September 23, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace (17) runs with the ball after making a catch next to Oakland Raiders defensive back Pat Lee (26) in the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
It's not usual to see such positive stats in a loss.
The Steelers got an admirable performance from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and were 5-for-9 on third downs in the first half. The defense held Oakland to just 105 yards in the first half, and had the ball for 21:36 of the first 30 minutes.
Turnovers and a lack of splash plays on the defensive side of the ball again did this team in, as they fell to 1-2 on the season.
As previously written, Roethlisberger was 36-for-49 for 384 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. The game plan was clearly centered around Roethlisberger, and his performance led the Steelers to a third consecutive game where they scored more than they had the previous game.
WR Mike Wallace
It could have been Wallace's most complete game as a pro, even if it was marred a little by a fumble he managed to recover. Wallace had eight catches for 123 yards, and on 12 targets, had an outstanding 10.3 yards per target. He made tough catches in traffic and found himself the benefactor of blown Raiders zone coverage for a touchdown reception at a point where the Raiders secondary struggled greatly to stop the Steelers.
TE Heath Miller
Miller grabbed two more touchdowns, giving him four of Roethlisberger's eight scoring throws on the season. He was also outstanding between the seams, hauling in two very difficult catches in traffic. He finished with four catches for 22 yards.
Mundy was exploited in coverage, missed tackles (most notably on Raiders RB Darren McFadden's 64-yard touchdown run in the first quarter) and will likely surrender a large chunk of his salary for the game after leaving his feet to deliver a hit on Raiders WR Darrius Heyward-Bey in the end zone. The Steelers will likely keep Troy Polamalu in ice for the next two weeks, praying for his return from a calf injury that's held him out of the last two games.
Timmons also shares responsibility for McFadden's run, allowing himself to get caught in the wash. He blitzed the backside B-gap, and stopped in no man's land, slow recognizing the play.
Each lost fumbles that altered the course of a game the Steelers were dominating at the point each turnover occurred. Dwyer's came in the second quarter in the Steelers' territory, leading to a Raiders touchdown. Brown's came with the Steelers holding a 31-28 lead in the 4th quarter and three plays into the Steelers' drive. The defense had been on the field for 11 plays previously, and clearly were worn out. Oakland tied the game with a Sebastian Janikowski field goal as a result.