Paul G's Instant Replay: Raiders 34, Steelers 31

September 24, 2012, 12:02 am
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OAKLAND -- On a day in which Marcus Allen was welcomed back to the Raiders family by lighting the Al Davis flame, the Raiders met an old adversary in the Pittsburgh Steelers.The Raiders also were paid a visit by another welcome guest -- a leaky defense that came through when needed.Sebastian Janikowski drilled a 43-yard field goal as time expired Sunday to beat the Steelers after trailing most of the day. It was rookie coach Dennis Allen's first victory as an NFL head coach.McFadden gets it going, kinda: Darren McFadden entered the game averaging 2.1 yards per carry and all interested were told non-stop that all he needed was to break one run and he'd be back in his comfort zone. Well, early in the first quarter, after an audible at the line by Carson Palmer, McFadden hit it, and 64 yards later he had the second-longest run of his career and a touchdown. Only the 70-yarder he broke last year against the New York Jets was further. Still, on five other carries in the first half, McFadden had all of four yards. He got hot in the second half, though, and finished with 113 yards on 18 carries. It was his 10th career 100-yard rushing game.No pressure, no chance: The Raiders' defensive front four did its duct taped-together cornerbacks no favors as it could get little to no pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, who extended plays with aplomb. And with no sacks, Roethlisberger picked apart the secondary, especially the middle of the field.Hey, a takeaway: The Raiders' first takeaway of the season came in the second quarter, when Desmond Bryant popped Jonathan Dwyer and Joselio Hanson recovered the fumble. It marked the sixth straight season in which Hanson recovered at least one fumble.Fewer penalties: The Raiders did not have a penalty called on them until there was 1:30 left in the third quarter, when Tommy Kelly was flagged for a personal foul for his, ahem involvement in a post-scrum melee on a Steelers touchdown. Oakland finished with three penalties for 25 yards while the Steelers were flagged ten times for 81 yards.Where was the flag here, though?: Darrius Heyward-Bey was knocked unconscious on a helmet-to-helmet hit in the end zone by Ryan Munday and carted off the field. His helmet was removed by medical personnel and there seemed to be no movement, until he raised a thumb to the crowd on his way out. He was taken to Eden Medical Center with a neck injury.What another turnover?: Indeed, as the Steelers drove downfield in the fourth quarter, Pat Lee stripped Antonio Brown. And after the ball plopped around a bit, Philip Wheeler recovered it, with 10:45 to play. The Raiders converted the fumble recovery into points as Sebastian Janikowski's 32-yard field goal tied the score at 31-31 with 6:30 to play.