Reed's field goal boots Raiders

The Oakland Raiders rose off the canvas from an early deficit but are still winless in their last 10 road games after falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-21 on Jeff Reed's 42-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the game.

The Oakland Raiders fell behind 14-0 in the first half but tied the game at 21-all with 4:51 left in the game. Faced with fourth-and-12 at the Steeler 37 with no time outs left, Gannon hit Alvis Whitted for a 37-yard score. The ball was a little far as Whitted bobbled it but held it for the score. Gannon hit a wide-open Whitted for two-point conversion. The Raiders had to go against punting and subsequently for the two-point conversion since they were out of time outs.

Pittsburgh got the ball back and drove from its 22 to the Raider 24 and Reed banged his game-winning field goal through the uprights.

The Steelers three touchdown drives had a similar theme with free agent acquisition Duce Staley (23 carries, 91 yards) doing the setup work and long-time featured back Jerome Bettis finishing each one with 1-yard scores.

Third down defense reared its ugly head on the opening drive for Oakland, which hosts Buffalo Sunday, that saw the Steelers march 67 yards on 17 plays. Pittsburgh converted five third down conversions on the opening march which Bettis capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run. Ironically, Pittsburgh scored only one time on its first series in a 6-10 season in 2003.

Oakland drove to the Pittsburgh 33 early in the second quarter but linebacker Clark Haggans stripped quarterback Rich Gannon of the ball. Defensive end Aaron Smith returned the fumble 50 yards to the Raider 20. Oakland's first-year head coach Norv Turner challenged that Gannon's arm was going forward but it was not overturned. The Raiders challenged two calls on the Steelers first scoring drive and were out of challenges, so, by rule, the they had to remove all replay equipment for the remainder of the game. Bettis later scored easily behind left guard Alan Faneca and Pittsburgh led 14-0 at the 11:08 mark of the second quarter.

The Raiders struck with the big play late in the second quarter when Gannon pump-faked to freeze the safety and fired a 58-yard touchdown to a wide open Doug Gabriel. Oakland halved the lead to 14-7 with 1:37 left in the half.

On its first series of the second half, Oakland drove from its 23 to the Pittsburgh 10 before the drive stalled. Sebastian Janikowski then banged a 28-yard field goal through the uprights, making it 14-10 Steelers at the 8:17 mark of the third period.

Pittsburgh then stretched the lead to 21-10 with 3:12 left in the period when Bettis scored again from 1-yard out. The score was set up by a Tommy Maddox to Hines Ward 39-yard completion to the Raider 21.

The Raiders then got a little closer when linebacker Travian Smith recovered a Maddox fumble at the Oakland 47. Eight plays later, Janikowski hit a 38-yard field goal with 10:32 left in the game, making it 21-13 Pittsburgh.


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