Raiders Earn Rare Post-Bye Win With 21-18 Victory Over Steelers
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — One breathtaking sprint by Terrelle Pryor shook off any post-bye blues for the Oakland Raiders.
Pryor ran 93 yards on the first play from scrimmage for the longest touchdown run ever by a quarterback and Oakland won following a bye week for the first time since 2002, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-18 Sunday.
Darren McFadden added two touchdown runs and the defense did the rest for the Raiders (3-4), who had been outscored by more than 13 points a game in losing their last 10 games out of the bye.
Ben Roethlisberger struggled against heavy pressure from Oakland’s front, and Shawn Suisham missed two short field goals as Pittsburgh (2-5) squandered any momentum gained during back-to-back wins following an 0-4 start.
The Steelers took advantage by a fumble from Jacoby Ford to get in the end zone on a 9-yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders and cut the deficit to 21-10 early in the fourth quarter. But Roethlisberger also threw an interception and Antonio Brown lost a fumble in the fourth quarter.
Le’Veon Bell’s 2-yard TD run followed by a 2-point conversion run by Sanders cut Oakland’s lead to 21-18 with 1:24 remaining. But the Raiders recovered the onside kick.
The Steelers were hurt by three injuries on their offensive line. Starting left guard Ramon Foster left in the first half with a concussion, his backup Guy Whimper left in the third quarter with an injured left knee, and right guard David DeCastro left in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.
That helped the Raiders get the win despite generating no offense in the second half. Oakland had one first down and 34 yards of offense in the second half.
But a defense that sacked Roethlisberger five times and forced two second-half turnovers did enough to give the Raiders their third home win in as many games with Pryor as the starter this season.
Pryor was far from his best after the first play, completing 10 of 19 passes for 87 yards and two interceptions. He did have his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, finishing with 106 yards on nine carries.
The Steelers gained just 35 yards on the ground, allowing Oakland’s defense to tee off on Roethlisberger. He withstood the pressure to complete 29 of 45 passes for 275 yards but it wasn’t enough.
Pryor set the tone on the first play from scrimmage when he kept the ball on a read-option and used a strong block by Rod Streater on Troy Polamalu to sprint the length of the field. It was the longest run in Raiders history and longest touchdown run by a quarterback.
Oakland dominated the half as Pittsburgh gained 3 fewer yards in the opening two quarters than Pryor had on that one play to open the game.
The Raiders took advantage of a short field after a deflected punt by Rashad Jennings to make it 14-0 on McFadden’s first touchdown run. McFadden’s keeper from 4 yards from the wildcat formation in the closing minutes made it 21-3.
The Raiders survived a pair of interceptions in the half by Pryor, including a late one on a pass that hit receiver Brice Butler in the hands. Pittsburgh failed to capitalize on that gift when Suisham was wide right on a 34-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds for his first miss of the season.
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