As far as the Raiders are concerned, they got a holiday's season worth of giving out of the way in one game. Now it's time to get back to taking.
Raiders coach Tom Cable said the Pittsburgh Steelers imposed their will on the Raiders last Sunday and doled out the kind of whipping that can leave a lasting impression.
"You have a choice," Cable said. "You either dwell on that and say, 'Woe (is me)' or you say, 'That ain't good enough.' You move forward from it, take what you can and learn from it. It's good for us in that it defined us a little bit more. You can't go into these big games like this and not be the giver."
The Raiders and today's opponent, the Miami Dolphins, can't afford many more missteps, if any. Both teams are 5-5 and in danger of falling too far behind in their quest for the playoffs.
"Both teams are "... fighting for their lives, to be honest with you," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "We came off of an embarrassing loss last week. I'm not sure it gets much more embarrassing than the loss we came off of."
The Raiders can make a strong case that it does. They scored a season-low three points and allowed more than 400 yards of offense and 35 points against the Steelers.
The Dolphins were beaten by the Chicago Bears 16-0 in a nationally televised contest, and their offense was shut down from the outset.
Both teams are looking to take out their anger and frustration.
"This is something that I
Few teams are as prepared to play on the road as the Dolphins. Their 4-1 mark away from Sun Life Stadium is the second-best road mark in the league, trailing only the New York Jets' 5-0 road record.
"This is an interesting group of guys in that they really enjoy spending time together, probably one of the closest football teams I've ever coached and been around," Sparano said. "So, when you get them out on the road, there's some really quality time there to spend together and talk football. We've got a lot of football people on this team."
This Dolphins team bears little resemblance to the one the Raiders played in 2008 in Miami, at least offensively.
The Dolphins no longer are fueled offensively by the tandem backfield of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Sparano has retooled his offense to take advantage of a slew of talented receivers.
Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess and Brian Hartline have combined for 146 catches for 1,722 yards and five touchdowns. Suddenly, an offense that relied upon the run now looks to the pass first and foremost.
The expected return of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha figures to help limit the effectiveness of the Dolphins passing attack along with the absence of Marshall, who won't play because of a hamstring injury.
More important, Cable said, the Raiders need to get back to doing the things they do best: running the ball, stopping the run and dictating the action.
"It's just important for us to get on track, period, as a team," Cable said. "I want to run it better than last week, but I want to throw it better. I want to be better on third down on both sides of the ball. "... It's important for us to get back to business."
McFadden was held to 14 yards on 10 carries against the Steelers. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said it is imperative the Raiders run the ball well today.
"When you can't rush the football, and then a team makes you one-dimensional, it gets to be very tough," Jackson said. "It was tough last week. "... I'm disappointed, our players are disappointed. But now we need to go play the way we know how to play, and we will."