Sunday, December 6, 2009
Steelers-Raiders halftime notes
By James Walker
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers lead the Oakland Raiders, 10-6, at intermission.
Here are some halftime observations:
- The Steelers are definitely attacking in this game, as head coach Mike Tomlin promised, but mistakes are taking away potential points. Pittsburgh had four plays of 27 yards or more on offense and special teams in the first half. But a failed fourth-down conversion and interception deep in Oakland territory kept points off the board. In both cases, the Steelers were too aggressive in trying to give Oakland an early knockout blow.
- Ben Roethlisberger, who missed last week's game with a concussion, had some rusty moments in the first half. Some early passes sailed on him, and it appears Roethlisberger's interception in the end zone was a miscommunication with receiver Hines Ward. So far, Roethlisberger has thrown for 112 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
- The Steelers are using the fullback a lot more in the game, which is not a staple of their offense. H-back/tight end David Johnson is getting a lot of reps as the lead blocker. Pittsburgh has 88 rushing yards in the first half, including 67 yards from starting tailback Rashard Mendenhall.
- Pittsburgh cornerback William Gay has been struggling of late. The Raiders haven’t made many plays in the first half. But Gay was beat on a big third-down conversion to set up an Oakland's second field goal of the game.