Raiders get defensive

The Oakland Raiders are on their first two-game win streak in almost a year, and they have their defense to thank for it.

The Raiders got defensive touchdowns on a 24-yard interception return by Nnamdi Asomugha and a 100-yard return by Chris Carr, and used a goal line stand in the last three minutes to secure a 20-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at McAfee Coliseum.

Oakland is 2-5, having won back-to-back games for the first time since beating Buffalo and Tennessee in back-to-back weeks six and seven last season.

And while the Raiders were ecstatic about having taken the defending Super Bowl champions down another peg -- the Steelers are also 2-5 -- they surely understand this kind of defensive effort is one that isn't likely to be duplicated any time soon.

"I thought our defense was magnificent throughout the football game," coach Art Shell said. "They kept pressure on the quarterback, they kept working to shut the run down. They got turnovers. They played as good as any defense could play in this league."

Oakland pressured Ben Roethlisberger relentlessly, sacking him five times. They intercepted four passes, giving them 10 for the season after getting an all-time low of five in 16 games in 2005.

Derrick Burgess applied the most pressure with 2.5 sacks and several hurries of Roethlisberger.

The Steelers rushed for just 89 yards on 28 carries, just 3.2 per attempt. And 39 of those came on a single carry by Willie Parker, with Pittsburgh getting just 50 yards on its other 27 runs from scrimmage.

Roethlisberger passed for 301 yards, but 49 of those came on a desperation heave to Nate Washington at the 4-yard line as time expired. And while the Steelers had 360 yards of offense, it was only because the Raiders' offense was missing in action.

Oakland had just 98 yards of total offense, their second lowest output since 1970 and the fewest in a win.

Quarterback Andrew Walter was 5-for-14 for 51 yards, and had one interception thrown into triple coverage. One week after the Raiders were 13-for-20 against Arizona on third down conversions, they were 1-for-11 against Pittsburgh and allowed the Steelers to run up a 35:30 to 24:30 advantage in time of possession.

"I'm pretty disgusted," Walter said. "It was one of those games where you didn't want to screw it up for (the defense)."

"We didn't operate on all cylinders," Shell said. "Our defense and special teams played very well and on offense we'll have to continue to improve."

Walter didn't get much help from his receivers, in particular wide receiver Randy Moss, who had two drops, and tight end Courtney Anderson, who had a tough-but-catchable ball sail through his hands in the end zone.

Wide receiver Jerry Porter, reinstated by a settlement between the NFL Players Association and the management council, was active for the first time this season and caught one pass for 19 yards.

With the win in the bank, the defense was willing to overlook it.

"The thing about our defense, we like that type of stuff," Asomugha said. "We welcome it because we think we're that good that we can stop any team."


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