(OAKLAND) — The Oakland Raiders made sure their first win of the season an exciting one.
Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired and the Raiders (1-2) rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-31 on Sunday.
The Raiders appeared headed to their third straight loss to open the season, but quarterback Carson Palmer directed three scoring drives in the final quarter, including a big third down conversion with under two minutes to play on a drive that ended up with Janikowski nailing the game-winner.
The win was the first in the career of Oakland head coach Dennis Allen. “You put a lot of hard work, blood sweat and tears into trying to build a championship team, and one of your guys goes down, especially in a situation like that, it’s hard to keep your focus,” coach Dennis Allen said.
Raiders wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey was carted off the field in the fourth quarter and hospitalized after a violent hit in the endzone left him unconscious. He did flash the thumbs up sign as he left the playing field.
Pittsburgh (1-2) saw a late lead dissapear, and their usually stout defense allowed 119 yards rushing. “They outplayed us defensively,” Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark said. “Their defense made the stops when they needed to, and we didn’t. It wasn’t from a lack of trying. Maybe it was trying too hard.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News