Week 3: Oakland Raiders Vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
- QuarterbackThe Raiders paid heavily to get Carson Palmer last year, but it seems as though that was not a good deal for the Silver and Black. He looks like he should be a star NFL quarterback, but he makes mistakes, lacks timing and doesn’t play to his scouting report.Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a super-sharp 24-of-31 effort against the Jets. Roethlisberger has impressive strength that allows him to fight off tacklers, but he has the touch of a much smaller and more precise passer.
- OffenseRunning back Darren McFadden is probably the most dependable offensive player in the Raider lineup. Darrius Heyward Bey is an all-or-nothing receiver with overwhelming speed. However, he struggles to get open and catch the ball. Tight end Brandon Myers can block and catch the ball.Running back Rashard Mendenhall has missed the first two games of the season but there’s a good chance he returns here. Mike Wallace is an explosive speedster who caught a TD pass in Week Two against the Jets. Tight end Heath Miller will not drop the ball.
- DefenseRichard Seymour is off to a slow start in the middle of the defensive line. The Raiders need him to perform at a Pro Bowl level. Safety Tyvon Branch is a good tackler who understands the offensive gameplan.The Steelers shut down the Jets in Week Two and kept New York quarterback Mark Sanchez from feeling comfortable. Look for them to do more of the same to Palmer. Free safety Ryan Clark is tough and instinctive. He is an excellent complement to Troy Polamalu.
- Special TeamsThe Raiders have a big edge in most games because they have big-footed punter Shane Lechler and placekicker Sebastian Janikowski. Few kickers have the leg to attempt long field goals like Janikowski.Shaun Suisham is not going to challenge for All-Pro honors at the end of the season, but he made 2-of-2 45-yard field goal attempts against the Jets. The Steelers did a good job against the Jets in punt coverage.
The Steelers struggled in Week One when they went on the road and lost to an emotional Denver Bronco team. They responded with a home win over the Jets, but now they go even further west to face a struggling Raider team that has talent but lacks focus.