The Pittsburgh Steelers might have the most difficult schedule in terms of strength of schedule, but there are a few games sprinkled in against sub-par teams which should see the black and gold favored, especially at Heinz Field. The next opponent to analyze who makes their voyage to Western Pennsylvania is a team who has had the Steelers' number in recent years, and that would be the Oakland Raiders.
2014: 3-13 (4th Place AFC West), 1-5 within the AFC West, 2-10 within the AFC
2014 vs. the Steelers: Did not play
Pending Free Agents: TE David Ausberry, CB Tarell Brown, WR Vincent Brown, RB Darren McFadden, WR Denarius Moore, CB Carlos Rogers, DT Pat Sims, DE C.J. Wilson, C Stefen Wisniewski, S Larry Asante (RFA), CB Chimdi Chekwa (RFA), WR Andre Holmes (RFA), P Marquette King (RFA), CB Brandian Ross (RFA), RB Kory Sheets (RFA), WR Rod Streater (RFA).
2015 NFL Draft: 4th Selection
When most people want to put the term 'dumpster fire' next to an NFL franchise, more often than not they would select the Oakland Raiders to be the recipient of such a dubious honor. The constant revolving door of head coaches, the strange and unusual draft picks and the head scratching free agent acquisitions which look good on paper yet never come to fruition all have fans wondering what is next. The Raiders can seemingly do nothing right.
Nonetheless, the team will be putting a product on the field in 2015 and that team will be lead by former Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. Del Rio will have his work cut out for him as he leads a team filled with holes but will try and put their best foot forward heading into the offseason.
For someone looking for a bright spot for Raiders fans, they have the 4th overall selection in this year's NFL Draft and they feel they have found their franchise quarterback in Derek Carr. Unfortunately for Carr and fans of the Raiders, there isn't much around him in the way of talent.
As strange as it may sound, with as bad as the Raiders have been the past decade, this organization has had the Steelers' number beating them 4 out of their last 5 times they've played one another. The Steelers continually seem to play down to the Raiders' level, as the Raiders seem to pull a rabbit out of their hat in the way of a win over the vaunted Steelers. Whether it was Bruce Gradkowski hushing the Heinz Field crowd or Terrelle Pryor putting a dagger into the Steelers' defense in 2013, the Raiders always play the Steelers tough.
The Raiders travel to Heinz Field in 2015, and for a team coming off a division title, the Steelers can ill afford to continue their losing ways against losing teams, especially with the tough schedule they have been dealt. Winning the games you should win will be a staple for the 2015 Steelers season if they plan on repeating as division champions.