Thank you, Antonio Brown. That is what Pittsburgh Steelers fans are saying all across the country. Brown's 300+ yards from scrimmage in the game (no, not a typo) not only set a franchise record, but also boosted the team to victory in a game that could quite possibly end up being a tie breaker for an AFC playoff spot.
With Ben Roethlisberger finally back to 100% health, he and Brown came out firing on all cylinders, picking right up where they left off earlier in the season. This huge game was expected from both, as the Oakland Raiders secondary is really bad. Brown looked like he was playing against college players, yet he does that against a lot of corners in the league.
DeAngelo Williams' performance was very shocking. Oakland came into this game with the second ranked rushing defense in the NFL. But the 32 year old running back didn't struggle at all, putting up 170 yards and two touchdowns on the day. Filling the shoes of the best running back in the NFL, Le'Veon Bell, cannot be easy, but Williams made it seem like just that.
It was really nice to see the offense put up almost 600 yards of total offense together, coming mainly from Williams and Brown. There was bad news, though, as there has been for the Steelers all season. Big Ben went down late in the game with what is being called a left foot injury, as it looked like he got stepped on by Aldon Smith. Mike Tomlin said after the game that Roethlisberger is having an MRI done on that foot. According to reports, Ben is expected to miss a few weeks, which will be a real thorn in the side of an offense who finally got things rolling and tore things up.
Though the offense played great, the defense did struggle quite a bit. The rushing defense, which has been stout so far this season, definitely under-performed. They allowed 139 yards and a touchdown on 5.6 yards per carry. If Latavius Murray did not get hurt, those numbers could've been higher, as he gained 96 yards before leaving the game with a head injury.
The secondary played even worse than the front seven did. Derek Carr threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns on a secondary that has had few high points and many low points this season. They do deserve credit, though, for making a play when it was desperately needed and intercepting Carr in the fourth quarter. Still, there is definitely work to be done in terms of stopping the pass.
Roethlisberger will indeed miss some time, making this is a bitter sweet game for Pittsburgh. Yes, it might end up being a tie breaker for a playoff spot, but they may not be in a position to make the playoffs without Big Ben on the field. Still, it was a good team win, and it was great to see Antonio Brown out there making plays once again.