HOUSE OF STEEL PRE-GAME SUMMARY FOR WEEK 8
The Showdown on the West Coast:
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-5)
Kickoff: 4:15 PM ET
TV Coverage: CBS
Announcers: Kevin Harlan (Play by Play) and Rich Gannon (Color Analyst) BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Pittsburgh Head Coach: Bill Cowher
Overall Record/Season: 143-86-1 15th Season
Record at Pittsburgh: 143-86-1
Playoff Record/Years: 12-9/ 10 years
Oakland Head Coach: Art Shell
Overall Record/Season: 55-43/ First season (2nd stint)
Record at Oakland/Season: 55-43/third season (2nd stint)
Playoff Record/Years: 2-3/ 3 years
Series History: Series began in 1970
Overall: Series is tied 8-8
At Oakland/Los Angeles: Series tied 4-4
Last Meeting: September 12th (In Pittsburgh) Pittsburgh 24 Oakland 21
Postseason Series: Series tied 3-3
Hello everyone, House of Steel here at Oakland to cover a must win situation with the Pittsburgh Steelers. All eyes will be on them. The Steelers are looking to improve to 9-8 all-time against the Oakland Raiders in the regular season, including 6-1 under Bill Cowher. They are also looking to win their first road game in this series since a 29-10 victory on December 10, 1995. We all know the Steelers are starving to get their first road victory of the season and their third straight win in the series since they have won 6 of the last 7 meetings against the Raiders. The Steelers need eight regular-season wins to reach 500 victories. The all-time season record is 492-471-20. On the final note, the Steelers looks to improve to 34-13 in the month of October since 1995. That mark is the best in the NFL during that span.
This is an amazing set of stats eventhough the record shows to fans that the Steelers are struggling. That is far from the turth. The Steelers defense has been dominating the beginning of games this season. In fact, it has allowed only 7 points in the first quarter of 2006, outscoring its opponent 38-7.
The biggest concern that the Steeler Nation has been bickering about is penalties. This is going to cause a real debate since the Steelers has been outstanding in the penalty department only been flagged 24 times for just 196 yards. The 24 penalties are the third-lowest in the league and the 196 yards are second in a tie. The Atlanta game, last week, where the Steelers lost a very close match-up had several questionable calls one costing them the chance for victory in the last quarter when Nate Washington was flagged for Illegal Formation. Ben Roethlisberger suffered a mild concussion by three Falcons defender on helmet-to-helmet hit. The referees did not flag the violation causing a protest on the Steeler Bench.
With all this in mind, lets get down to the preview of this game. The Steeler Nation was faced with a real scare in last weekend's matchup with the Falcons when Ben Roethlisberger suffered the mild concussion as I pointed out earlier. Despite suffering his second concussion in about four months, Roethlisberger is expected to start with Jerry Porter back in action after serving a suspension for a tough stance against the front office demanding a trade.
Ben Roethlisberger is listed as questionable and has not been cleared by doctors to play but, if he is, plans to talk to Bill Cowher to start. Cowher sounded very much like he expects Roethlisberger to start. He's looked sharper the last two games by going 32-41 for 476 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Big change from losing first three starts and throwing 7 interceptions without a touchdown pass recorded.
Looking at the Oakland Raiders. Jerry Porter returns to action to help this deseperate Raiders team. Raiders Head Coach Art Shell plans to talk to Porter, but would not commit to using him in a game for the first time this season. Porter is in the second year of a five-year contract, had a team-high 76 catches for 942 yards and 5 touchdowns last season. Oakland's confidence seems to be growing after posting their first win of the season with a 22-9 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Oakland Running Back LaMont Jordan sat out the game after re-aggravating his sore back in warmups, but hopes to start in this game. He leads the team in rushing with just 314 yards, the Raiders were able to run the ball effectively without Jordan, getting 110 yards total from Justin Fargas and Zack Crockett. Oakland also finished the game without starting Quarterback Andrew Walter, who injuried his hamstring but is expecting to start in this contest. Walter had his best game as a pro before his injury, going 17-30 for 263 yards and three touchdowns.
One last note to mention about the Steelers, This team has lost four of their last five games, Cowher had reason to fault his players as they continue to self-destruct in the second half. 11 of the Steeler's 14 turnovers have come after halftime.
KEY TO THE GAME:
-- Isolate Andrew Walter in the pocket and put plenty of pressure on him to make mental mistakes. This should be a very easy task against a weak offensive line.
-- Contain LaMont Jordan!!! This should be real easy job for the Steelers having some of the best lineman to stuff the run down.
-- Keep an eye on Randy Moss. Moss has been ineffective as of late, but a cornerback change in the secondary of the Steelers from Townsend to McFadden may prompt the Raiders to test McFadden. The Steelers Secondary has been suspected of a middle of the field problem of wide open lanes.
-- Play Absolutely Mistake Free and cease the Fumbletis, a big must. Special Teams has killed the chances for victories in many games this season. If the fumbles continue, you might see a very surprising close score in this contest.
-- Keep Ben Roethlisberger in the pocket. The Raiders defense is going to have a real test on their hands in trying to keep Ben from running abreast. The pressure is a real must and if they fail, it will be an air assault for Ben.
-- Keep an eye on Willie Parker and stuff up the opening holes. Willie Parker biggest strength is switching gears after going through a hole in the line. This is also a very big must, if not, we may witness a record rushing day for Parker.
-- Shut Down Hines Ward, Nate Washington, Santonio Holmes, and Heath Miller. The Raiders Secondary has their hands full to the brim in trying to contain four massive weapons in the passing game. Hines Ward is coming off one of his career best days against Atlanta catching for 178 yards and a trio of touchdowns. Nate Washington has the abilities to reach leaping catches. Heath Miller is a secret target and a must weapon for Ben Roethlisberger to get the momentum going on offense.
PREDICTION: A simple analysis, this game has all the fingers pointing on a massive victory for the Steelers. If they can duplicate the Kansas City game and play flawless, we may witness another 40 + score. I am going out of my way and say, The Steelers win huge----- Steelers 47 Raiders 9.
I will return Sunday Night for the Post Game Report, enjoy the contest!