The Steelers (6-5) came into this game trying to end their 3-game losing streak. Big Ben missed last week's game due to a concussion, but has recovered from it and is starting against the Raiders today. The Steelers are in a situation that they need to start winning games again. They are in the playoff hunt for a wild card spot, and with a loss they fall at least 2 games back of the two leaders of the wild card race. The Raiders (3-8) have been playing really well lately; despite losing to the Cowboys last week, they did beat a really good Bengals team the previous week.
1st Quarter: The Steelers special teams played really well to start the game; on the kickoff to start the game, Stefan Logan took the kickoff return and returned it 83yds all the way to the Raiders 19yd line. The Steelers would kick a field goal off of the drive. Bruce Gradkowski led the Raiders down the field with clutch throws and got them in field goal range. Sebastian Janikowski would then connect from a 48yd field goal attempt. Both defenses wouldn't allow their opponent to score again in the quarter. The score would be tied at 3 at the end of the 1st quarter.
2nd quarter: Big Ben would lead the Steelers down the field early in the 2nd quarter; he made some big throws including a 27yd pass to Hines Ward and he finished the drive when he hooked up with Santonio Holmes for a 34yd TD pass. The Raiders would score on their next possession; Bruce Gradkowski drove them down the field with some huge throws, especially a 16yd pass to Zack Miller and a 22yd pass to Johnnie Lee Higgins. The Raiders would get a field goal out of the drive to narrow the Steelers lead to 10-6. The Raiders defense wouldn't allow the Steelers to score again; they forced them to punt on one possession, and when the Steelers were driving inside the Raiders 20yd line, Big Ben tried to get it to Hines Ward, but Hiram Eugene intercepted it. The Steelers would lead the Raiders 10-6 at the half.
3rd Quarter: This quarter was mostly defense; the Steelers defense didn't allow the Raiders to score as they forced the Raiders to punt the ball twice. The Raiders defense played just as well; they forced the Steelers to punt once and they y forced a failed conversion on 3rd down on a Steelers drive, then the Steelers missed a long field goal and came a way with no pts.
4th Quarter: The 4th quarter was the direct opposite of the 3rd quarter; this quarter was mainly offense. The Raiders took the lead over the Steelers when Bruce Gradkowski lead them down the field and hooked up with Chaz Schilens for a 17yd TD pass. The Steelers would take the lead on their next drive; Big Ben got the Steelers inside the Raiders 10yd lien when he hooked up with Santonio Holmes for 57yds and then Rashard Mendenhall finished the drive with a 3yd TD run. The Raiders would come right back and score again when Bruce Gradkowski threw a 75yd TD pass to Louis Murphy to take a 20-17 lead. Big Ben would drive the Steelers right down the field with some crucial throws, including a 27yd pass to Heath Miller and a 20yd pass to Santonio Holmes. Big Ben would finished the drive when he threw a 11yd TD strike to Hines Ward to take a 24-20 lead with 1:56 remaining in the game. Bruce Gradkowski would lead the Raiders down the field making big throws; he threw a 17yd pass to Johnnie Lee Higgns, a 19yd pass to Louis Murphy, and a 23yd pass to Louis Murphy. Gradkowski finished the comeback victory when he threw a game -winning 9yd TD pass to Louis Murphy with 0:09 left remaining in the game. The Steelers wouldn't be able to score on their next drive and the Raiders would win the game and hand the Steelers their 4th straight loss in a row. Bruce Gradkowski had a great game; he threw for 308yds and 3Tds, including the game-winning TD with 0:09 remaining in the game.
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