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Steelers Gab 2012 Week 3 NFL Preview – Pittsbugh at Oakland

It’s not exactly John Madden’s Raiders against Chuck Noll’s Steelers Sunday when the 2012 versions meet in Oakland. The Steelers got in the win column for the first time in 2012 Sunday vs the Jets, while the Raiders have limped to an 0-2 start.

Here’s a quick breakdown with prediction for Sunday’s late afternoon affair.

1. Smother the Raiders Ground Game – If the Raiders are going to pull the upset (they are four point home dogs), they are going to have to get a solid day from their running backs, which includes stud back Darren McFadden, who has gotten off to a woeful start. The Raiders are is gaining an NFL-worst 2.0 yards per carry, and McFadden had just 22 yards on 11 attempts in last Sunday’s 35-13 loss at Miami.

2. Pick Apart the Oakland DB’s – For the second straight week, the Steelers will have a shot to have a big day with their WR’s and TE’s, as the Raiders defensive backfield is banged up. Both starting cornerbacks, Shawntae Spencer (sprained right foot) Ron Bartell (broken shoulder blade) are out. Pat Lee struggled last week, and Steelers receivers should be able to pick on the Raiders all day.

3. No Cheap Points – The Steelers can allow the Raiders to hang around, just like they did in the 2006 fiasco in Oakland, by giving the ball away and allowing the Raiders to have short fields. Carson Palmer is a QB that knows the Steelers very well, going 4-8 against them in his career, but if you give him and his young band of pass catchers short fields to work with, it will give the Raiders the confidence they need to think they can hang.

Prediction – This game reminds of last seasons matchup with the Cardinals. The Steelers are the better team all the way around, but alas it’s a west coast trip, and those can be tricky. Just as the Cowboys about their trip to Seattle last week. All that said, the Raiders have shown me little in the first two weeks, and now they play a Steelers team that looked awfully good last week vs the Jets. Their hope is that the Steelers offense makes a lot of mistakes, and I just can’t see that happening. Oakland needs to rush the ball with success, and need to stop Ben Roethlisberger and those WR’s. Won’t happen. Pittsburgh 28 Oakland 10

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Gridiron Gab Week Three Preview: Pittsburgh at Oakland | NFL - National Football League News Blog

  2. DrGeorge

    September 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Matt, your analysis, predicted score, and spread look about right to me. On paper, this should be an easy Steelers victory. Only we never seem to have easy victories, and the Steelers often struggle out West. Oakland’s secondary weakness plays into our offensive strength, so we should be able to score often. The question is whether our defense can get to Palmer and contain his receivers. I continue to believe our defense is vulnerable to the run, but the Oakland O-line has yet to show it can spring McFadden (similar to the O-line problem we have). So it comes down to a match up of the two passing offenses, and ours is better.

  3. DrGeorge

    September 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Post-game comment: The analysis above was right, except that last sentence was only half right. Instead of the offenses, it came down to a match up of the two defenses, and ours was worse. Notwithstanding the fumbles by Brown and the missed opportunities on offense, when a QB has nearly 400 yards and the team puts up 31 points by the end of the 3rd Qtr, as the Steelers did, that team should win. When a defense gives away 13 points in the 4th and surrenders over 100 yards on the ground — it’s the defense that lost the game, as ours did. Our offense simply can’t score points as fast as our D can give it away.

    This is the price we pay for not starting to rebuild the D two years ago, as I’ve written before. And once again, it was our inability to get to the opposing QB that made the difference. Except for Mundy, the secondary played pretty well. But when you ask any secondary to cover for more than 4 seconds, you’re courting disaster in today’s NFL. Our front seven never did get to Palmer, who is a lame duck if there ever was one. And against the run, Hood and Hampton couldn’t hold the middle. And this was against a Raiders’ offense that isn’t that good. Imagine what will happen when we play someone good.

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