timmons there was talk that he wasnt a good match for anywhere in a 3-4.

    Another player drafted during Cowher who still is playing at high level is Heath Miller.

    The only problem bringing up drafts during coaches tho is someone’s gonna point out misses during Cowher, including drafted Kordell in 2nd round despite no other team woulda drafted him higher than 5th rd, then Cowher sticking with Kordell for ~5 yrs too long (after 1997) wasted a great defense we had those years. Our 1st round busts spent on Aaron “sack man” Jones & Huey Richardson & John Reinstra mightta been during Cowher. And we’ve probly been drafting later during most Tomlin years than during most Cowher drafts. ABrown was a steal during Tomlin, but you might be just referring to defense & you’re right we’ve been drafting defenders who are like blocking dummies.

  • Look at McLendon. Supposed to be the next beast. I sitll wish he would get more playing tiem. But preseeason prowess means nothing.

  • JT

    I’d like to see more time for him as well. Hampton has been decent against the run, but has done nothing for the pass rush.

  • SteelSpine

    And I noticed plays were Mundy tackled or got an assisted tackle but it was after the guys with the ball slithered past him for too long of a gains. I’ve written before that when Mundy’s on the field it’s like playing with only 10 men on defense.

  • THough the second point I wanted to make was McLendon may be overhyped as well because of his preseason. When the real games start, we can see who is for real. I give the nod to mclendon to get more time only because i have seen nothing from Hampton.

  • SteelSpine

    What is Mundy’s “natural position”? (As though Mundy has played well at some position in the pros?)

  • SteelSpine

    And the Raiders are a bad team. Steelers made Carson Palmer & the Raiders look like a good team, I can see why Steeler fans are mad right-now.

  • SteelSpine

    I agree with all that, except I dont think Spence wouldnt have played defense this year (especially in a 3-4 defense).
    I’m wondering why we cant play Brandon Johnson for a few plays to rush the passer, or even Peterson for a few plays to rush the passer. Just a few plays during the game, it’s not like we’d be taking James Harrison out, it’s Chris Carter & other LBs we’d take out to get an extra blitzer..

  • Buccos9

    Please, please, please get a backup safety next year that can actually play. Better still, draft a young one that can be groomed to replace Polamalu or Clarke eventually. Mundy is not that guy. And who needs Chris Kemoeatu when we have Willie Colon, the $5 million stiff that can hold with the best of them. Despite all the mistakes made by the Steelers in this game, what really irritated me was the last drive when the Raiders had third and short and Lebeau had the CBs playing ten yards off the line off scrimmage. It was an easy toss and catch near the sideline for a first down. This makes NO sense. If there is a silver lining, it’s that Ben is thriving in Haley’s offense. Getting rid of Bruce Arians was a great move. I’m starting to wonder if Dick Lebeau should be next to go. His supporters will say his defense finished first last year. True, but it was soft against Denver in the playoffs, and it’s been soft in two of three games this year and still causes few turnovers. Does anyone have confidence that the Steelers’ defense can still stop a good QB at crunch time? I don’t.

  • zbluez1

    His natural position is free safety. I would point out however that the person who played that position in this game, outside of the first play of the game, was also almost non existent in terms of effecting this game. The Raiders made half time adjustments through use of formation and personnel that made both Steeler safeties ineffective in the second half. Where were our defensive adjustments that made portions of their personnel ineffective ? No where to be seen.

  • zbluez1

    No matter how good a coach is, and who he is, his results are based upon the skill sets of his players. If they lack the proper skills to carry out his schemes, he is an in effective coach. It is then his job to coach them into the proper skill sets. My point is this, Lebeau is a great coach, but the defensive players at this point are NOT playing up to their skill sets, nor are they playing up to the scheme. Is Lebeau adjusting his scheme to take advantage of his players strengths that are on the field? It doesn’t look like it to me. Then again I am not in/on the locker room, meeting rooms, or practice field to know for sure. Based upon his history however I am going to give Coach Lebeau the benefit of the doubt and let the blame settle more upon the players then him. I can see however where this years draft, subsequent injuries to the drafted players, have put a severe strain upon the skills available to be utilized and schemed. In order for this team to win consistently it will have to play as close to error free football as possible. Today it did not.

  • mghjr88

    I totally agree with the comments regarding the cornerbacks on the last third and short, I couldn’t believe how far off the line they were. Why would a team not man up and press in that situation?

    I was actually surprised that corners weren’t playing more bump and run throughout the whole game. Even when they were in man coverage, the receivers weren’t always being pressed and were frequently granted free releases.

