By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA – You can blame it on the replacement referees, no flag on the play caused boo’s throughout the sold out stadium. Either way you look at it, a player was carted off the field and taken to the hospital for his injuries. It’s always a bad feeling when that happens.
The Raiders dramatic 34-31win over the Pittsburgh Steelers was right on time after losing their star wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey. A helmet to helmet hit knocked him unconscious early in the fourth. He was taken to Eden Medical Center for further evaluation for a neck injury.
“You put a lot of hard work, blood seat and tears into trying to build a championship team, and one one of your guys goes down, especially in a situation like that, it’s hard to keep your focus,” coach Dennis Allen said.
The focus became very clear for Oakland, Palmer made a complete pass for the 6-yard touchdown to Denarius Moore and cut the lead to 3. Then cornerback Pat Lee forced a fumble by Steelers Antonio Brown that Philip Wheeler recovered. Carson then led the offense down field to set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 32-yard field goal to tie the game.
It was the Raider’s defense that turned the tables and held Pittsburgh’s offense and Oakland got the ball back at the 2-minute warning. Palmer found both Brandon Myers and Derek Hagan for a 24-yard and 17-yard pass to bring the offense within field goal range. With 27 seconds left, Janikowski kicked the winning field goal for their first win.
“They outplayed us defensively,” said Steelers safety Ryan Clark. “Their defense made the stops when they needed to, and we didn’t. It wasn’t from a lack of trying. Maybe it was from trying too hard.”
Ben Roethlisberger finished 36 for 49 for 385 yards. He threw two touchdown passes to Heath Miller in the first quarter, Mike Wallace in the third and Brown. But he struggled in leading the offense into the end zone in the final minutes.
It wasn’t the best start for the Raiders offense as Carson threw an interception on the first play of the game. That resulted in a 4-yard touchdown for the Pittsburgh.
Oakland responded with a 64-yard touchdown by Darren McFadden to tie the game. That play took 80-yards, 3 play and 1 minute which is progress for the Raiders offense. The Steelers scored another touchdown to take the lead and Oakland tied the game again.
Joselio Hanson recovered a fumble by Jonathan Dwyer. Palmer then found Heyward-Bey for the touchdown. The back and forth between both teams was what made the game exciting. However, only one team came away with the win.
“It feels good when you have to claw your way back and fight to get the win,” Richard Seymour said. “You hit it long enough, it’s going to break open. I think it’s a real confidence booster for everybody.”
The Raiders defense played a huge part in the fourth to keep Pittsburgh from scoring like they did in the first half. A touchdown and two kicked field goals capped off a disappointing start in the fourth after losing Darrius. Carson went 24 for 34 for 209 yards and over came his error in the first quarter.
“For us to see him give the thumbs up, knowing he was all right gave us more momentum,” said WR Derek Hagan. “That really uplifted us and we came out on top.”