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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Oakland Raiders Shock Pittsburgh Steelers 20 to 13; Win Two In A Row - NFL.com

Raiders KO defending champs 20-13

NFL.com wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. (Oct. 29, 2006) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers might have been better off if Big Ben sat out this game.

Chris Carr returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, Nnamdi Asomugha also took back an interception by Ben Roethlisberger for a score and the Oakland Raiders mounted a late goal-line stand to hold on for a 20-13 victory over Pittsburgh.

Roethlisberger, playing a week after being knocked out with a concussion against Atlanta, struggled from the start against the Raiders (2-5). He threw interceptions on two of Pittsburgh's first three possessions and then twice again in the fourth quarter when the Steelers (2-5) were driving for a potential tying score.

Oakland won back-to-back games for the first time since last October and handed the defending Super Bowl champions their fifth loss in six games.

Pittsburgh still had a chance after the two late interceptions, getting a first-and-goal at the 1 trailing 20-13 with about three minutes left.

But Robert Thomas stuffed Willie Parker on first-and-goal and hit Najeh Davenport for a 4-yard loss on second down. After a false start by Davenport put the ball at the 10, Roethlisberger completed a 7-yard pass to Hines Ward.

On fourth down, Kirk Morrison broke up Roethlisberger's pass to Santonio Holmes in the end zone.

After the Steelers forced a punt, Pittsburgh had one last-ditch chance. Roethlisberger completed a 49-yard pass to Nate Washington down to the Oakland 4 on the final play.

The Steelers had their chances in this one.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Morrison made a leaping interception on a pass from Roethlisberger to Ward on fourth-and-1 from the Oakland 36.

Trailing 13-6, Pittsburgh drove to the Oakland 7 before Roethlisberger threw a pass over the middle that Carr stepped in front of at the goal line and raced the length of the field for the score that made it 20-6.

Oakland's pass defense lived up to its No. 1 ranking, which had been achieved in large part because the Raiders trailed so often early in the season opponents didn't need to pass.

But along with the four interceptions, Oakland also sacked Roethlisberger five times and allowed Pittsburgh's receivers little room to operate until after the Raiders went up 20-6. Willie Parker caught a 25-yard TD pass from Roethlisberger on the next drive.

Roethlisberger finished 25-for-37 for 301 yards, but most of the damage came after Pittsburgh fell behind 20-6.

The Steelers did their best impression of the Raiders by committing four turnovers and four personal fouls. Pittsburgh is in danger of being unable to defend their title in the playoffs, falling three games behind Baltimore in the AFC North.

The 2006 debut of last year's leading receiver Jerry Porter did little to help Oakland's anemic offense. The Raiders managed just 98 yards, giving up six sacks and failing to score on offensive touchdown as they once again struggled to block a blitzing opponent.

Porter, inactive the first four games and suspended the last two as part of a long-running feud with coach Art Shell, came in on Oakland's first play of the second quarter. He caught a 19-yard pass in the final minute of the half to set up Sebastian Janikowski's 19-yard field goal that made it 10-6 at the break.

Oakland's other score in the half came on Asomugha's 24-yard interception return.

Oakland's leading rusher LaMont Jordan played sparingly with a sore back and Justin Fargas led the rushing attack with 55 yards on 18 carries.


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