Published September 23, 2012
| Sports Network
Oakland, CA – Sebastian Janikowski drilled a 43-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Oakland Raiders over the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-31, on Sunday.
Janikowski also connected on a game-tying 32-yard kick in the fourth quarter for Oakland, which earned its first victory under new head coach Dennis Allen.
Carson Palmer went 24-for-34 through the air for 209 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while Darren McFadden had 113 yards and a score on 18 carries for the Raiders (1-2).
"It's a great feeling, but I'm so proud of those guys in that locker room and the way that they fought for 60 minutes," Allen said about his first win. "We knew it was going to be a 60-minute fight against a very good football team that we played out there today. They fought all the way up to the very end and we were fortunate to come out on top."
Ben Roethlisberger completed 36-of-49 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns for Pittsburgh (1-2).
Mike Wallace paced all receivers with 123 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions in the loss.
Pittsburgh held a 17-14 advantage at the half and quickly added to its lead on the first possession of the third quarter with a 9-play, 80-yard drive, which Roethlisberger capped by buying some time in the pocket before finding a wide open Wallace in the back of the end zone.
But Mike Goodson's 51-yard return on the ensuing kickoff gave the Raiders the ball at the Pittsburgh 48 and Oakland converted three third downs on a 10-play scoring drive, including Richard Gordon's 1-yard touchdown catch to get back within 24-21.
The Raiders failed to grab a surprise onside kick on the kickoff, and Pittsburgh took advantage of Oakland's gamble with Antonio Brown's 11-yard touchdown on a wide receiver screen.
Brown fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line on the play, but it bounced off a scrum of players and right back into his arms inside the end zone to give the Steelers back a two-score advantage.
Oakland kept the back-and-forth affair going on its next touch as Palmer found Denarius Moore, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Brandon Myers and Rod Streater for double-digit gains before Moore made a diving grab on the left side of the end zone for a 6-yard score less than three minutes into the fourth quarter.
There was a scary moment on the drive, though, as Heyward-Bey had to be carted off the field after taking a hard hit to the head by the Steelers' Ryan Mundy.
He was responsive and gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he was leaving.
Brown again had the ball punched out of his hands during a 20-yard catch-and- run on Pittsburgh's ensuing drive, but he was unable to regain possession this time and Oakland's Philip Wheeler recovered at the Raiders' 36-yard line, resulting in Janikowski's 32-yard field goal to tie the game at 31-31 with 6:30 left in the game.
Pittsburgh then got the ball and converted a 4th-and-1 at their own 29 with an Isaac Redman 6-yard rush up the middle to keep their drive alive, but Roethlisberger was sacked on the next play to derail the Steelers' momentum and they were forced to punt.
Oakland took possession at its own 25 with 1:43 remaining and quickly marched down the field. Palmer found Myers for a 15-yard strike on a 3rd-and-10 to move the ball to midfield before Derek Hagan reeled off a 17-yard gain on a short pass over the middle to get in field-goal range.
After a couple of runs up the middle ran the clock down, Janikowski connected on the game-winner for Oakland, which avoided its first 0-3 start since starting 0-5 in 2006.
"That was a poor performance by us. When you play like that you lose football games," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "I'd like to tip my hat to the Oakland Raiders. They played winning ball, but that's not the style of ball we desire to play."
Oakland received the ball to start the game, but Palmer was intercepted by Ryan Clark on the first play from scrimmage and Clark returned the pick 26 yards to the Oakland 36.
Pittsburgh took advantage of the turnover after converting a 4th-and-1 at the Raiders' 27 with a 7-yard reception by Wallace when Roethlisberger capped the 7-play drive by finding Heath Miller for a 4-yard touchdown.
The Raiders quickly answered three plays later as McFadden ripped off a 64- yard touchdown run off the right side to knot the game at 7-7 less than five minutes into the game.
But the Steelers were able to regain the lead on their next touch with a 12- play, 81-yard march that was finished off with Miller's second 4-yard TD grab of the first quarter.
Brown later returned a punt 73 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown, but the play was called back for a holding penalty and Pittsburgh took over on offense at its own 18.
The Steelers were held to just one first down and had to punt the ball back to Oakland after a 22-yard catch by Miller on a 3rd-and-9 was overturned on a review as he did not maintain control of the ball while hitting the ground, keeping it a 14-7 game with 10:25 left in the second quarter.
Pittsburgh regained the ball at its own 8-yard line following an Oakland three-and-out, but Jonathan Dwyer could not get a handle on a Roethlisberger handoff at the Steelers' 34-yard line and Oakland's Joselio Hanson recovered the fumble at the Pittsburgh 30.
Oakland capitalized on the turnover six plays later after converting a 4th- and-2 at the Steelers' 6-yard line with a neutral zone infraction by Pittsburgh's Ziggy Hood with a 3-yard touchdown grab by Heyward-Bey on a fade in the right corner of the end zone with 1:54 left in the half.
Roethlisberger then had completions of 21 yards to Emmanuel Sanders and 15 yards to Baron Batch to set up Shaun Suisham's 33-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 17-14 lead at the break.
Miller finished with 60 yards on eight receptions, giving him 3,993 career receiving yards. With seven more yards, he will become the eighth Steeler all- time to surpass 4,000 receiving yards ... Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley became the sixth Steeler to reach 50 career sacks with one sack in the game ... Pittsburgh had 433 total yards of offense, compared to 321 for Oakland ... Myers led all Oakland receivers with 55 yards on four catches.