After Sunday’s victory over the New York Jets, the Pittsburgh Steelers will have little time to enjoy the spoils, as the team has to make the cross-country trip to take on the Oakland Raiders (0-2). While the Raiders sit winless on the year, the two teams always seem to play hard-fought contests. This match-up should be no different.Reggie Bush and the Miami Dolphins scorched the Raiders on Sunday.
Now, the Steelers have not set the world on fire in the ground game this season, and even in victory, there was little success in the running game. However, while the stats may not say it, it was a solid effort in the trenches and in the backfield that allowed the Steelers to grind out the victory. Jonathan Dwyer again led the way with 28 yards on 12 carries and Isaac Redman finished with 25 yards on 12 carries and the one touchdown.
On the season, Dwyer leads the team with 71 yards on 21 carries (3.4 YPC) and has added three receptions for another 23 yards. Yes, those numbers are not earth-shattering, but for a team that struggles to consistently run the ball, they are solid. They are also numbers that should give Dwyer more carries moving forward as he has come into his own in 2012, demonstrating the dynamic combination of size, speed and power that made him an intriguing prospect out of Georgia Tech.
This is not taking anything away from Redman, who is a bull between the tackles and runs with a purpose. Overall, he is a hard-nosed back, but he lacks the home run ability of Dwyer (or Rashard Mendenhall).
Of course, the Steelers really cannot go wrong with this two-headed monster against the Raiders. If it does work out as they did against the Jets, where the backs complimented the offense just enough to be dangerous, the Steelers could pull out another victory. If it does not, it could make things even tougher for the offense moving forward.
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