Oakland Raiders Week-3: Big Win vs Steelers
Jerry Rump – Sep 25, 2012
To say the win this past Sunday versus the Pittsburgh Steelers was huge for the Oakland Raiders just does not do it justice. Down 0-2 facing one of the AFC’s most formidable teams with a ton of injuries on defense, the new era Raiders knew they had a fight on their hands. In response, they rolled up their sleeves, fought for their very lives for 60 minutes, and in the very last seconds, came out on top with their heads held high beating the Steelers 34-31 on a last second 43 yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski.
The win gives Raiders first year head coach, Dennis Allen his first victory and the Raiders managed to avoid the dreaded 0-3 start to the 2012 NFL season. Congratulations Coach Allen, you came through when we needed you the most.
This game did not begin well. After, Pittsburgh deferred the opening kick, which fullback, Marcel Reece returned to the Oakland 41 yard line, the very first play from scrimmage ended horribly as quarterback, Carson Palmer took a downfield shot for WR, Denarius Moore, and was picked off by Steeler safety, Ryan Clark after Moore slipped on second base.
That was the moment it began. The Palmer haters in the Nation began whining and complaining, as they always do, and for a moment, it looked a little bleak for those of us that defend the Raiders’ starting quarterback week in and week out.
Of course, the interception was not Palmer’s fault as Moore was wide open, but slipped and fell. Never mind that though, because these Palmer haters always blame him for anything that goes wrong, whether it is his fault, or not.
However, Palmer was not about to just lay down on his team like the Bengals try to claim he did last year.
No, I am not getting into that argument as I already know the truth about how Bengals’ general manager, Mike Brown and the media in Cincinnati railroaded Palmer and it is just not worth arguing about because these faux-Raider fans believe everything the mainstream media tells them.
Didn’t George Orwell warn us about these types of things?
The very fact that they do listen so intently to the mainstream media has me wonder just how they can call themselves Oakland Raider fans, because we all know how well the media goes out of its way to show love for the Silver and Black, right?
Anyway, take some advice you know-it-alls and open your eyes, try just one time to call it legit, without the hate, and you just may see it like the rest of us do. Palmer is a good quarterback and is committed to winning in the East bay.
Pittsburgh marched the short 36 yard distance down the field and scored the game’s opening touchdown on a 4 yard pass from QB, Ben Roethlisberger, to tight end, Heath Miller. So, the route that everyone, outside of the true Raider fans, predicted was on right?
On the very next possession, the Raiders showed everyone that this was going to be a scrap as runningback Darren McFadden took the handoff and left the Steelers quaking in their cleats as he scampered 64 yards to pay-dirt and scored while the sold-out Black Hole erupted in delight.
This marked the point everyone in Raider nation has anticipated all season long. The running game finally made a play and the Beast was finally back on track, right?
Umm kind of, because the play-calling and execution in the Raiders’ running game did struggle after that, but McFadden managed to end the day with his 10th career 100 yard rushing game. I know, I thought he had more than that too!
Well, the big run came on an audible by Palmer at the line of scrimmage and there are still a ton of issues to be addressed with offensive coordinator, Gregg Knapp and his zone blocking scheme, but we will take this game as a sign that things are improving.
McFadden overtook Raider great, Bo Jackson for 13th all-time on the Raiders' franchise rushing list with 2,794 yards. Congrats to Mr. McFadden!
The big part of the Raiders’ offense turned out to be Carson Palmer and the way he managed the game. Palmer went on to finish the game going 24-34 for 209 yards and three touchdowns. He posted a quarterback rating of 103.7 his second highest for the Raiders since that 113.2 rating from last season versus the Lions.
The Raiders needed a big game from Palmer and he did not disappoint. The receivers were just as awesome as they hauled in pretty much everything that was close to them and made more big possession saving receptions than I have seen in more games than I care to admit.
Darrius Heyward-Bey hauled in his seventh career touchdown pass in the second quarter to help tie the game at 14 a piece, which provided a big shift in momentum for the Raiders. The offense had been stymied up to that point in the first half after McFadden’s touchdown scamper, and even though Pittsburgh got a field goal to go in at the half with a 17-14 lead, the point was made clear that this was not going to be an easy victory for the Steelers like the so-called experts had predicted.
