The 2015-2016 Season in the National Football League (NFL) has teams preparing to play opponents in Week Nine which is roughly mid-season for all squads. In a battle between American Football Conference (AFC) teams, the second place and upstart Oakland Raiders, with a Won-Loss record of 4-3 in the West Division, will be traveling east to compete against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a squad with a Won-Loss record of 4-4 that is also in second place, but in the North Division of the same conference.
The Raiders are a young squad with a rapidly-developing franchise quarterback, second year player Derek Carr. This dynamic and athletic performer riddled a tough New York Jets defense at home last Sunday by throwing four touchdown passes en route to a 34-20 victory.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are led by one of the league’s best signal callers, Ben Roethlisberger and have a young and rugged defense that has been enjoying success against most opposing offenses. This game, which will be played in “the steel city,” is vitally important for both squads.
Although Oakland and Pittsburgh are in second place in their respective divisions, first place, for both teams, seems to be out-of-reach. That’s because the Raiders trail the Denver Broncos, a squad that has produced a Won-Loss record of 7-0 and the Steelers lag behind the Cincinnati Bengals, another team that has played seven games and has yet to lose.
The Raiders performed at a very high level last Sunday when they surprised the visiting Jets. But that game was played in Oakland and now this team hopes it will be able to “ride the hot hand” of young Derek Carr when it plays “on the road.”
Ben Roethlisberger is a starting quarterback with more than ten years of hands-on experience, a signal caller that has won a Super Bowl and a strong-armed quarterback capable of making any throw to any part of the field. Add to that the fact that the Steelers are very tough to beat at home and it seems perfectly clear that the visitors from northern California may be biting off more than they can chew this Sunday.
Of course, if wins or losses in every professional football game could be guaranteed in advance there would be no reason whatsoever to actually play the game. This contest between these inter-conference foes has a favorite and an underdog, but it does not come with a guarantee.
Victory and defeat will be decided on the gridiron. The Steelers, a proud team with a winning history, suffered a bad loss in their last game. This squad needs to win to remain relevant and in the hunt for postseason play.
Of course, the Raiders also need to win. They are competing with several teams for one of the two Wild Cards available in the AFC. For this team, make that for both teams, winning this Sunday is essential.
Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders