But they couldn't keep up with the Steelers on the scoreboard, as the Raiders got trounced 35-3 in Pittsburgh.
This game will be best remembered for Richard Seymour's blatant punching-out of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Seymour was ejected, but you have to admit that it's one of the more entertaining highlights of this NFL season.
The Raiders had just given up their third touchdown of the first half, when Roethlisbeger tried to sass Seymour with a little trash talk.
Roethlisberger got about two words in before Seymour flattened him with a perfectly placed sucker punch right to gap between the facemask and helmet. Roethlisberger dropped like a sexual assault charge in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Seymour took his time leaving when ejected. The officials first incorrectly called Tommy Kelly for the personal foul. Seymour then took so much time sauntering off the field that you were surprised he didn't fake an injury on the way out to prolong it even more.
Seymour's random act of unkindness was really the only Raiders accomplishment of the game.
The Steelers played classic Steeler football, and there wasn't a lot the Raiders were able to do about it. Pittsburgh's offense gobbled eight minutes-plus off the clock on an 85-yard first half drive, finished off by Rashard Mendenhall demolishing Tyvon Branch at the goal line on a five-yard touchdown run that put Pittsburgh up 7-3.
More "classic Steeler football" on the subsequent Raiders' three-and-out-slash-punt. Shane Lechler punted after an ineffective Raider possession, then was grabbed by the shirt and tossed downfield by Steeler William Gay while other Steeler Antonio Brown dashed for a 67-yard touchdown return. Naturally, that play was called back on a holding penalty.
But Pittsburgh scored their touchdown on that possession anyway. Ben Roethlisberger juked several Raiders out of their own arm-tackles on a lumbering 16-yard scramble for another Steelers touchdown.
The Steeler onslaught would continue, as Louis Murphy fumbled a catch on the ensuing possession. The Steelers took over and scored another quick touchdown, prompting Seymour's haymaker on Roethlisberger. It was 21-3 before halftime.
Bruce Gradkowski relieved Jason Campbell for the Raiders in the second half with no better results, as the Raiders never scored again after their first quarter field goal.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who's pleased to see that the Raiders are really taking to Tom Cable's style of football.