Sunday, October 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Oakland Raiders
By Paul Gutierrez
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A few thoughts on the Oakland Raiders' 21-18 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers:
What it means: The Raiders ended their decadelong post-bye blues against a rival as ancient as it is disliked. Before Sunday, the last time Oakland won a game immediately after a bye was in 2002, the Raiders had been outscored by a cumulative 271-139 in going 0-10 in said games. The Raiders continued their streak of luck against Pittsburgh, winning their third straight against the Steelers in Oakland. And while the Raiders’ offense got off to a quick start in building a 21-3 lead -- including Terrelle Pryor's record-setting 93-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game -- it continued its troublesome trend of going flat in the second half. The defense had to again make a late stand after getting outscored 15-0 in the second half.
Stock watch: Falling -- Jacoby Ford. Remember when he was an electric game-changer on offense and special teams as a rookie in 2010? Then came injuries and ineffectiveness. Sunday, he endured a rough one, misplaying two punts, fumbling a punt return out of bounds and losing a fumble on a reception deep in Pittsburgh territory that the Steelers would turn into their first touchdown.
Pryor's record run: The Steelers had to know Pryor was a threat to run, right? And yet, on the first offensive play of the game, Pittsburgh bit hard on Pryor's zone-read option fake handoff to Darren McFadden going left, and Pryor, helped by sealing blocks from right tackle Matt McCants and receiver Rod Streater was gone. Pryor’s 93-yard run was the longest by a quarterback in NFL history and the longest run in Raiders franchise history, eclipsing the 92-yarder running back Bo Jackson had against the Cincinnati Bengals on Nov. 5, 1989.
King crowns Brown: Marquette King fashions himself a football player rather than just a punter. He looked like one on his tackle of Antonio Brown in the fourth quarter that possibly saved a touchdown, popping Brown and riding him down after a 44-yard return.
What's next: The Raiders (3-4) host the Philadelphia Eagles (3-5) for the first time since a 13-9 victory in 2009. Oakland has won three of the past four meetings with Philadelphia, coming out on top in 1995, 2001 and 2009 while falling in 2005.