Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, right, shakes hands with Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie before an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
The Steelers find themselves on a mini win streak of two games. They’d love to extend that streak to 3 and keep things rolling.
A trip to Oakland is up next and historically the Black and Gold have not fared well there.
Being that it’s Halloween week, you can bet the crazies will be out in full force wearing Silver and Black.
Will the Steelers have enough in them to put up a third straight win or will history repeat itself?
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
1. They will need to stop Darren McFadden. McFadden torched the Steelers defense last year and he’ll look to do it again this go round. The linebackers will need to stuff him at the line or shortly after or he’ll have a field day all over again.
2. LeVeon Bell needs to run the way he did against the Ravens. If he can put up another 90 yard day or more, this offense will be able to open up the play action pass and move the ball downfield. They’ll also have the luxury of controlling the clock if he can duplicate that performance.
3. The team must play mistake free football. Last year late turnovers and stupid penalties cost the team in this game. They can’t have that happen again. Protecting the football against bad teams is paramount.
4. The defense can’t let Terrelle Pryor gain confidence. He’s a young QB in his first year starting, if he moves the ball on these guys, he’ll believe he can play with the big bad Steelers. The Black and Gold need to squash that notion immediately.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) gestures while warming up before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
The offensive line. They’ve improved over the past few weeks. Will they continue to get better and gain more confidence or will they slide back to the form that helped lose the first four games?
2. Troy Polamalu. Simply put, he’s been amazing this year and it’s just fun to see what he’ll do next?
3. Big Ben. He’s traditionally struggled against Oakland. How will he respond and what type of leadership will he bring to this team if they get down early in a hostile environment?
4. The Oakland Crowd. They are lunatics week in and week out with their crazy costumes and whacky antics. Add the fact that this is the last game before Halloween and we may truly see just how crazy Silver and Black fans can get.
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.