The last time these two teams met was in 2006. The Steelers were coming off a Super Bowl win. Ben threw 4 interceptions in which two was returned for touchdowns, and the Raiders defeated the Steelers 20-13.
This year the Steelers are coming off a Super Bowl win. The Pittsburgh Steelers are (6-5) and are in a must win game against the (3-8) Oakland Raiders. The Steelers are riding a three game losing streak since starting (6-2) and desperately need a win to stay in the hunt for the wildcard.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are expecting Ben "Big Ben" Roethlisberger to return to the lineup after suffering a concussion in their overtime lost to the Chiefs in week 11. Chris Kemoeatu is also expected to return to the lineup as he participated fully in practice all week.
Troy Polamalu and Charlie Batch are out indefinately, and Travis Kirschke is listed as doubtful as he didn't participate in practice.
With the absence of Polamalu the Steelers defense has struggled and gave up 4th quarter leagues in back to back games. With Polamalu in the lineup the Steelers are (4-1), without their (2-4).
Steelers Keys to Victory:
- Run the football
The Raiders defense ranks 31st in the league, if we get Mendallhall some carries we should be able to negate the clock and run all over the Raiders defense.
- Protect the ball
On this three game losing streak the Steelers have made many costly turnovers. The Steelers turned the ball over 5 times in the last three games. If the Steelers can stay away from turnovers they have a chance at winning the game.
- Force Turnovers
With Polamalu in the lineup the Steelers has forced 13 turnover in 5 games. In his absence the Steelers forced 8 turnovers in 6 games. If the Steelers force turnovers they will most likely win the game.
- NO returns
Before their Monday Night game against the Ravens the Steelers gave up 8 straight returns. If their Special Teams can keep the Raiders out of the end zone the Steelers will win.