    Very frustrating and almost confusing as Taylor, Lewis and Allen are all capable of being physical and pressing

  • mghjr88

    The lack of adjustments is an issue in my opinion.
    That is typical of the Steelers and a reason why they are regarded as stubborn around the league.

    Last year during a broadcast a commentator suggested that this was like the Steelers “continuously slamming their head into a brick wall”

    This seemed especially true in the playoff game against Denver last season

  • mghjr88

    This loss has to be embarrassing. Before today’s game it was not out of the question to think that the Raiders could go winless.

  • zbluez1

    Hhmmm, I have to dis-agree with you there. I have seen current coaches make adjustments both at halftime and with the game on-going that have been very successful. I saw adjustments made last year in the playoff game in Denver, some worked, some did not. Adjustments do NOT mean abandoning what you have game planned, chucking it all like the proverbial baby with the bathwater, which is the only thing some people either notice or advise be done, but rather tweak your players angle of approach, alignment prior to the snap, alignment after the snap, response to keys being read, etc….Yes the Steelers strive for consistency at a very high level. We Steelers fans like winning consistently, going to the playoffs consistently, having more Lombardi trophy’s than any other team consistently, so perhaps we are slower to change and react than we should be, perhaps that is an area where our coaching staffs could use improvement with tactically in pressure situations in on-going games. I can see that, but to chuck the stability of a historically proven consistently winning formula in management, coaching, drafting and scheme, that I can NOT see.

  • SteelSpine

    My point was he is not a decent free safety. FS’s have to be natural touchdown-savers, but Mundy’s common appearance over the years has been chasing guys into the endzone. I think the only reason we’ve kept him each year is he is the perfect size for storng safety. The ol’ Looks like Tarzan but plays like Jane.

  • RW

    You’re definitely right – the front 7 played poorly, but you can’t look past the raiders consistently picking on Mundy – even on the onside kick! Don’t get me wrong, I’m more concerned about the poor tackling and the very little pressure we’re getting (particularly during road games), along with our inability to run, but I’ve never seen a worse individual performance than what Mundy put out on that field. It was seriously a disgrace for him to be there. I think if Clark plays in Denver last January, Ike Taylor has a decent game.

  • Primanti05

    Seriously? Have you watched him play at all this year? Marijuana Mike was a giant drafting mistake. Put him in the category with Willie Reid. I wish we would cut him right now. He played one play last week and got hurt. His showing up at Steelers HQ and crying and begging before the draft really pulled the wool over our eyes…

  • Buccos9

    Those are fair comments, and I knew it would be provocative to suggest that coach Lebeau might be past his “best before” date. I can’t dispute that his defensive record has been very good overall. But I am seeing things on the field that are making me question his judgment. As you noted yourself: “Is Lebeau adjusting his scheme to take advantage of his players strengths that are on the field? It doesn’t look like it to me.” I watched the end of the Ravens game last night and on second and third down for the Pats with just over two minutes left the Ravens played tight coverage and brought lots of heat. And it worked. This is the way the Steelers used to play defense. Maybe they don’t have the horses to do it anymore. But I don’t think it’s acceptable to call defenses that give away third down conversions at the end of a tight game.

  • mghjr88

    What are you disagreeing with? I said that the lack of adjustments is an issue in my opinion. Never did I state that there are zero adjustments.

    I simply stated that in my opinion, more adjustments could be made. I certainly didn’t suggest abandoning the game plan or “chucking it all like the proverbial baby with the bathwater” as you suggest. So, I am not sure who you’re talking to.

    Then you state, “but rather tweak your players angle of approach, alignment prior to the snap, alignment after the snap, response to keys being read, etc”. Wouldn’t those be considered adjustments?

    You then say, ” but to chuck the stability of a historically proven consistently winning formula in management, coaching, drafting and scheme, that I can NOT see.”. Who is that directed at? I can’t see where anyone suggested doing this. I certainly didn’t.

    Please, continue to enlighten us all with your vast knowledge and expertise.

  • zbluez1

    As it is that I read many boards perhaps my comments here and to whom were misplaced, however, there are many Steelers fans out in internet land that have implied/suggested/flat out said that Lebeau should be fired. Tomlin and Colbert can’t draft or run/coach a team, etc…..after this game. I claim no “expertise” nor vast knowledge and apologize if you felt personally attacked. I was reacting to other folks over-reaction and probably overreacted some myself. That being said, after further review, you are not charged with a time out and the game clock will be reset to 2:35 and the ball will be marked at 49 and 1/2 yard line.

