Winners and Losers in Steelers Week 8 loss to Raiders

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

A furious comeback was sparked by a few Winners, but the performances of the Losers can't be ignored.

Winners

DE Brett Keisel - After a first half in which the Steelers were destroyed on the ground, Keisel's effort not only recovered the first fumble of the year for the Steelers, but kept them alive in a game in which they trailed 21-3 at one point.

FS Ryan Clark - The secondary's coverage was tight all game, and Clark flew around the ball, notching a team-high 12 tackles.

SS Troy Polamalu - a sack and an interception, he seemed like the only player on the field who might have been able to keep up with Terrelle Pryor. Maybe not, but he made plays on him anyway.

Losers

K Shaun Suisham - It's odd he kicks so well in the poor turf of Heinz Field, but poor turf somewhere else does him in. Suisham's still having a fine season, but this was probably his worst game as a Steeler.

P Zoltan Mesko - It would be shocking if the Steelers did not have punters trying out in Pittsburgh Monday. Outside of a great punt in the second half, he was horrendous - his worst game in a series of bad games. Simply put, the Steelers completely messed up in signing him.

TE David Paulson - his weak-effort in blocking the outside man on the eventual punt block was simply inexcusable. And this isn't the first time he's been called out in this space for his lack of blocking ability and desire.

WR Antonio Brown - Much like his former colleague Mike Wallace, critical plays he did not make against the Raiders ended up contributing significantly to a loss in Oakland. He dropped two third down catches, both good to excellent throws by Ben Roethlisberger.

RB Le'Veon Bell - missed one block on a sack (the second half, not the first in which two free rushers were coming at him), did not run well and dropped a pass. He managed to get in the end zone, but like the rest of the offense, it was more the doing of Ben Roethlisberger. A quick audible and a simple four steps forward got Bell his third score of the year - none of which have come in a win.

C Fernando Velasco - A-gap pressure was an issue for much of the game, and while Velasco may simply be falling on a grenade here (four different left guards throughout the game), the interior of the offensive line was out-muscled and beaten up all game.

NT Steve McLendon - It seems like there's a good chance we'll read something about an injury McLendon suffered at some point during that game, because he was getting moved easily at times. Had to be his worst game this season. The Raiders gashed the Steelers up the middle early on, and held it the rest of the way.

TE Heath Miller - Two weeks in a row, Miller has failed to secure the ball. He dropped what should have been a touchdown pass from Roethlisberger, and struggled in pass protection.

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