Pittsburgh Steelers(2-4SU,2-4ATS) @Oakland Raiders(2-4SU,3-2-1ATS)
Date and Time:October 27, 2013 4:05 p.m. EST.
Where:Coliseum, Oakland, CA..
byWilson,Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:Pit -2.5/OAK +2.5
Back in the day when the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders hooked up on a Sunday afternoon it was for sure a blood and guts battle with big-time players making big-time plays. But this Sundays matchup in Oakland is a different story in a different era for both teams. The Steelers are hoping to continue their recent winning streak of two (2) consecutive games, but the Oakland Raiders will do whatever they can to get a win at home. The Raiders share the same record as the Steelers (2-4) on the season and they also need to rack up more Ws before the season gets away from them; then all they can do is hope for a top draft pick next year.
Pittsburgh is finding some success in the running game as of late with rookie RB LeVeon Bell who rushed for 93 yards on 19 carries. Bell has been making good progress carrying the pigskin especially between the tackles which has been an issue for the Steelers for quite a while. This surge in the running game definitely helps Big Bens success throwing the ball which he did last week against the Ravens. Ben was 17 of 23 for 145 yards, not great numbers but enough to keep the boys moving down field. Roethlisberger hit TE Heath Miller for a 3 yard TD pass to open the scoring but after that TD it was all on the kicking gameShaun Suishamthe Steelers kicker knocked down 4 consecutive FGs including the game winner as the clock expired. Heath Miller fumbled which resulted in a Ravens TD that tied the game at 16 but Suisham came in and as usual nailed his kick to remain perfect (14 of 14) on the season. The Steelers are certainly hurting without the star power they are used to having and only a few of the Super Bowl fellas are still around to motivate the younger guysPittsburgh cant keep putting all of their games on their kicker; as great as Suisham has been he could use a few series where a token PAT will help his blood pressure drop. In other words, the Steelers have got to find ways to score TDs if they plan on being around in January/February.
Meanwhile, the Oakland raiders are coming off a week 7 bye week which was much needed after they took a beating in Kansas City by the NFLs now only undefeated team in the Chiefs. Oakland is just struggling to maintain an identity at this point with injuries to the O-line and a weakened defense. The Raiders O-line allowed 10 sacks to the Chiefs10! The only other time the Chiefs had more sacks against an opponent was back in 1984 when they racked up 11 sacks vs. the Browns in week 5. The Raiders might want to tighten things up a bit before the infamous Steeler defensive line rolls in to town. Granted the Steelers are not what they were but they are still the Steelers D. Raider QB, Terrelle Pryor can be an accurate passer and playmaker at times but it was Pryor who likely cost the Raiders any shot at beating the Chiefs when he threw three second half INTs which the Chiefs turned into 17 points and pulled away for a 24-7 W.
The Steelers are playing more like the Steelers lately with a more controlled run and pass game followed by their patent grind-it-out finish often completed with a Suisham FG for the closer. If the Raiders O-line can give Pryor more time and, oh, I dont know, not allow 10 sacks then they might have a chance to compete at home but the Raiders also had 10 penalties and 3 turnovers in their last outingthat must be fixed this Sunday or the Raider Nation will be looking for pink slips and probably a lot more.
WilsonsPick to Cover the Point Spread:Pittsburgh still isn’t where they need to be to be considered a road favorite. Oakland pulls one out late for the straight up win and cover. Luck to ya