Oakland, CA – A electrifying start for the Raiders. On the first play from scrimmage Terrelle Pryor ran 93-yards for the touchdown. It was the longest run by a quarterback in NFL history and the longest run from scrimmage in Oakland Raiders history. No better way than to come off a bye than with a win.
Oakland beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-18 for the first time since 2002. The Raiders rushed for 182 yards in the first half and established a good lead behind Pryor’s heroic run and Darren McFadden’s two touchdowns. The defense took over the remainder of the game.
“We wanted to get into the game [and] We wanted to give Terrelle a chance to get in the flow of the game,” said Head Coach Dennis Allen. “He did a great job of making the right read and when you execute the play and you read it out properly, you have a chance to get explosive plays. I’m glad he was able to run for 93 yards. That’s pretty fast.”
“When I gashed out I was like alright, he has to block [Troy] Polamau. I was saying that in my head, like Polamau has to get blocked,” said Pryor. “When I was coming around the corner I saw Ryan Clark flying over with Darren on the fake so….I’m going straight up the middle and going to the house. [Rod] Streater did a good job of not holding or anything, no penalty, and it was a great play.”
Terrelle surpassed history, Kordell Stewart rushed for an 80-yard touchdown with the Steelers on December 22, 1996 against the Carolina Panthers. One of his best assets is his ability to run the ball and today he proved that setting the momentum high. McFadden also provided some action to the offense as well rushing for two touchdowns of 7 and 4 yards.
“Being able to see a guy go 93 yards, not many people can do that,” Darren said. “Being able to see him go 93 yards just makes you very happy and you know you have a great quarterback back there.”
Oakland dominated in the first half with a 21-3 lead heading into halftime. Pittsburgh had one field goal for 47-yards by Shaun Suisham before the half. Suisham later missed two field goals from 34 and 32 yards. Ben Roesthlisberger was sacked a total of five times and struggled to find open receivers.
“It’s no secret the impact my missed field goals had on the game,” Shaun said. “We would have won the game if we made my field goals. It’s a tough one to swallow, no choice but to do it. I should have been better today and we lost because of it.”
“We allowed them to control and dictate the flow of the game and how we started really in all three phases,” head coach Mike Tomlin said. “The first 30 minutes of football were poor on our part.”
It was in the second half that the Raiders defense took over. Jacoby Ford fumbled setting up the Steelers first opportunity for a touchdown in the fourth. Roethlisberger found Emmanuel Sanders for a 9-yard pass. That cut Oakland’s lead 21-10. Later in the quarter, Le’Veon Bell’s 2-yard touchdown followed by a 2-point conversion put the Steelers right back in this game with 1:24 left in regulation.
“It was good for everyone’s confidence,” said Khalif Barnes. “Coming back [after] we haven’t played ball in a long time it was just good to come out and strike first and strike fast because the Steelers are a good team.”
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh time ran out in rallying a comeback. The Raiders did a good job in forcing Ben to throw two interceptions in the fourth. With less than a minute remaining Oakland recovered the onside kick and time ran out to end the game. Surprisingly, the Raiders won the game despite gaining one first down and 35 yards on offense during the entire second half.
“We’ve been able to put some wins together and played some really good defensive games,” Charles Woodson said. “I think the guys on this defense and the coaches will still go back and say ‘hey, how can we eliminate the touchdowns?’ If we can do that we’re talking about even being better.”