AN IMPRESSIVE OUTING—Rookie Le’Veon Bell had 93 yards on 19 carries. (AP photo)

A victory over the Oakland Raiders Sunday could put the Steelers back in the hunt for a playoff berth. A victory over the Raiders would make it three wins in a row pulling their record up to 3-4 after their 19-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens last week.

The Raiders are very similar to the Steelers. First of all their records 2-4 are identical, they both are outstanding defensively tied for the second fewest points allowed with 132, and both rank near the bottom in offense even though the Steelers have picked up their production in the past two games.

The Raiders offense is led by young Pittsburgh area native Terrelle Pryor from Jeanette who is in his second year in the NFL and his first year as a starter. He’s hitting 64.5 percent of his passes with a 84.8 QB rating which puts him in the lower level of QBs. As most people in this area know, he’s an excellent runner with more yardages than any of the Steelers backs with 285. Actually he’s also better than any of the Raiders backs because Darren McFadden is their top running back with 267 yards on 69 carries.

This game should be pretty much like the Ravens game, a battle between two rebuilding teams. The Steelers should win pulling them into a second place tie with the Ravens at 3-4, because Baltimore has a bye week.

The Cincinnati Bengals stayed atop the AFC North with another late game victory over the Detroit Lions 27-24 pulling their record up to 5-2. The Cleveland Browns lost to the Green Bay Packers 31-13 to drop 3-4. The Browns play the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs and the Bengals play the hot and cold New York Jets, fresh off their upset of the New England Patriots.

Against the Ravens, the Steelers defense looked much more improved and the offense may finally have a running game. Le’Veon Bell picked up 93 yards on 19 carries. The Steelers are still looking for its first 100 yard rusher this year.

Ben Roethlisberger had an efficient game going 17 of 23 for 160 yards and no turnovers. Antonio Brown continued his Pro-Bowl play with 6 catches for 50 yards. The defense headed by Troy Polamalu and the linebacking corp., had an outstanding game, holding Ray Rice to just 45 yards on 15 carries. And even though Joe Flacco had some impressive throws on the hold he was held in check. He was 24 of 34 for 216 yards.

A win by the Steelers and a loss by the Bengals could put Pittsburgh just one game out of first place.


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