The Steelers haven't fared well playing on the west coast - they haven't beat the Raiders in Oakland since 1995 and they haven't won a game on the west coast since 2005. That streak can end today despite the trend and the Steelers track record this season.
Le'Veon Bell showed patience playing against the Ravens - which paid off in 93 yards rushing on 19 carries against the Ravens last week. Now that he's back and healthy, his speed and quickness, along with waiting for the gaps to appear prove that the Steelers running game is alive and well.
The Oline helped. Despite the awful first 6 games, the Oline did better at protecting Ben and allowed the sputtering offense to turn a corner. Finding Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown this week will balance out the run game for the Steelers. And even though Derek Moye dropped a clear TD in the endzone last week, I expect him to bounce back and start developing his role in the Steelers receiving corps.
The Steelers defense will have to watch out for Darren McFadden who anxiously awaits playing a physical defense. He's a straight runner who will come at you, tough and physical. But he's not the only runner the Steelers need to be concerned with. Terrelle Pryor is also a dangerous option runner. The Steelers have some experience playing against this type of offense when they successfully handled the Redskins and RGIII last year, but this is a different year and they need to not allow any big plays by Pryor. The defensive ends and linebackers need to be on alert and do their jobs and then some today to contain the Raiders.
I expect Woodley and Timmons, along with Troy and Ryan Clark to be disruptive on defense today. The key to winning, takeaways.
One week at a time.