What happened in Oakland in the first 19 seconds last Sunday, when Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor faked a handoff to Darren McFadden, when LaMarr Woodley instructively crashed from his left outside linebacker position, when right guard Mike Brisiel pulled and linebacker Lawrence Timmons and safety Ryan Clark followed, when Troy Polamalu couldn’t escape the block of wide receiver Rod Streater, when Pryor ran through a hole 17 yards wide and sprinted 93 yards untouched for the longest run ever by an NFL quarterback, should not really have come as a surprise. This was history revisited for the Steelers, something that has occurred too often in seasons of disrepair when big plays and bad losses conspire to produce a non-playoff year. It happened in 2009, it happened in 2012 and, after seven games of this season of historically bad proportion, it is happening again, right in front of their disbelieving eyes. Disturbing and stunning as it was, Pryor’s record run was merely a reminder of similar big plays that have turned recent seasons sour. After two futile series and six plays that gained 4 yards, the Steelers fell further behind to the Raiders, 14-0, with 71⁄2 minutes remaining in the first quarter. They were on their way to a 21-3 halftime deficit and an eventual 21-18 defeat to a team that had only two victories and had not won following an off week since 2002. Three weeks earlier, against a winless team that was playing without its starting quarterback, the Steelers lost to the Minnesota Vikings, 34-27, in London after falling behind, 17-7, in the second quarter. That deficit was created by a 70-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings and a 60-yard touchdown run by Adrian Peterson.
Big plays, surprising losses a toxic pattern for Steelers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Nov 3