OAKLAND – The Raiders tied Sunday’s game with the Pittsburgh Steelers late, and seemed set on an overtime duel between Derek Carr and a backup quarterback.
Ben Roethlisberger was out with a foot injury, giving the Raiders a huge leg up in the extra period. The game never reached that point.
The last of Antonio Brown’s 284 receiving yards made sure of that, putting Pittsburgh in position to win it 38-35 with a last-second field goal.
It was the most egregious mistake in a defensive comedy of errors, where the Raiders allowed a franchise-worst 597 yards of offense and broke a pair of cardinal rules. The Raiders didn’t stop the run – DeAngelo Williams had 170 yards and two touchdowns – and they got beat consistently over the top.
They allowed six pass plays over 20 yards, including Brown’s 57-yard back breaker late in the fourth quarter.
That bothered veteran safety Charles Woodson to no end. He was extremely disappointed in his defense, especially a secondary that struggled and sorely missed injured starter TJ Carrie. The offense scored 35 points, and the defense couldn’t make it stand.
“We let the team down,” Woodson said. “When your offense puts up the amount of points they did today, we were the weak link as far as the team is concerned. That’s tough when you’re not carrying your weight.”
There were no silver linings for a unit that failed to get big stops.
A total of 73 points and 1,037 yards were recorded in a shootout between two potent offenses.
“Nobody played any defense out there today. That’s for sure,” Woodson said. “This is the third week straight where they’ve scored more than 30 points. We’ve been letting up late in games and today, we let it get away from us. It’s disheartening to a degree, but we know we can play much better. That’s the positive and the hard thing to swallow. You know you’re better than the effort you put out there today as a defensive unit. We have to find a way to get better in a hurry.”