What it means: After an eight-year wait, the Raiders’ visit to first place in the AFC West didn’t last long. Oakland is now 5-5 and trails Kansas City, 6-4, by a game in the AFC West race after this rough day. Oakland has lost eight straight times after its bye. This was a chance for Oakland, which had won three straight games, to put the AFC on notice. But the Steelers showed the Raiders they have a ways to go before being considered an AFC contender. Pittsburgh battered Oakland and seemed to enjoy it.
Tomorrow’s talker: Oakland coach Tom Cable didn’t waste time pulling out quarterback controversy talk. He said Jason Campbell will start next week against Miami. Bruce Gradkowski replaced a struggling Campbell in the third quarter. Neither player was effective. Campbell was 7 of 19 for 70 yards with an interception, Gradkowski was 13 of 24 for 98 yards. I’m surprised Cable made the decision to go back to Campbell so soon after a poor performance. I get the feeling this storyline isn’t over for the season.
Trending: The Steelers stuffed Oakland’s run game. Oakland entered the game with the No. 2 ranked run offense in the NFL. Pittsburgh had the No. 1 run defense in the league. It was no contest. Oakland had 61 yards on 16 carries. Oakland running back Darren McFadden, who entered the game leading the NFL in per-game rushing yardage, had 14 yards on 10 carries. After improving of late, Oakland’s offensive line took a step back and was toyed with by Pittsburgh’s defensive front, hurting the run game.
Bad decision: It will be interesting to see how the league handles Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour after he was ejected for popping Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the face after Roethlisberger accidently bumped into Seymour while celebrating a touchdown. Seymour should expect a hefty fine, at least.
What’s next: Oakland has a winnable home game Sunday against struggling Miami. The Raiders need to win this game and get to 6-5 if they want to stay in the race.