Oakland Raiders: Keys to Victory Over Pittsburgh Steelers

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Oct 4, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) loses a fumble that is recovered by Chicago Bears defensive end Sam Acho (49) in the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Take Care Of The Ball – And Take It Away From Pittsburgh

In their games with Chicago and Denver, the Raiders learned a very simple, very powerful lesson – if you don’t take care of the ball, it can and will come back to bite you square in the backside.

Turnovers decided the outcome of both games. Against the Bears, it was Latavius Murray and his terrible case of butterfingers that cost Oakland dearly – it cost them a shot at winning that game. Against the Broncos, a late and very costly pick-six by Denver corner Chris Harris off of Carr sealed the deal and hung a big “L” on Oakland’s record. If not for that pick-six, the Raiders were in prime position to take that game.

Yeah, coulda – shoulda – woulda.

In their next two games though, against San Diego and then the Jets, Oakland displayed a fantastic ability to not turn the ball over. They do not have a turnover in the last two games and have instead, collected three takeaways – two against Philip Rivers, one against Geno Smith.

And perhaps not so coincidentally, Oakland has won both games handily.

Carr has made much better decisions with the football and there seems to be an emphasis on ball security on the offensive side of the board that is paying off. That is a trend that Oakland absolutely has to continue.

Next: There Is No Moral Code In The NFL

As a team, the Steelers have collected seven interceptions and four fumble recoveries so far this season and are plus two in the turnover differential column. Thanks to the resurgence of the defense over the last few weeks, the Raiders have moved to a plus three in the turnover differential column with their eight interceptions and four fumble recoveries.

The Raiders absolutely must continue their recent trend of taking very, very good care of the football – and of taking it away. Winning the turnover battle will help them and will go a long way toward securing a win.