OAKLAND -- The concern over the Raiders' dormant running game was over in the amount of time it took for quarterback Carson Palmer to see a left-loaded blitz and redirect a running play for Darren McFadden.

Several seconds and 64 yards later, the Raiders had a touchdown. The previous long run by the Raiders against Pittsburgh in 20 meetings was 36 yards.

"It was a great hole that opened up for me, and I just hit it running," McFadden said after a 34-31 win Sunday at O.co Coliseum.

McFadden finished with 113 yards on 18 carries -- he had some tough, tackle-breaking runs near the goal line -- for the 10th 100-yard game of his career. Talk of the viability of the zone blocking scheme can cease for a week.

With a big hole and a one stutter step, McFadden gained 10 more yards on his first attempt than he did in the two previous games (54 yards on 26 attempts).

"We weren't as worried about our running game as everyone else," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "We knew we just needed time. This is our first shot running this (scheme), and it definitely gives us confidence. We weren't deterred by the first two weeks."

Coach Dennis Allen and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp asked for patience with the running game during the week, but center Stefen Wisniewski was thinking in more immediate terms.

"It's hard to tell watching the game from outside whether we were close or not, but we knew we were close," Wisniewski said. "We finally showed today the kind of running game we're capable of, against a good defense, too."

  • Safety Michael Huff played the entire game at left cornerback, finishing with four tackles and a healthy respect for a position he hadn't played extensively since his early years at the University at Texas.

    "Free safety you can see the whole offense," Huff said. "You can see the play as it develops. At corner, you're kind of man to man, back to the ball, so you really don't know what's going on. (You) just try to find a way to make plays."

    Huff said he expects to be a cornerback for a "few more weeks" as Shawntae Spencer recovers from a foot injury.

  • Former Raiders running back Marcus Allen returned from an Al Davis-imposed exile at the request of Mark Davis to light the torch in memory of the longtime owner.

    Mark Davis, Al Davis' son and the current Raiders owner, told reporters it was important to his mother, Carole, and called Allen the "absolute true Raider." General manager Reggie McKenzie, a former teammate, said he wasn't sure why Allen had been away so long.

    Allen declined to comment through a team spokesman, the better to avoid questions about a feud that had its genesis in a contract issue.

  • Tight end Richard Gordon scored the first touchdown of his career on a 1-yard pass from Palmer on a third-and-goal play from the Pittsburgh 1-yard line. Officials had originally ruled a McFadden touchdown two plays earlier from the 5 but overturned it and set the ball at the 1.

  • Linebacker Philip Wheeler led the Raiders with 11 tackles and forced two fumbles the Steelers recovered. Teammate Desmond Bryant forced a fumble of Jonathan Dwyer that led to the Raiders' second touchdown.

  • Oakland had a penalty-free first half and had just three penalties for 25 yards. Pittsburgh had 10 penalties for 81 yards.

    "I think our players are understanding that that's something that costs you football games, and they're doing a better job of being disciplined," Allen said. "That's kind of at the core of what we are and what we believe."