The Raiders had come to play and were not going to lay down on their coach, or their fans. This was shaping up to be a total TEAM effort.
Denarius Moore hauled in his sixth career touchdown in this game to tie the score at 31 in the fourth quarter. I would also be remised if I didn’t mention the first career touchdown reception for tight end, Richard Gordon in the third quarter. Big shout outs to both these guys as they came up huge when we needed them the most! Again, total team effort was appearing to be the theme for this win.
The second half of this game was as exciting as any game in recent history for Oakland. Even though, the Steelers held a huge time of possession lead over the Raiders, the defense kept coming up huge all day long.
This battered and injury-plagued squad continually came up big precisely when they had to, forcing three and outs and critical turnovers just when it seemed like Pittsburgh was about to drive down and put the game out of reach.
Linebacker, Philip Wheeler was downright essential in this effort racking up 11 tackles, (seven solo) while also forcing a fumble and recovering another one that was caused by defensive tackle, Desmond Bryant in the second quarter that lead to the Heyward-Bey touchdown on the ensuing possession.
Wheeler was far from done though, as he made the play of the day when he recovered yet another fumble forced by backup cornerback, Pat Lee late in the fourth quarter that went on to set up the game winning field goal by Janikowski.
This win was truly a team effort on all sides of the ball. There were big returns on special teams by runningback, Mike Goodson and the Raiders had only three penalties all game. That’s right, I said it, THREE penalties for the whole game!
Allen summed it all up perfectly in his post-game press conference when he said:
“It tells you that we’ve got some mental toughness and fortitude to push through. It didn’t always look pretty, but it doesn’t have to. Our guys hung in there, they fought, they knew it was going to be a 60-minute battle and we fought for 60 minutes and we were able to come out on top.”
You just to have to respect this guy as he took all the blame for the two Raiders’ losses and gave all the credit for the victory to the team! He could very well turn out to be the coach that Raider nation has needed to end the decade of disappointment that has haunted this team ever since 2002.
Now it just must be mentioned that these replacement referees are out of control. The hit on Heyward-Bey in the endzone by Steelers defensive back, Ryan Mundy was clearly a viscious helmet to helmet shot that ended up in Heyward-Bey having to be carted off the field on a stretcher. No flags were thrown. This was the second time Mundy led with his helmet in this game, as he provided another one earlier in the game that put tight end Brandon Myers in the training room with a concussion too.
Luckily both will be all right, but NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell must step up and address the monster he created with these replacement officials, because this issue deals specifically with the thing he is supposed to be renowned for—player safety.
Admittedly, I am no fan of Goodell and this only proves why as he constantly implements changes that take away the rights of defenders in the league, all in the name of player safety, only to go and allow these replacement officials to continually not call helmet to helmet contact that has occurred in nearly every game this year all across the NFL!
Another good example of this occurred last week when Seattle’s wide receiver, Golden Tate nearly decapitated Cowboys' linebacker, Sean Lee on a crackback block to the chin with his helmet. Again, no flags were thrown!
C’mon Mr. Goodell, handle your business before someone really gets hurt!
Prayers and well wishes for a speedy recovery to Darrius Heyward-Bey, and get well soon young man as we miss you already!
Looking ahead to week four, it has finally come time to get a shot at the hated Denver Broncos and that guy they have at quarterback as we have listened to nothing, but how they will win the AFC West from the always reliable mainstream media.
Well, with them sitting at 1-2, the same record as the Raiders, it seems the media experts might have their facts wrong again. Big surprise there!
This game however should be yet another great thriller between these two teams in the mile-high air and as any AFC West fan can attest to, it is the type of game we live for as fans.
Raider nation will most definitely be represented in full force up there in Denver and it is advisable that you stay tuned to us here at Raider Nation Times, as we will break down this matchup and keep you informed of all the latest breaking news concerning this game and our Oakland Raiders.
Till then, Raider nation, bask in the glory of this exciting win and support your squad as only the most rabid fan base in all of sports can.
The new era has officially begun in Oaktown as the Raiders went out and proved this past Sunday!
Is it a coincidence that the Autumn Wind came in on the second day of Fall?
I think not!
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