Week 11 NFL Pick: Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Oakland Raiders
(5-4, 6-3 ATS)

Pittsburgh Steelers
(6-3, 5-4 ATS)

Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were up double digits on the Oakland Raiders down the stretch at home and blew the game as two TD favorites. Now, they’re only slightly more than a one score choice of the oddsmakers, against the same team around the same time of year in 2010.

Oakland is off of its bye week and off of a few really impressive showings. QB Jason Campbell has officially wrestled the starting signal caller job back for the silver and black, and he is well on his way to finishing out a great campaign in spite of the fact that he was benched just two weeks into the season. Campbell is getting a lot of help from RB Darren McFadden, who might be one of the best backs in the NFL this year. “Run DMC” is pacing the league’s second best rushing attack, as he has accounted for 757 yards on the ground and a team high six scores on the season. What we don’t realize about Oakland is just how good its defense is. This is a team that just brings it each and every day, and though there are some ugly results mixed in, the body of work as a whole is fantastic. The Raiders are holding teams to just 184.9 passing yards per game thanks to a unit that plays lockdown coverage and goes after opposing quarterbacks. Allowing just 309.7 yards per game is good enough for No. 6 in the league.

Last week, we talked about the Steelers looking mortal on defense, and after getting rocked by the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, we’re standing by that statement. This unit doesn’t look nearly as good without DE Aaron Smith in the fold, and the offense doesn’t look as great without both OT Max Starks and OT Willie Colon, the team’s two starting offensive tackles from the outset of the season. Now, there are defensive linemen just flying into the backfield left and right, and QB Ben Roethlisberger is starting to take a beating for it. Against this ferocious Oakland team that swarms to the ball like lions after a piece of raw meat, this could be a deadly combination. RB Rashard Mendenhall is going to be going up against a ton of seven and eight man fronts, and if he doesn’t find some gaps in the silver and black defense, it could be a long, long day for the Pittsburgh offense. The ‘D’ specializes in stopping the run, but even this unit struggled last Sunday against the Pats. If RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis can rumble for almost 100 yards on these guys, we have to wonder what McFadden and RB Michael Bush can do.

Don’t kid yourself. These two teams are a heck of a lot more evenly matched than it seems on paper. Oakland is going to challenge in this one from start to finish, and another upset could be in the cards. The Steelers should be very, very careful.

Pro Football Free Pick: Oakland Raiders +7


Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) December 5, 1996 Byline: MAUREEN KELLY Staff writer Defending Patroon Conference champion Coxsackie-Athens returns five players from last year’s 13-1 team.

The Indians will be looking to replace its leading scorer Leticia Reyes (16.3 ppg.) Returning players are Bridget Daoust (10.7 ppg.), Lauren Messina, Tammie Mosher, Nicola Coleman and Sheri VanValkenburgh.

“We have good speed and good shooting,” said Coxsackie coach Gary Kingsbury.

Ichabod Crane and Maple Hill both finished tied for second place with 10-4 records.

The Riders return three starters –Liz Woodward, Mary Beth Moore and Sarah Cody.

Five players return to the Maple Hill lineup Terra Scandurra (13 ppg.), Chrissy Teator (11.5 ppg.), Erin Agans, Krissie Brewer and Amanda Clapper. Up from jayvee are Kristy Ellis, Kaiyra Greeg and Liz Lauzon. see here beth moore blog

Joining the Wildcats roster is Megan Peper, following in brothers Scott and Craig’s shoes.

“Whoever wins the games they’re supposed to will win this conference,” said Maple Hill coach Lee Weatherby. CATSKILL Coach: Jeff Dudzic Last year’s record: 12-6 Key players: Victoria Alvarez, Michelle Farrell, Holly Bagshaw, Amanda mcGee, Becky Romeo. Coach’s comments: “With only two returning starters, the girls have some big shoes to fill. The team is working well together and we expect to see a lot of improvement throughout the year.” COXSACKIE-ATHENS Coach: Gary Kingsbury Last year’s record: 17-5 Key players: Bridget Daoust, Lauren Messina, Tammie Mosher, Nicola Coleman, Sheri VanValkenburgh. in our site beth moore blog

Coach’s comments: “Again this year the league should be well balanced with several teams capable of challenging for the top. The overall league play continues to improve each year.” HUDSON Coach: Kevin Bowes Last year’s record: 7-13 Key players: Natasha Carr, Megan Yeats, Paris Winfield, Lynn Dykeman. Coach’s comments: “This year’s success depends on how well my younger players adjust to playing on the varsity level. We are working hard in practice and getting better each day.” MAPLE HILL Coach: Lee Weatherby Last year’s record: 13-7 Key players: Terra Scandurra, Chrissy Teator, Erin Agans, Krissie Brewer, Amanda Clapper. Coach’s comments: “We’re quick, strong defensively and have depth but we are a small team. RENSSELAR Last year’s record: 10-11 Key players: Nicole Cotugno, Tina Hadden, Kristen Choquette, Sara Gleason, Roxanne Simpson. Coach’s comments: “We’re short in number, the kids are a little bit faster than last year’s team. We’re shooting well underneath. We’re going to be able to press better this year.” ICHABOD CRANE Coach: Tom Rowley Last year’s record: 12-7 Key players: Liz Woodward, Mary Beth Moore, Sarah Cody, Lisa Scharoun, Erin Walsh Coach’s comments: “I think we’ll be competitive. Weakness, we have no size but didn’t last year either. We’ve got a lot more depth than last year, can go 8 or 9 down the bench and be pretty strong.” TACONIC HILLS Coach: Pam Black Last year’s record: 6-8 Key players: Ericka Edwards, Angela Potts. Coach’s comments: “We lost four starters. We only have three returning players. We have a lot of youth. We’ll be good defensively. We have a lot of speed. We just need to get these players ready for varsity level.” CHATHAM Coach: Gene Pessetto Last year’s record: 3-15. Key players: Kim Dole, Megan Stevens, Colleen Gavin. Coach’s comments: “We need to do the little things well, They have tremendous desire. They are wonderful girls to work with. It’s a very enthusiastic bunch.”

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