TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers
Oakland Raiders
(credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The Steelers may be starting to turn things around. They have won two games in a row after starting the season with four straight losses. One of the reasons for the turnaround is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. While his numbers are not elite, Roethlisberger is healthy at midseason for the first time in a couple of years. Roethlisberger can shake off tacklers, step out of trouble and find the open receiver.
The Raiders probably will not win a lot of games this year, but they are a competitive team that is competing hard and giving itself a chance to win. At the center of this new attitude is quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who combines first-rate athleticism with improving passing skills. Pryor has completed 64.5 percent of his throws and throws well on the run.
Offense
Winner The Steelers would like to get some more out of their running game, and they are hoping that Le’Veon Bell can provide it. He had a solid 93-yard performance against the Ravens in Week Seven and that could be his jumping-off point. Wide receiver Antonio Brown is having a solid year with 47 catches for 548 yards. Emmanuel Sanders has caught 24 passes, but he is not a gamebreaker.
Winner The Raiders have struggled on offense as they rank 25th in yards per game. However, they do have talent on their side. Running back Darren McFadden is not a star, but he is a capable back who has rushed 267 yards and is averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Denarius Moore is the Raiders’ best receiving threat, as he has caught 25 passes for 399 yards with four touchdowns.
Defense
Winner The Steelers are coming back to form on the defensive side of the ball after some ordinary efforts early in the season. They rank sixth in total defense and nobody is working harder or playing more effectively than inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who has 51 tackles and five passes defensed. Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley leads the Steelers with 5.0 sacks.
The Raiders are working hard on defense and they have the 12th ranked unit in the league. Former Chicago Bear Nick Roach is doing an outstanding job at middle linebacker. He leads the team with 45 tackles. Outside linebacker Kevin Burnett is right behind with 43 tackles, and he also has two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Special Teams
Winner The Steelers have done a decent job with their coverage teams, but they don’t appear to have any significant threats when they return punts or kickoffs. Shaun Suisham is having a remarkable year, as he has made 14-of-14 FG attempts. Punter Zoltan Mesko has been a disappointment.
Winner The Raiders have not allowed a punt return of longer than 23 yards all season. Sebastian Janikowski may have the strongest leg in the league, but he has lost much of his accuracy. He has made 7-of-11 FG attempts, and his .636 percentage is the worst in the league.

The Winner Is

(credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Winner Pittsburgh Steelers
4 out of 4

The Raiders are catching the Steelers at the wrong time. They are getting better and they have the momentum that comes with back-to-back wins. If Roethlisberger remains healthy, they should survive this West Coast trip.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks to throw a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to pass in the second half against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots

    The Steelers and Patriots meet in Foxboro for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  2. ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 14:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at the Georgia Dome on January 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Conference Championship Tale: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

    Two MVP candidates at quarterback meet up in Atlanta for the right to go to Super Bowl LI in Houston.

  3. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Sacramento

Get Our App
Get The CBS Sacramento Weather AppGet the latest radar, CBS13 AppCasts and hour-by-hour forecasts. You can also send your weather pics.
Follow Us On Facebook

Listen Live