The Pittsburgh Steelers will take their encore following a sharp 27-10 Week Two win over the New York Jets with a road test against the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Pittsburgh is a 4 1/2-point road favorite against the reeling Raiders in the NFL odds.
The Steelers, who were coming off a road loss to the Denver Broncos in Week One, rebounded nicely against the Jets. Following a competitive 30 minutes, Pittsburgh dominated the second half against New York. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for two touchdowns while the Steelers defense dropped a choke-hold on the Jets attack, despite being without a pair of former NFL Defensive Players of the Year—James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. Quarterback Mark Sanchez and company were shut out in the second half and the Steelers’ offense managed to impose their will on the Jets when executing a game-clinching touchdown drive that finished with 3:34 on the clock.
Pittsburgh certainly appears in fine form heading into their Week Three tilt with the Raiders. On the flip side of that coin, Oakland looks as dysfunctional as ever. Not a lot has seemed to change in the post-Al Davis era. New head coach Dennis Allen contiued the Raiders’ tradition of hiring young head coaches, but unfortunately most of those hires (with Jon Gruden being an exception) have been misses.
Roethlisberger appears to have picked up new offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s system just fine. He spread the ball against the Jets, as his 24 completions were made to 10 different receivers. Wide receivers Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace paced the Steelers air attack. Brown caught seven balls for 79 yards and Wallace added five receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown.
The Steeler will have to continue to deal with several key injuries this week. Rashard Mendenhal, who is recovering from a torn ACL, is questionable against the Raiders. Polamalu and Harrison may also miss another week of action.