Raiders

Steelers Trounce Raiders -- Rivalry Revived

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Steelers Trounce Raiders -- Rivalry Revived

Nov. 21, 2010

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PITTSBURGH(AP) The Steelers returned to the Steel Curtain days of the 1970s. TheRaiders went back to the bad old days of the last seven years.There were punches and penalties, aSteelers defense that wouldn't stop and a Raiders offense that couldn'tget started. One week after getting embarrassed by the Patriots, a yearafter losing to Oakland, James Harrison and the Steelers tossed aroundthe Raiders like it was a playground pickup game while beating them35-3 on Sunday.Raiders defensive end Richard Seymourpunched Ben Roethlisberger in the jaw with an open hand, but theSteelers never flinched. They shrugged off a club-record 163 yards inpenalties, chased a bewildered quarterback Jason Campbell from the gameand punished the Raiders like the Steel Curtain teams of the '70s didso many opponents.The Steelers (7-3), still tied withBaltimore for the AFC North lead, were motivated by last week's 39-26home-field loss to New England and last year's 27-24 defeat to Oaklandthat all but ruined their season."It definitely was an old school,physical type game from back in the day," linebacker James Farriorsaid. "That's the type of game we wanted to make it, a physical game,and improve from our performance of last week."Harrison, the former AP NFL DefensivePlayer of the Year, did much of the damage with five tackles, twosacks, an interception and a forced fumble. He also took one of theSteelers' six personal foul penalties for slamming Campbell to the turfas the quarterback threw a pass."We didn't worry about the calls," Harrison said. "When you're getting a lot of penalties against you, it brings you together."Seymour, long one of the NFL's topdefensive players, displayed Oakland's frustration by strikingRoethlisberger in the face as the quarterback celebrated his TD pass toSanders late in the second quarter."I've never seen a quarterback get punched since I've been in this league," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.Several Raiders were certain Roethlisberger said something to Seymour."I'm not sure why he ran up on me," Seymour said."I heard that Big Ben said something," defensive lineman Tommy Kelly said. "I guess Big Rich didn't like it."What the Raiders (5-5) most dislikedwas getting shoved around like the Raiders teams that lost at least 11games each season from 2003-09. Oakland fell out of a tie for the AFCWest lead as Kansas City (6-4) beat Arizona 31-13.Oakland averaged 458 yards and 38.6points during its three-game winning streak, but had only 52 yards - 11rushing - as the Steelers opened a 21-3 halftime lead."We played against a really toughdefense today that got after us," said Campbell, who was 7 of 19 for 70yards and an interception. "Once we got behind the 8-ball and they gotall the momentum, they just kept bringing it and bringing it."Campbell never had a chance againsta Steelers defense that forced three turnovers, two that becametouchdowns, had six sacks and limited Darren McFadden to 14 yards on 10carries, 94 below his average. The Steelers have allowed only one100-yard rusher in 44 games.The Raiders were so ineffective, theSteelers had more penalty yards than they had offensive yards untildeep in the third quarter. The Steelers outgained them 431-182 asRoethlisberger threw touchdown passes of 52 yards to Mike Wallace, 22yards to Emmanuel Sanders and 16 yards to Isaac Redman and scrambled 16yards for a touchdown."I don't know how a team can overcome that many penalties, but we did it," Sanders said.Roethlisberger was 18 of 29 for 275yards and had 55 yards rushing. Wallace had his fifth 100-yardreceiving game with 116 yards, and Rashard Mendenhall's 15-yard TD runput Pittsburgh ahead to stay 7-3 in the second quarter.Bruce Gradkowski, who threw threetouchdown passes during the final 8 12 minutes of Oakland's stunningwin in Pittsburgh last season, replaced Campbell but also couldn't getanything going.While the penalties didn't affectPittsburgh's domination, the many calls inflamed their fans. TheHarrison penalty so upset the crowd of 64,987 that it booed for theensuing three plays, and fans began a derisive cheer aimed at refereeTony Corrente."Their defensive guys were hittingour offensive guys and there were no penalties," Harrison said. "Ibelieve if it happened the other way, there would have been a lot morepenalties called and maybe they would have kicked five or six of us outof game."Notes: Oakland had 55 yards inpenalties. ... Oakland's other defensive end, Trevor Scott, tore theACL in his left knee, usually a season-ending injury. ... Steelers CMaurkice Pouncey was pulled in the second half with a thigh injury. ...WR Hines Ward made three catches for 28 yards a week after a concussionsidelined him for the final three quarters against New England, endinghis streak of 186 consecutive games with a reception. ... Oakland stillhasn't won in Pittsburgh in successive seasons. ... Pittsburgh didn'tallow a point in the second half after giving up 29 to New England. ...Shaun Suisham, the Steelers' new kicker, didn't attempt a field goal.

Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain

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Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Raiders are remarkably healthy heading into Sunday night’s game against the Washington football club.

The entire 53-man roster practiced fully on Friday, before heading to the nation’s capital.

That includes veteran cornerback Sean Smith, who missed the previous game with a neck injury. A shoulder ailment cropped up during the week, which prompted the Raiders to label him questionable heading into Week 3. Smith’s the only Raider on the injury report, and even he’s in decent shape.

“I mean we put it on there because there’s still a little bit of a question,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “You don’t have probable’s anymore. Given the choices, I just left him that way.”

That means the Raiders are going to have some healthy scratches a week after Smith was the only injured player sitting out.

Washington has some impact players on the mend. That included tight end Jordan Reed, who is questionable with a rib/sternum injury. He stands 6-foot-2, 246 pounds and is the type of receiving tight end that gives the Raiders fits. He has 1,638 yards 17 touchdowns the last two seasons, using good hands and a large frame to create mismatches in the secondary.

It’ll be key for the Raiders to defend him well if he’s active, with Nicholas Morrow as a primary coverage option.

“We’re prepared to face him,” Del Rio said. “We think he’s a good player. We’ll approach it that way and adjust if he doesn’t go.”

Washington also lists starting inside linebacker Mason Foster and running back Rob Kelley as questionable.

Raiders Injury Report
Questionable
CB Sean Smith (neck/shoulder)

Washington Injury Report
Questionable

TE Jordan Reed (rib/sternum), LB Mason Foster (shoulder), RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Monate Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder)

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Raiders safety Karl Joseph notched his first career forced fumble in Week 2’s blowout victory over the New York Jets. It came on his first sack, where he bent around a tackle into the pocket and devoured his pray.

Joseph recovered the ball, and the Raiders quickly scored a touchdown. The second-year pro enjoyed that moment, but left the game with regrets.

"I should have definitely had more sacks than I did,” Joseph said. “I feel like I should have had three.”

Joseph had quarterback Josh McCown in the crosshairs three times, and feels like he should’ve finished each one. The game plan provided opportunity. Joseph blitzed six times – fellow safety Reggie Nelson attacked thrice – and pressured the quarterback four times.

It was a relatively new responsibility, considering he blitzed nine times all last year. Joseph will be first to say he was a different player then. He was less explosive, more tentative and a smidge less confident, lingering effects from an ACL tear during his final college season. Joseph was cleared to play as a rookie but wasn’t all the way back, doubly hampered by missing an offseason program where rookies grow quick.

"I wasn’t completely myself,” Joseph said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports California. “I feel a lot more like myself this year. I obviously feel better physically, and the year of experience in the system has definitely helped. So has adjusting to the NFL life. That’s been an easier transition for me.”

Joseph is playing more like his highlight reel from West Virginia, where he proved a heavy hitter and a solid cover man worthy of last year’s No. 14 overall draft pick. The Jets game isn’t the only evidence of that.

Joseph had an excellent training camp, flashing an aggressive style and solid timing making plays in practice. That translated to the regular-season opener at Tennessee, when he saved a touchdown on consecutive plays. The first came on an open-field tackle. The second was a leaping pass breakup in the end zone, proof positive that Joseph was ready to make a big impact.

"He’s really good close to the line of scrimmage,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. "He’s a really good tackler in the open field. He also plays well on the back end. I think his development is right on time right now.”

The Raiders recognize that, and are using him like a queen on the chessboard. He can move back or forward, as an attacker or the last line of defense. He’s a rover at times, with an ability to create havoc at all levels of the defense.

Joseph is an excellent fit for the defensive scheme, bring a tone-setting physicality to the secondary. He is learning, as part of his development, that the nuclear option isn’t always best. There are times when it is, and Joseph enters those scenarios without fear.

"You can’t play worried about getting hurt. That’s not the way I play,” Joseph said. “It’s about being smart. I had to adjust my game coming into the NFL. Every hit can’t be a big hit. Sometimes you have to be smart and just wrap people up, but you can’t ever play scared.”

He isn’t afraid to take risks or attack when asked, and is already making a major impact on this year’s defense. That isn’t a surprise. It’s expected of first-round picks.

"That’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s supposed to make plays,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s a guy we selected because we thought he’d be a guy that could come in and impact on our defense. In the first two games of this year he’s played well. There are still things, like I tell you all the time, that have cleaning up to do, work to do, things to improve on, but he’s off to a good start and obviously it follows up from a good offseason. Healthy, a lot of good work and confidence that he’s gaining as we go.”