Steelers Versus Raiders Game Rewind – First Half Notes

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost 34-31 to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday and below are my first half notes from the game with the second half notes to follow soon.

The opening kickoff ends with kicker Shaun Suisham having to make the tackle. Not a good start by special teams.

On the first play for the Raiders, Ryan Clark intercepts Carson Palmer as wide receiver Denarius Moore slips during his route. Great start for the defense as they get off quickly.

The Heath Miller catch was overturned and I thought that it was the right call. The quick slant to Mike Wallace was a result of a nice rub by Emmanuel Sanders, as he caused the two Raider defenders to crash into each other. The end around to Wallace I did not like as the line is just not athletic enough to get out in front. The touchdown to Miller was too easy as Antonio Brown had the Raiders defense trying to cheat him to the inside and the linebacker had a late break covering Miller. 7-0 Steelers.

Chris Carter gets the defensed pass on first down as he drops into coverage outside on Moore. Larry Foote allows the tight end an easy catch for the first down. The second down touchdown run by Darren McFadden I have broken down here and it sure looks like Ike Taylor was held downfield. 7-7

Ben Roethlisberger was not very accurate early on, but he would come around. The screen to Sanders was a great call considering how far off the corner was playing him. Easy pitch and catch and the offensive line has pass protected well up until this point. Another screen to the same side, but this time to Brown with the corner playing off. Steelers are driving again. The touchdown to Miller was great play action and a great run block fake by the Steelers tight end. 14-7 Steelers

LaMarr Woodley gets his 50th career sack and the Steelers only sack of Palmer for the day. Raiders punt.

Nice return by Brown and the Steelers have flipped the field. A false start by Ramon Foster to start the drive off. This is followed up by a Willie Colon hold and the drive falls apart that quick.

Another good three and out by the defense. Ziggy Hood and Taylor both make nice plays on the drive.

Brown returns the Raiders punt for a touchdown, but two penalties on the play negate it. Baron Batch is now in on this drive. Delay of game on 3rd down was inexcusable and it kills the drive after Miller can\’t hold onto the 3rd down pass that followed. Another special teams gaff as Drew Butler shanks the punt.

On second down Worilds is in no man\’s land as McFadden catches an easy one out of the backfield. Worilds makes up for it on the next play as he forces McFadden out wide for the third down stop by Taylor.

Why Brown called for a fair catch on the ensuing punt I will never know. Another special teams gaff. Add a facemask onto it and the Steelers are backed up. a few good runs by Isaac Redman on this drive early on. Jonathan Dwyer comes in and proceeds to fumble.

Cortez Allen makes a nice tackle on 3rd down, but Brett Keisel is flagged for encroachment on 4th down when the Raiders should have been flagged for having too many men in motion on the play. The automatic first down for the Raiders leads to a score as Ryan Mundy is rubbed off of his coverage of Darrius Heyward-Bey. Great play call and great execution by the Raiders. 14-14

Two nice catches by Batch to start the answer drive off. Roethlisberger hits Sanders for an explosive play thanks to nice protection and the offense is driving. I wonder if Raiders safety Matt Giordano gets fined for his hit on Sanders. I doubt it. Steelers 17-14 at the half.

Summation: The Steelers special teams played absolutely lousy in the first half. While Roethlisberger was not very accurate to start the game, he got better quick. Miller is off to great start this season. The explosive touchdown by McFadden, the special team errors, the fumble by Dwyer, and the penalty on Keisel were the main reasons the Raiders were even in this game at halftime. The Steelers offense really moved the ball well in the first half.

  • ali abnousi

    This game was one of the best games of the season so far. It was such a close game until the end and the Oakland Raiders played an outstanding game against the Steelers. The Raiders picked up their first victory of the season. Janikowski, the Raiders’ kicker kicked the field goal at the end of the game for a 34-31 win.

  • r4kolb

    Reality is this….the D is not very good. For all the glory Kevin Colbert gets it sure looks like he wiffed on Hood and Heyward. Not only that but what does the future hold? Harrison is old and broken down and in the last year of his contract. Foote and Keisel are old and average. Troy is hurt and misses mutiple games every year now. They signed Timmons to a nice contract that he’s far from deserving. Chris Carter has no run stopping skills and Worilds is a slug. Clark is also getting long in the tooth and who do we have behind him? Oh yeah that’s right Mundy! For all the promising corners they are suppose to have it sure looks so far like they couldn’t cover my grandmother. Can anyone name the last time we had a D that looked this weak? Starting to think Hightower may have been the better pick at #1. Buckle up Steeler Nation I see us being swept by the Bengals and Ravens and splitting with the Browns. I’d be surprised if they are an above .500 team and I’m not just saying that because they lost to the Raiders. Just look at the above reasons and tell me i’m wrong?

  • Tim Culligan

    Let’s not overreact here. Last week were talking about how the Steelers defense is still elite. Tomlin said this game will not define the Steelers 2012. Additionally, as we’ve seen, a Top 5 quarterback is more important than a Top 5 defense. The blame should not be on the corners, Palmer has all day to throw, they can only do so much. The defense line is the main problem here, I agree Hood and Heyward are not what we had hoped, but the LBs are OK (A Robinson shows promise, and the injury to Spence really hurts. Harrison has another good year when healthy, Woodley is still good.) Safety position is a legitimate concern as Mundy has not player well at all, especially relative to Clark and Troy.

    Message hear is to not overreact. If we beat the Ravens 38-34, its a win. Both losses we almost escaped with a win due to Ben. Season is far from lost, and divisional games haven’t even started.

  • It’s not overreaction. I am not saying Colbert’s time is up. But time has come forownership to start auditing their own management and see what needs to be tweaked because they have hit a rut for half a decade. All the wins are coming because of the excellent drafts and unsigned free agents they made in the first half of the 2000s. The last 5 years of Colbert and his scouts have produced a very mediocre record of player talent infusion – Woodley is the only star on defense acquired since the signing of Harrison as an undrafted FA which wasn’t too long after the Troy and Ike Taylor drafts THat is a pretty bad record of getting defensive stars in the last 6 years. On offense, there is a little more consistency and Colbert continues to find gems at WR and RBs. Still COlbert’s glaring failure is the quality of linemen acquired in the last half decade. . So many high draft picks, and yet we have a below average line which has become above average in pass protection and downright terrible in run offense. The best pick that keeps bailing out Colbert is

    Colbert’s biggest failure inthe last 6 or 7 years is on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Donohoe didn’t get this many years to fail. Dick Haley and Art Rooney Jr were fired after a decade of futility despite overseeing sme drafts that not even Colbert could touch.

  • LucasY59

    Hood and Heyward are not whifs, they are 3-4 DE’s, they’re not supposed to get 10+ sacks a year, they’re supposed to be team players that take on double teams almost as much as a 3-4 NT does and let players like Woodley and Harrison get a minimum 10+ sacks a year, If you think they are not good picks who else would you rather have playing DE?

  • r4kolb

    I’m not talking about sacks I’m talking about no run stopping ability. I’m talking about 0 pressure on the QB. I’m talking about not controlling the line of scrimmage. If you think they are getting the job done you are watching a different D line then I am. And as I stated I’m not just talking D line I’m talking D as a whole.