The Pittsburgh Steelers came into Oakland on Sunday with hopes of beginning a winning streak and begin putting pressure on the rest of the AFC North in the hunt for the division. That streak and any chance at the playoffs dashed away when Terrell Pryor dashed for a 93 yard touchdown on the very first play from scrimmage. The Steelers have historically struggled on the West Coast and in the Black Hole of the Raiders’ home turf. It wasn’t a pretty game and full of ugly, so let’s get at it.
Jarvis Jones: Jones returned after suffering concussion like symptoms last week, and while he only recorded an assist on a tackle, his presence impacted the defensive side of the ball. Jones gained the edge on several occasions and put pressure on an equally young Terrell Pryor. Jones’ best moment came when he rushed inside on the tackle and found himself a few strides away from Pryor. Pryor felt the pressure and rushed his throw which caused Pryor to throw his second interception. It’s good to see that Jones continues to have a presence during games. It always seems that whenever Jones is on the field, the defense is just a bit better and ‘things’ tend to happen. Amazing what can happen when your defensive coordinator starts a rookie…. While the season is close to all but lost, seeing this kid develop will be a bright spot for Steeler Nation.
First Fumble Recovery & Turnover Battle: It took 27 quarters of the 2013 season, but the Steelers defense finally landed on the loose ball and recovered a fumble early in the 4th quarter. The fumble led to great field position and laid the table for a Roethlisberger to Sanders hookup for a touchdown that closed the gap to 11 with plenty of time left in the game. Congrats to Timmons on gobbling up the ball and checking off yet another achievement off the Steelers ‘Things Every Team Has Done Already’ Bucket List. The Steelers also had two interceptions on the day – one from Polamalu (welcome to 2013) and another from Timmons who, other than a few missed tackles on Sunday, had a very good day (and season thus far). Being +2 in the turnover ratio is very good, but not capitalizing in big way off those turnovers are just killer.