Grading the Raiders

Here is how the Raiders graded out in Sunday's 34-31 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pass offense

Aside from an interception on the first pass when the receiver slipped, Carson Palmer had his best game as a Raider. The stats (24 of 34, 209 yards, three TDs, one interception) weren't as impressive as the way he conducted the no-huddle offense, hit clutch passes in the final two-minute drill and delivered a big win. Grade: A-

Rush offense

So how do you like Darren McFadden now? McFadden burst 64 yards for a touchdown on his first carry en route to his 10th career 100-yard game, finishing with 113 yards on 18 attempts. His 17 other attempts gained 49 yards, but there were some tough runs in the red zone. Grade: B

Pass defense

The Raiders were hurting in the secondary without their starting corners, and Ben Roethlisberger (36 of 49, 384 yards, four TDs) took full advantage. The Raiders finally came up with two key stops in the fourth quarter to enable the comeback, the first on a strip by Pat Lee of Antonio Brown after a 20-yard completion, the second with help of a sack by Richard Seymour. It was the Raiders' only sack of the game. Grade: C

Run defense

The Steelers never really tried to run, and weren't very successful when they did. After the Raiders gave up 263 yards to Miami and 172 to Reggie Bush the week before, Pittsburgh averaged 2.7 yards per attempt (20 carries, 54 yards) with Issac Redman getting 27 yards on nine carries. The Steelers did have six rushing first downs. Grade: B+

Special teams

Field goals of 32 and 43 yards by Sebastian Janikowski were key elements in the comeback, the latter as time expired for the win. With Pittsburgh up 24-14 early in the third quarter, Mike Goodson raced 51 yards with a kickoff to give Oakland a short-field opportunity that it converted for a touchdown. Punter Shane Lechler averaged 51.7 yards with a 44.3 net on three punts, and Steelers returners did little damage. Grade: A-

Coaching

Offensive strategy of going no-huddle by coordinator Greg Knapp was a game-changer, preventing the Steelers from making substitutions and giving the Raiders second-half momentum. The "keep the faith" message was obviously heeded by the roster after a dismal showing in Miami. Even Dennis Allen's failed onside kick attempt was the right call, given the way Pittsburgh was moving the ball. Grade: A

-- JERRY MCDONALD