Week 9: Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Recap

Antonio Brown rewrote the Pittsburgh Steeler record book on Sunday with 17 catches for 284 yards
Antonio Brown rewrote the Pittsburgh Steeler record book on Sunday with 17 catches for 284 yards.

Final: Pittsburgh 38, Oakland 35

In what was one of the more memorable games of the 2015 season, the Steelers take down the Raiders at home in a shootout, 38-35.  Antonio Brown rewrote the record book for Pittsburgh with his unforgettable record setting performance.  His 17 catches for 284 yards were both franchise bests and (obviously) career highs.  His best reception was the one that went for 57 yards with just under a minute left in the game to put the Steelers in field goal range for the win.  DeAngelo

Aldon Smith rolled up on Ben Roethlisberger's left foot on a sack in the fourth quarter on 11/8/15.
Aldon Smith rolled up on Ben Roethlisberger’s left foot on a sack in the fourth quarter on 11/8/15.

Williams helped out as well.  He scored his 50th career touchdown and added a 51st for good measure along with 170 rushing yards.  Pittsburgh amassed a eye-popping season-high 597 yards of offense and Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams contributed 531 of those yards.  It should also be noted that Ben Roethlisberger missed out on a prime opportunity to connect with #84 on a 53 yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.  Had the two connected, Brown could have had the all-time receiving record in this game.

It was not all roses for Pittsburgh, however.  They did lose Big Ben yet again in the fourth quarter when Aldon Smith rolled up on his left foot.  He is expected to miss a few more weeks.  Jarvis Landry, who looked solid in relief of Ben, will have to guide the team until he gets back.  If he can find Antonio Brown often, he should be fine.

On the other side of things, the Raiders offense looked very good yet again.  They too lost one of their best players in the game though.  Runningback Latavius Murray suffered a concussion in the third quarter and had to leave the game.  Other than that, it was a pretty good outing for Bill Musgrave’s unit.  Derek Carr became the first quarterback for the Raiders since Tom Flores in 1963 to throw for four touchdowns in back-to-back games.  He did throw a bad interception with 4:37 left in the red zone, but was able to lead his team back on the ensuing drive to tie it up.  He hit Michael Crabtree for a 38 yard touchdown pass with 1:15 to go.  Crabtree had his best game as a Raider, hauling in two touchdown passes and posting 108 yards on seven catches.  Amari Cooper had a touchdown and 88 yards on seven catches as well.  Latavius Murray ran for 97 yards while healthy to add to the offensive explosion from Oakland.

Derek Carr threw four touchdowns against the Steelers in Sunday's game.
Derek Carr threw four touchdowns against the Steelers in Sunday’s game.

There is not much to talk about with regards to defense in this one seeing as how there wasn’t much being played.  The Raiders stubbornly stuck to man-to-man coverage and were burnt in every one-on-one situation by Antonio Brown.  When doubled, he was nowhere near as loud but was still effective enough to make plays.  Protection for each team held up well, although each defensive line had trouble gaining any traction whatsoever.  This was truly an offensive shootout, though, more so because of what each offense was able to do rather than how bad the defenses were.

Even though they fell to 4-4, this game proves that the Raiders are a legitimate team.  They showed plenty of fight and hung tough with one of the powerhouses in the AFC.  The Steelers were good as well and should not be in such bad shape with Landry Jones at quarterback because of their other weapons on offense.  This was a very important win for Pittsburgh as it gives them the tie-breaker over Oakland, which could come into play later down the road.  Now the Raiders might not be there quite yet, but it is the first time in a while that we can say they are well on their way.

The Skinny

  • Pittsburgh posts 597 yards of total offense, 531 of them came from Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams

    The two teams combined for 1037 yards of total offense and 73 points in Sunday's shootout.
    The two teams combined for 1037 yards of total offense and 73 points in Sunday’s shootout.
  • Brown set career highs and franchise records with 17 catches for 284 yards in this game
  • Key players went down for each team; Ben Roethlisberger with a foot injury and Latavius Murray with a concussion
  • Derek Carr is the first Raider quarterback to throw 3+ touchdowns in three straight games since Rich Gannon in 2002, and the first Raider quarterback to throw four touchdowns in back-to-back games since Tom Flores in 1963
  • Amari Cooper passes Tim Brown for the most receptions by a rookie receiver for the Raiders in this game.  He now has 45 catches on the season
  • Chris Boswell missed his first kick as a Steeler (from 41 yards out) but redeems it with a made field goal from 18 yards out to win the game for his team with two seconds to go
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