Raiders Drop Steelers 27-24

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The Oakland Raiders defeated the defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 in a thriller at Heinz Field. QB Bruce Gradkowski's 11-yard TD pass to rookie WR Louis Murphy with nine seconds left to play was the difference.

The Steelers won the opening coin toss and elected to receive. Stefan Logan returned the opening kickoff 83 yards to the Raiders 19-yard line. The Raiders forced a three-and-out and K Jeff Reed came on and connected from 33 yards out to give the Steelers a 3-0 lead with 13:34 left in the first quarter.

RB Gary Russell returned the ensuing kickoff 34 yards to the Oakland 42. The Raiders drove to the Pittsburgh 30 before having to settle for a K Sebastian Janikowski field goal attempt. The successful 48-yard field goal capped an 8-play, 28-yard drive and tied the game at 3-3 with 8:36 left in the 1st quarter.

FB Carey Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 13 yards to the Pittsburgh 28. The Raiders forced a three-and-out and P Daniel Sepulveda's 37-yard punt was downed at the Oakland 36. The Raiders were unable to mount a scoring drive and P Shane Lechler's 58-yard punt bounced into the end zone for a touchback. The Steelers took possession at the 20.

The Steelers drove to the Raiders 5 before facing 4th and 1. The Raiders defense stopped QB Ben Roethlisberger on a quarterback sneak and took over on downs. The Raiders went three-and-out and Logan fumbled Lechler's punt, but Pittsburgh recovered at their own 40.

WR Santonio Holmes hauled in a 34-yard TD pass and Reed's extra point gave the Steelers a 10-3 lead with 13:49 left in the 2nd quarter.

TE Tony Stewart fielded the short kickoff and returned it to the Oakland 21. Janikowski capped a 9-play, 53-yard drive with a 43-yard field goal that cut the Steelers lead to 10-6 with 8:17 left in the second quarter.

The Steelers next possession began at their 26 after Logan's kickoff return. The Raiders defense held and forced a punt. Sepulveda's 53-yard punt bounced out of bounds at the Raiders 5. The Raiders went three-and-out and Lechler came on to punt. Logan called for and made a fair catch of the 41-yard punt at the Steelers 48. The Raiders thwarted the Steelers threat when safety Hiram Eugene intercepted a Roethlisberger pass in the end zone. Eugene's first career pick gave the Raiders the ball at the 20 after the touchback.

The Raiders were unable to score and RB Mewelde Moore called for and made a fair catch at the Steelers 22. Roethlisberger took a knee and ran out the final 7 seconds of the half.

Gary Russell returned the ensuing kickoff to the Oakland 26. The Raiders drive stalled at midfield and Lechler's 55-yard punt bounced into the end zone for a touchback. The Steelers were unable to mount a scoring drive and Higgins made a fair catch of the Sepulveda punt at the Raiders 18.

The Raiders went three-and-out. Logan called for and made a fair catch at the Steelers 42. The Raiders forced a 53-yard Reed field goal attempt which was no good. The Raiders took over at their own 43.

Gradkowski capped an 11-play, 57-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to WR Chaz Schilens. Janikowski's extra point gave the Raiders a 13-10 lead with 8:21 left in the 4th quarter.

Logan returned the ensuing kickoff to the Steelers 40. Two plays later, RB Rashard Mendenhall cashed in from 3 yards out to put the Steelers back on top. Reed's extra point gave Pittsburgh a 17-13 lead with 7:13 left in the 4th quarter.

Gary Russell returned the ensuing kickoff to the Raiders 16. Three plays later Gradkowski went up top to WR Louis Murphy for a 75-yard touchdown strike. Janikowski's extra point gave the Raiders a 20-17 lead with 5:28 left to play.

Janikowski's kickoff bounced through the end zone for a touchback and Pittsburgh took possession at their 20. Roethlisberger connected with WR Hines Ward for an 11-yard TD pass. Reed's extra point gave Pittsburgh a 24-20 lead with 1:56 left in the game.

After the kickoff and a penalty, the Raiders took over at their 12. Gradkowski masterfully engineered a scoring drive which he finished with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Murphy and Janikowski's extra point gave the Raiders a 27-24 lead with 9 seconds to go.

Roethlisbeger's Hail Mary pass was broken up in the end zone as time expired.

The Raiders improve to 4-8 on the 2009 Regular Season and return home to face the Washington Redskins at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

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