Players immediately after Sunday’s 27-10 win felt that the game was decided on third down and head coach Mike Tomlin seems to feel the same way.
“A victorious one, wasn’t perfect, ” Tomlin said on Tuesday during his weekly press conference of the win. “I thought what stood out was our ability to execute in second half, especially on third down. Doing that you put yourself in position to win. Defensively, though, we were successful in getting off the field on third downs.”
Pittsburgh went 8-15 on third downs and the Steelers were 4-for-4 on third down on their 14 play, 80 yard drive in the 4th quarter to close out the game.
Tomlin though is very disappointed with the running game.
“Our run game could highlight that area of needed improvement,” Tomlin said. “We got room for growth.” I know we need to have it as an asset moving forward.”
Tomlin said the Steelers running the ball well when they needed to on their 14 play, 4th quarter scoring drive wasn’t good enough. “I’m looking for more than that. I think we ran it for 6 times for 30 yards and I’m looking for more than that, ” Tomlin said.
The Oakland Raiders are 0-2 and Carson Palmer hasn’t been the type of difference maker in Oakland that Raiders fans thought he would be but the veteran quarterback to no surprise garnered praise from head coach Mike Tomlin.

“This guy is a verteran guy, very familuar with us, ” Tomlin said. “Probably as much experience of facing our defense, pre snaps as any quarterback in football. Fits well under things they are doing. West coast in principle, making quick reads and quick throws. They utlize play action pass.”
Palmer is 4-8 in his career vs Pittsburgh but he leads the AFC in passing yards with 670. “He utlizes a variety of people, ” Tomlin said. “Utlizes his backs very well. Creates a dilleema if you will.”
Tomlin see’s the Raiders vertical game as an area of concern for the Steelers defending on Sunday.
Palmer on the season is 56 of 94 for 670 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
It’s likely that the Steelers will hold out Troy Polamalu and James Harrison until after the bye week.
“Troy (calf) and James Harrison (knee), we’ll take same approach as week ago, work day to day, how their body responds. Start with informal workouts, ” Tomlin said of the Steelers star defensive players. “Chris Carter and Ryan Mundy have done a solid job,” Tomlin said of Mundy and Carter.
Meanwhile Rashard Mendenhall will see some more bumps in practice but like Harrison, Polamalu, probably sits until after the bye week. “Maybe we’ll bump him around a bit in practice and see how he responds,” Tomlin said.
Good news on the injury front is that Stevenson Sylvester (knee) is making progress and could practice this week. Some players who could be limited early in the week in practice include Jonathan Dwyer (turf toe), Heath Miller (rib cartlidge) and Marcus Gilbert (groin pull)