The Pittsburgh Steelers take a 14-10 lead into the second half, getting the ball to start the third quarter, but it took them nearly all of the first 30 minutes to get there. After the defense surrendered an opening-drive touchdown, the Steelers responded with a touchdown drive of their own, capped off by a Stevan Ridley run.
The Raiders came back with a field goal, but Chris Boswell missed his response attempt. At the end of the half, Ben Roethlisberger connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster for the go-ahead score on a badly-thrown ball.
After taking a hard sack in the first half, Roethlisberger began the half in the locker room, with Joshua Dobbs coming in. Jaylen Samuels was given the carry to start their opening drive for five yards. Dobbs scrambled for the first down a play later. The Raiders were penalized for hitting him late out of bounds.
At midfield, Samuels found some space up the right sideline for nine yards with good blocking upfront. Jesse James was flagged for holding on second down, however, knocking it back to second and 10. Dobbs threw behind Smith-Schuster on a crossing route. Now third down, the second-year quarterback looked for James Washington, but the pass was broken up by Daryl Worley.
Following a holding penalty, Bud Dupree was able to get to Derek Carr for his fifth sack of the season and the Steelers’ second of the game. The Raiders eventually settled for a punt, Ryan Switzer returning the to about the 40.
Dobbs threw a high bullet to Smith-Schuster on the first play of the following drive near midfield as Roethlisberger re-entered the sideline. From the 49, Samuels was stopped following a one-yard run. He was able to break a couple of tackles for seven on a short reception to make it third and three. He got the handoff on third down and made a great effort to get close to the sticks, but short. Now fourth and one following a Steelers timeout, Stevan Ridley checked in. Dobbs ran play action, throwing to Vance McDonald, who was tackled at the line of scrimmage for a big turnover on downs.
Taking over at their own 42, the Raiders looked downfield for Jared Cook with T.J. Watt in coverage, incomplete, but a hold negated the play anyway. Now first and 20, a quick pass to Seth Roberts got 13 yards to make it second and seven. So they went back to Cook again, beating Terrell Edmunds to the Steelers’ 36.
Watt buried Doug Martin for a loss on first down after that conversion. Carr somehow just got a pass through coverage to Derek Carrier for a big gain to the 13 as a defender nearly defended it. After a run stop, Martin was stuffed again, setting up a third and 10. Jordy Nelson made the catch short of the first, but Mike Tomlin chose to accept a holding penalty. And again, it worked out, as Carr lost the ball as he was attempting to throw it, Hilton recovering it for the takeaway, a gift.
Ridley was stuffed for a pair of one-yard runs, setting Dobbs up for a third and eight. On the play, he scrambled for a first down, using his speed. Dobbs was hit as he threw on the following play, the ball spilling forward and recovered by the Raiders. It was ruled an incomplete pass, Oakland challenging, and the ruling on the field stood. Of course the next play resulted in an interception, Gareon Conley getting a hand on a ball intended for Brown and Tahir Whitehead making the interception.
From the Steelers’ 46, Dupree dragged Martin down for a loss on the final play of the third quarter. After an incompletion down the field, followed by a false start, Carr’s errant pass wide was incomplete, Sean Davis making a diving attempt at an interception that came up short. Switzer drew a fair catch interference penalty, the punt hitting a nearby Raider.
Dobbs threw a screen pass for six yards to Brown, but Samuels lost a yard on second down to make it third and five for the second-year quarterback. The throw went to Smith-Schuster, but he could not make the reception with Conley playing through the catch to force an incompletion.
A short completion to Nelson began the Raiders’ ensuing drive, Carr finding Marcell Ateman over L.J. Fort for a big gain on the following play down to the Steelers’ 41. Following a false start, Jalen Richard was tackled after a short gain. Mike Hilton made a good tackle on Nelson after a reception to reserve a third-down opportunity at the 36 on third and five. Oakland easily converted with a short pass to Ateman on a pick route.
Now at the 29, Richard was stopped after a yard on the ground. Carr was forced to throw the ball away on second down. On third and eight, Nelson was held just a yard short of the first. Jon Gruden elected to go for it on fourth down, converting on the ground with Richard.
Richard still in picked up about three yards inside the red zone. Jared Cook dropped the second-down pass. On third and seven, Carr stuffed a ball in front of Joe Haden to Nelson to convert and set up first and goal from inside the two.
Tuitt was the tackler of record to bring Martin down for a loss on first down. Carr found Lee Smith for the touchdown with Vince Williams in coverage to take a 17-14 lead, with Roethlisberger returning.
He fired a quick pass to Brown for a first down to begin the ensuing drive with under five minutes to go. He checked a pass down to Samuels on the following play, forcing a missed tackle for another first down. Roethlisberger just missed a touchdown to Smith-Schuster on the following play, stretching out for the attempt. He came up slow after landing awkwardly. A defensive hold gave them a first down.
Another screen to Samuels picked up a big chunk of yardage, showing a good head of steam down to the 21. Another screen, this to Smith-Schuster up the left sideline for another first down.
Now first and goal from the nine, Roethlisberger eventually found Smith-Schuster as a late read, who was able to get down to the one-yard line. Roethlisberger nearly threw an interception on a quick hitter to Smith-Schuster, who scored his second touchdown of the game to give the Steelers the lead. A bad snap was salvaged by Berry and Boswell was able to hit the extra point for the 21-17 lead.
From the 25, with just under three minutes to play, Carr began the response drive with a short pass to Richard for five yards. He found Ateman for about 10 on second down. A catch by Cook crossed midfield, Hilton on the tackle, the receiver landing on his leg at the two-minute warning.
From the Steelers’ 46, Carr fired a bullet downfield to Roberts for a huge play down to the 12. After a first-down stop, Hilton forced a throwaway. Burnett was able to break up the pass for Cook in the back of the end zone, getting away with a hold. Now fourth down, the game on the line, Carr had little pressure to find Carrier for the go-ahead score, up 24-21 with 21 seconds, the Steelers with one timeout.
The Raiders kicked short of the end zone, forcing Switzer to take six seconds off the clock to get to the 30. With 15 seconds to go, Roethlisberger threw a short pass to James Washington, who lateraled to Smith-Schuster, getting all the way down to the 20. Boswell slipped on the field goal try, failing and sending the Steelers to a third straight loss, falling to 7-5-1 on the season in stunningly pathetic fashion.