Oakland Raiders @ Steelers: Five Keys to Victory

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Sep 27, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack (52) forces a fumble by Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown (13) in a NFL game at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Browns 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

3. Keep Big Ben in the Pocket and on the Ground

Last season the Steelers had one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses as the trio of Ben Roethelisburger, Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell lit up opposing defenses. With Bell done for the year and his important contributions in both the pass game and run game missing, more weight will fall on the shoulders of Big Ben.

Roethelisburger is more than capable of carrying the Steelers offense. With a dangerous receiving corps, he has targets all over the field. And using his massive and powerful body in conjunction with his athleticism, he is often able to avoid the pass rush and but time for those receivers to get open. He constantly gets away from the first guy, escaping the pocket and moving around until he finds his man.

Simply put, Khalil Mack, Aldon Smith and the rest of the Raider front cannot allow this. Roethelisburger is notoriously slow getting the ball out and his o-line is not particularly good. The Steelers have given up 21 sacks on the year so far, meaning that the highly talented Raider pass rushers should be able to get to the passer often. They have to capitalize when they do by making solid contact and sure tackles.

One way the Raiders can keep Roethelisburger corralled and creating those opportunities to seal the deal is by creating a stronger interior pass rush. Using Malcolm Smith to blitz through the A or B gaps, along with a good push from interior linemen like Dan Williams and Mario Edwards Jr. will force Ben back and possibly into moving laterally, where Khalil Mack and Aldon Smith must be ready to contain him and shut him down. But once they do get their hands on him, they must be ready to tackle a man the size of a defensive end in order to seal the deal.