Final

Raiders 7

(3-10, 0-7 away)

Steelers 27

(5-8, 3-4 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 7, 2003

 

1 2 3 4 T
OAK 7 0 0 07
PIT 0 17 7 327

Randle El's playmaking aid Steeler effort

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A week after labeling them the dumbest-playing team in America, Oakland Raiders coach Bill Callahan offered little criticism following their latest loss.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Raiders: Do you expect both Rice and Brown to be out of the picture next year?
WR Tim Brown is probably a definite goner after this season, but Rice is a different story altogether. Rice is an extremely competitive person and he probably doesn't want his last game to be meaningless. But if the coaching situation doesn't change, then Rice may leave.

Question on the Steelers: How likely is it for Bettis to be back with the Steelers next year?
It's difficult to make a judgment on Bettis' future because he hasn't received much playing time this season. Steelers coach Bill Cowher came into the season with the notion of resting Bettis until late in the season to use him for a push toward the playoffs. Obviously, with the way the season has gone, the playoffs aren't a possibility. So instead of knowing if the Bus has enough juice left in his tank, the Steelers are left wondering. That will cloud the team's judgment during the offseason when it has to make a decision.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Maybe he's running out of things to say about a team that, no matter how smart it is, is fast becoming one of the NFL's worst.

The Raiders' collapse a season after playing in the Super Bowl reached new depths Sunday as Antwaan Randle El's playmaking led the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 27-7 victory in a matchup of disappointing teams.

"In the middle of the third quarter, maybe they gave up," Steelers receiver Hines Ward said. "They were ready to go home. It was cold (30 degrees) and they had a long flight home and they've had problems with their coach."

Maybe because his much-repeated quote about the Raiders' mistake-filled play in a 22-8 loss to Denver alienated numerous players, Callahan kept his postgame news conference short.

"We just didn't get it done," Callahan said.

Oakland's 3-10 record is its worst since moving into the NFL in 1970 and is rivaled in team history only by its seasons of 2-12 in 1961 and 1-13 in 1962. The Raiders are 0-7 on the road and have only 21 touchdowns in 13 games.

The Steelers (5-8) had lost seven of nine, but still played their best all-around game since beating Baltimore 34-15 in their opener. They outgained Oakland 399-161, with Jerome Bettis moving past Thurman Thomas into ninth place in NFL career rushing with 106 yards.

Bettis' 11-yard touchdown run put Pittsburgh up 10-3 during the first 100-yard game by a Steelers runner this season and only Bettis' second in 2{ seasons.

Bettis has 12,116 yards and needs only 5 more to pass former Steelers star Franco Harris and move into eighth place. Harris would remain Pittsburgh's all-time leader since Bettis had 3,091 yards with the Rams.

"It was very emotional, and gratifying," Bettis said. "The way the season has been unfolding, it has been really difficult to enjoy the individual success."

Oakland led 7-0 on Tyrone Wheatley's 22-yard run late in the first quarter -- the Raiders' only touchdown in two games -- but offered little resistance after that.

"Every team that comes out puts the hit down on us," defensive tackle Chris Cooper said. "It's terrible. I hope we can just keep coming back."

The Steelers hope they can, too. Pittsburgh trails AFC North leader Baltimore (8-5) by three games with three to play, and the Ravens play Sunday in Oakland.

Randle El, the elusive receiver and kick returner who set NCAA records at Indiana for his versatility, enjoyed the best game of his two-season NFL career. He set up three scores with catches of 24 and 15 yards and a 51-yard punt return, and had a 26-yard punt return and an 18-yard run.

"I don't think people expected us to come out and play this well," said Tommy Maddox, who threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress that made it 17-7. "But a lot of guys were wanting to play just to play."

While Maddox threw for 266 yards, the Raiders seem to achieve new lows with each passing performance. Or, in this case, a non-passing performance.

A season after Rich Gannon gave every NFL offensive coordinator the scheme to attack the Steelers' secondary by going 43-of-64 for 403 yards in a 30-17 victory, Rick Mirer completed only four passes for 29 yards in the first three quarters. He finished 10-of-25 for 68 yards and two interceptions while playing most of the second half on a badly sprained left ankle.

"Nobody has surrendered yet," guard Frank Middleton said. "We're trying to keep the pride. It's just getting hard right now."

The Raiders' swift transformation from AFC champion to cellar dweller -- they've lost eight of nine -- was illustrated by the first 4{ minutes of the second half, when the teams combined for three fumbles and an interception. Oakland couldn't score after forcing two turnovers in Steelers' territory.

After that, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter said, "It didn't take too much to get them to shut it down." ^Notes:@ Dewayne Washington's first interception of the season led to Maddox's scoring pass to Burress. Washington started for injured CB Chad Scott after being benched for four games. ... Kimo von Oelhoffen had three of Pittsburgh's four sacks. ... Jerry Rice made two catches and now has at least one in 269 consecutive games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

THIRD QUARTEROAKPIT
pitTD6:23Dan Kreider, 1 yd run
Drive info: 3 plays, 19 yds, 0:38
723
SECOND QUARTEROAKPIT
pitTD2:15Touchdown
Drive info: 3 plays, 21 yds, 0:53
716
THIRD QUARTEROAKPIT
pit6:23
Drive info: 3 plays, 19 yds, 0:38
724
SECOND QUARTEROAKPIT
pit2:15
Drive info: 3 plays, 21 yds, 0:53
717
FIRST QUARTEROAKPIT
oakTD3:32Tyrone Wheatley, 22 yd run
Drive info: 7 plays, 71 yds, 3:28
60
SECOND QUARTEROAKPIT
pitTD5:38Jerome Bettis, 11 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 59 yds, 2:22
79
FIRST QUARTEROAKPIT
oak3:32
Drive info: 7 plays, 71 yds, 3:28
70
SECOND QUARTEROAKPIT
pit5:38
Drive info: 6 plays, 59 yds, 2:22
710
pitFG15:00Jeff Reed 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 43 yds, 13:57
73
FOURTH QUARTEROAKPIT
pitFG14:28Jeff Reed 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 58 yds, 14:04
727