  • zbluez1

    It is my opinion and just my opinion that virtually the only player who played their responsibilities with discipline on defense was “56” while it appeared everyone else was thinking they had to make up for “43” and “92” not being on the field and improvising rather than maintaining gap control, proper coverage angles, etc….disciplines. Special teams couldn’t/didn’t maintain their lane responsibilities in coverage, the offensive line could not establish any running lane gap control what so ever (2.7 yards per rush), 10 PENALTIES ????? giving up an equivalent of an 81 yard drive ???? and you and I are discussing that the biggest issue is that late game adjustments aren’t being made and questioning a H.O.F. coaches calls? I apologize to Coach Lebeau for that. As far as everyone else whom the tape shows did not maintain their disciplines, get your act together!

  • Steve Duncan

    “Timmons makes tackles and gets penetration. Worthless is ridiculous. His position is not one where you make as many splash plays as fans would like to see.”

    Tell that to Ray Lewis, or Manny Willis, or James Farrior 4 years ago. TImmons makes tackles, that’s about it. He is flat out terrible in coverage, one of his biggest responsibilities. He does not make many tackles at the line. He lost a footrace to Peyton Manning in week 1 (seriously?), and he still thinks Sacks are an important stat for a 3-4 ILB. Timmons is not a good fit for the role we have him in, or frankly, for any role in a 3-4 defense. He belongs as a 4-3 OLB.

    Aside from Mundy, Lewis gives too large of a cushion for a guy that can’t tackle, and Allen has not yet turned the corner. No, the sky is not falling, but they are on a downhill slide at the moment.

  • Reader783

    “Worthless” is a blatant overreaction. Plus, all of this administrations drafted players have 3 years of experience max. In fact, Harrison didn’t start the season on defense until after his 5th season in the league when Porter went to Miami.

  • Reader783

    It’s tough to be as effective on defense when you’re missing two Defensive Player of the Year, All-Pro’s from the lineup. Now that the Steelers drafted depth at OL, hopefully this is finally the draft when we go for the secondary and OLB depth we desperately need. But it is not the time to talk about the draft. We are 3 games into the season and have one of the best offenses we have had in a while, perhaps this decade and then some. I am confident that Polamulu and Harrison will come back and return this defense to it’s old form. This Week 4 bye has actually turned out to be a blessing.

  • tgallu

    Sorry folks….yeah, we are off to a rough start, but put it in context
    of the bigger picture – prior to burning one of the best D coaches in
    history at the stake.
    1. So many banged up players …lots of talent off the field unfortunately. Happens to all teams at some point.
    Replacement refs!!!!! Yeah, I’ve heard the call, “Don’t blame the
    replacements…just play the game!” That may have had some validity a
    few weeks ago…but this drama is now effecting every team, every
    player, all the fact the entire NFL season may well be in
    question by play off time. I am all in agreement with the philosophy
    that one must play hard in the face of adversity…but this goes beyond
    injuries, one or two questionable calls, the weather, personal
    problems. At this point it’s like the story of the “Tower of
    Babel”…..God made everyone speak a different language to ensure no one
    could communicate w/ each other, thus chaos ensued…and the tower to
    Heaven was never built.
    Goodell is playing the role of God in this TV show……the Super Bowl would be the tower to heaven…..
    Those of you willing to toss Lebeau to the scrap heap because we are
    having some problems….well, if our culture demands we toss every
    person that can’t “win” or perform to perfection every single
    day……no one among us would have a job.
    I agree that there comes
    a time when ones overall performance must be evaluated and decisions
    must be made for the greater good….but looking at LeBeau’s record…me
    thinks we are a tad bit hasty and we are only loyal when we win.
    Yes, we are aging…..and if I remember correctly, all the analysts were
    impressed with Pittsburgh’s drafting tactics. It’s not as if the
    owners & coaches were blind to this fact…..they did a damn good
    job trying to address the issue. which brings me to….
    4. Injuries
    & Rookies…..sorry guys, thats fate, bad luck, tough tatas….THAT
    is a reality of the game that is for the most part, beyond our control
    and every team in the league faces the same handicaps regarding these
    issues…..they all can’t perform like RGIII in the 1st
    year………….just sayin’…
    But I’m just another armchair QB out
    of a million other-ones that think they know it
    all…………………Go Steelers!!….Try your damnedest that’s all I

  • hungry4thatruth

    Some of these silly fans! Look around the NFL…no body is playing defense. Ravens are ranked at the bottom Welcome to the new age of the NFL thanks to the team owners and Roger Goodell.