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Steelers vow not to look ahead

10/21/2013

PITTSBURGH -- Corrections are made all of the time during a course of a game. Brett Keisel made a key one after the Steelers had beaten the Ravens, 19-16, in another white-knuckle game between the AFC North rivals.

Keisel was asked in the victorious locker room about a key two-game road stretch coming up with back-to-back contests at Oakland and New England.

“Oakland,” the veteran defensive end said firmly. “That’s all we’re going to concern ourselves with.”

Tunnel vision appears to be suiting the Steelers well these days.

They returned from their bye a couple of weeks ago and essentially hit reset after the Steelers’ first 0-4 start since 1968. They pledged their focus to the second quarter of the season, no matter what happened in the first quarter of it, and so far, so good.

The Steelers are 2-0 since collectively buying into that approach, and they won’t dare look past the Raiders. Nor should they considering the Steelers have lost their last two games in Oakland, including a 34-31 defeat last season.

“There’s still a lot of room for improvement and we’ve got to keep understanding that as a group,” tight end Heath Miller said. “We’ve got a big hole that we’ve got to keep climbing out of.”

Indeed the reality is the Steelers are still 2-4, still in last place in the AFC North and still in survival mode on a week-to-week basis.

That is why is it is no time for the players to even allow themselves a peek at New England with the idea that they have put themselves into position to take a three-game winning streak into their Nov. 3 game contest against the injury-riddled Patriots.

“I don’t know the big picture,” Keisel said, “I really don’t. We’re going to focus on beating the Oakland Raiders.”