Terrelle Pryor, Stout Defense Help Raiders Hold Off Steelers
By Danny Cox
When the Oakland Raiders left the field on Sunday afternoon, they were not only thrilled to break a 10-year losing streak coming off of a bye week, but they were happy for many reasons. They moved to 3-4 and quite possibly, and finally, saw the coming of age game for quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Coaching Grade: B+
Dennis Allen knew that he wanted his team to not get in trouble over the bye week, and he made sure that they knew that. He wanted to make sure that they were prepared and ready for the next challenge as the Pittsburgh Steelers came to town, and they most definitely were.
It was not a balanced attack on offense, but it didn’t need to be as the Raiders played with a lead for the entire game and were able to rush the ball more. Defensively, the Raiders swarmed Ben Roethlisberger the whole game, and it truly worked.
Offense Grade: C+
Terrelle Pryor finally seemed to have his “coming out” game as an NFL quarterback, but in his own way. Pryor started the game off with a 93-yard touchdown run and continued to be elusive in the pocket. He didn’t have a lot of passing yards (88 yards) but he looked better as an overall leader. The turnovers are still a big problem though as he threw two picks even though one late in the first half wasn’t really on him.
With a big lead for most of the game, the Raiders were able to keep running the ball. Pryor had the bulk of his yards on that one run, but Darren McFadden got into the game too. He had 73 yards on 24 carries and had two big touchdowns. The passing game has got to open up more though as the Raiders, obviously, don’t always play with a lead.
Defense Grade: A+
Even though the score shows a close game; it really wasn’t and the Raiders have their defense to thank for that. The final eight points came in garbage time and the Steelers were held to a mere 276 yards of total offense.
Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins each had interceptions while the Oakland defense sacked Roesthlisberger a staggering five times. Making matters even better for the defense of the silver and black was that the Steelers were held to almost 40 yards under their low average of 74.5 yards per game on the ground.
Special Teams Grade: B
Sebastian Janikowski had a quiet day as he simply needed to kick three extra points, and didn’t even attempt a field goal.
Marquette King was a lot busier as he punted a whopping eight times and with a really good 46.5-yard average. One punt was a touchback, two were downed inside of the Steelers 20-yard line, and he had a long of 58 yards.
The return game could use some work as the kickoff returns had a mere 15.3 yards. Jacoby Ford only returned one punt for 14 yards.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.