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Thread: Knowing the enemy 5 Questions with Raiders Gab

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    Default Knowing the enemy 5 Questions with Raiders Gab

    Knowing the enemy 5 Questions with Raiders Gab

    November 19th, 2010 Matt Loede Posted in Features

    Here at Steelers Gab, we try to get to know the enemy of who we are playing Sunday. So with that, we present 5 questions with editor Nipral Sihota.

    1. Are the Raiders back? For the first time the team is playing with some attitude, and it seems to finally be paying off in wins.

    The Raiders were back when they benched JaMarcus Russell last year. The team have played hard for Tom Cable, the challenge was no one believed they could win with Russell as their QB.

    2. Its been a revolving door at QB between Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowskiwhere does the position stand for the rest of the year in your eyes?

    Jason Campbell will remain the QB for the remainder of the year IF he continues to find his WRs. The reason he got benched earlier in the year was because he kept checking down to the RBs, hes now being more assertive.

    3. Is Darren McFadden finally living up to the hype of being a first-round pick?

    Hes leading the league in yards from scrimmage per game by 6 yards and is being discussed as an MVP even though hes missed 2 game. Yeah, hes living up the hype. Health will determine his career, when healthy, he is as explosive as Adrian Peterson.

    4. Whats the biggest issue for the Raiders coming to Pittsburgh Sunday?

    As all year, line play. If the OL gives time to Campbell to throw down the seams, plays are avaialble against the Steelers. That will then give them a chance to run later in the game. If the DL gets to Big Ben, they will get a key TO at some point in the game.

    5. Final prediction for the game Sunday

    That the Raiders will cover the spread.

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    Default Re: Knowing the enemy 5 Questions with Raiders Gab

    Streaking Raiders want to keep momentum against Steelers

    By Associated Press

    Even with their worst home loss since 2006 fresh in their minds and an injury list that keeps growing, the Pittsburgh Steelers say they're not headed for another midseason collapse.
    Beating a team that played a significant part in last season's downfall would be a good way to prove it.

    The Oakland Raiders were in last place when they stunned the Steelers at Heinz Field last year, but they'll be looking to keep at least a share of the AFC West lead by earning a fourth straight win Sunday.

    Through the first half of this season, Pittsburgh seemed to show few similarities to the team that lost five in a row in 2009. That slide, however, began after a 6-2 start, the same record the Steelers brought into Sunday night's showdown with New England.

    Pittsburgh (6-3) didn't look anything like a team that could take over sole possession of first place in the AFC North, letting Tom Brady throw for 350 yards in a 39-26 loss.
    The defeat was the Steelers' worst at Heinz Field since falling 31-7 to Baltimore on Dec. 24, 2006.

    "You can't start dredging up things from the past," safety Ryan Clark said. "This is one night, and one night we need to get better from. Obviously, for our defense, it hurts more because we're not used to playing this way. We're not used to giving up yardage the way we did."

    Big days by opposing quarterbacks turned into a theme for the Steelers in last season's second half with safety Troy Polamalu sidelined. However, Pittsburgh has been getting routinely burned in 2010 with the former All-Pro healthy.

    Pittsburgh has allowed 272.6 passing yards per game since Oct. 17, sixth most in the league.
    "We did take a hit. No excuses," cornerback Ike Taylor said. "We have to come back and do what we need to do, feed off of this and make sure it doesn't happen again."

    The performance cost one Steeler his job. Jeff Reed was cut two days after missing a 26-yard field goal -- his seventh miss of the season. The team replaced him with Shaun Suisham.

    The Steelers led or were tied in the fourth quarter of the first four losses during their '09 skid, but in no quarter were they worse than the fourth against the Raiders on Dec. 6. Bruce Gradkowski helped Oakland pile up 223 yards in the final 15 minutes and the Raiders scored three touchdowns in the last 8:21 of a 27-24 victory.

    That was a Raiders team that was more than a two-touchdown underdog heading in at 3-8, but Tom Cable's club is no longer playing spoiler. Oakland (5-4) has won three straight, the latest 23-20 over Kansas City on Nov. 7.

    The Raiders then experienced their best week off in quite a while. Denver's win over the Chiefs lifted Oakland into a tie atop the division, the first time it's been there this late in the season since 2002.

    That was the last time the Raiders won at least four straight, part of a five-game run.
    "People are really going to start talking about us for playoff contention if we do that," safety Mike Mitchell said. "Everything that we've done up to this point is going to come down to what we do Sunday. We just want to keep all that momentum going."

    This time at Heinz Field, they'll have Jason Campbell under center. Cable initially said Pittsburgh native Gradkowski would regain the starting job when he recovered from a shoulder injury, but Campbell has given the offense a boost. He's thrown five touchdowns and one pick while posting a 104.3 passer rating during the winning streak.

    In Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford -- who had 306 all-purpose yards against the Chiefs -- the Raiders certainly have the speed to give the Steelers' secondary trouble again. Additionally, tight end Zach Miller and receiver Louis Murphy -- who caught two touchdowns last season in Pittsburgh -- are expected to return.

    Darren McFadden, averaging 5.4 yards per carry, will be facing a Pittsburgh run defense that gave up 100 yards against New England for the first time since end Aaron Smith was injured.
    Leading tackler Lawrence Timmons has a hip pointer, but is likely to play Sunday.

    Who's healthy on either side could play a big role in what Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers do. Guard Chris Kemoeatu and receiver Hines Ward are expected back for Pittsburgh, while star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and tackle John Henderson are questionable for Oakland.

    The Raiders have surrendered 236.0 yards per game during their winning streak.

    Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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    Default Re: Knowing the enemy 5 Questions with Raiders Gab

    Steelers-Raiders Connections: Several Steelers have ties to the Raiders and the Oakland area. QB Dennis Dixon (San Leandro), S Troy Polamalu (Garden Grove) and DT Chris Hoke (Long Beach) are from California. Running backs coach Kirby Wilson is from Los Angeles and attended Pasadena Community College.

    Raiders with ties to the Steelers or Western Pa. include quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett, who was the head coach at Pitt from 1990-92. QB Bruce Gradkowski attended Seton-LaSalle High in Pittsburgh. LB Bruce Davis was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
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