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Old 11-20-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
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Default Who I like, Oakland version

NFL from the sidelines
After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on Tuesday nights throughout the season from 7 to 9 p.m. on WBGG 970-AM.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Who I like, Oakland version

Revenge isn't often a factor in pro football games. Rosters change from year to year and, unless a team or individual does something truly remarkable, memories are short.

The Raiders did something remarkable last season in Pittsburgh, spending three quarters being unable to get out of their own way before rallying with 21 fourth-quarter points for a 27-24 win against the Steelers.

Some players this summer talked about that being the low point of a sub-par 2009 season.

The Steelers get a chance to avenge that loss Sunday when they host the Raiders again.

Both teams will be relatively healthy, so that will not likely be a factor.

But Oakland will try to play a lot of press coverage against the Steelers and that could be the Raiders' downfall. One mistake and Mike Wallace will be all by himself behind the secondary.

And that's something that has happened a bit to the Raiders this season. Despite allowing less than 200 yards passing per game and giving up an NFL-low in completions, the Raiders have permitted 16 touchdown passes, or one for just over every 10 completions they give up. That's a lot.

Oakland can get after the passer. The Raiders have 27 sacks this season, again, about one for every 10 pass attempts. But they have also allowed 26 one per every 10 pass attempts.

You get the idea.

Oakland coach Tom Cable said this week when asked if the Raiders will try to spread the Steelers out, the way New Orleans and New England did, that his team is not built to do that. He's right.

There's a big difference between Jason Campbell, Oakland's quarterback, and Drew Brees and Tom Brady.

Campbell, by the way, has a passer rating of 67 in road games this season.

The Steelers are 7-point favorites and though that is a big number, I think they'll cover it, winning 24-13.
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