Heading into the Oakland Raiders Week 9 tilt against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, Raiders.com highlighted three matchups that would be critical in determining the winner of the game.
The Raiders lost the game 38-35, dropping their record to 4-4, so let's look back and see how those three matchups played out.
Cornerbacks David Amerson and DJ Hayden vs. Wide Receivers Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant
The Raiders defense knew that Antonio Brown was a difference maker – and that's exactly what he was Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, en route to a career day.
When all was said and done, Brown was targeted 23 times, hauling in 17 passes for a Steelers record- 284 receiving yards. Not only that, he also added 2 rushes for 22 yards as well as 1 punt return, but the true back-breaker was Brown's 57-yard reception from quarterback Landry Jones with under a minute left in regulation.
The Silver and Black threw multiple looks at Brown, but nothing seemed to work as the Central Michigan-product showed why he was one of the best receivers in the game.
"He [Brown] played good," said Amerson. "Hat off to him. He's a great player, but we have to do better."
Running Back Latavius Murray vs. the Steelers defensive line
It was a mixed day for the young running back before he left in the third quarter of the game against the Steelers because of a concussion.
He fumbled the ball twice, losing one, but he also was very effective on the ground before his departure, rushing 17 times for 96 yards – good for a 5.6 yards per carry average, including a long 44-yard scamper on the first drive of the afternoon.
After Murray left the game, fullbacks Marcel Reece and Jamize Olawale entered in relief, adding a combined 40 yards and 1 touchdown on 4 carries before all was said and done.
Left Tackle Donald Penn vs. Defensive End Stephon Tuitt
All in all, you'd probably have to give this battle to the Raiders big left tackle.
Although the Silver and Black didn't fly out of Pittsburgh with a win, the team's offensive line delivered another solid performance, keeping Derek Carr clean yet again and also paving the way for Latavius Murray to run for 96 yards before he left the game due to injury.
At the end of the game, Tuitt finished with just 3 total tackles, and no sacks, tackles for loss or quarterback hits.