Steelers notebook: Leaving Eastern time zone a losing proposition
The Steelers are 0-8 playing outside the Eastern time zone since beating Kansas City in 2011 and are 0-5 on the West Coast since winning at San Diego in 2005.
They haven't won in Oakland since 1995, prompting Ryan Clark to say, “Oakland, since I've been here, has always been a tough game, has always been a struggle, has always been a loss.”
• The Steelers are 0-2 against Tom Brady in Foxborough but beat the Patriots and backup QB Matt Cassel in 2008. They are 3-6 against New England since Brady came into the NFL in 2000.
• The players receiving the highest grades in Pro Football Focus' game evaluation were: defensive end Brett Keisel (his 4.5 rating was one of the Steelers' highest all season); right guard David DeCastro (before he injured an ankle), right tackle Marcus Gilbert; and safety Troy Polamalu. Grading poorly: inside linebacker Vince Williams; tight end David Paulson (on both offense and special teams); and offensive linemen Kelvin Beachum and Guy Whimper.
• Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, recovering from a concussion that kept him out of the Ravens game, played only 11 snaps; Jason Worilds played 52. Former starting defensive end Ziggy Hood was on the field for six snaps. Cornerback Cortez Allen had 14; fellow corner William Gay played 58.
• Ryan Clark was expecting a Darren McFadden run on the first play of the game, as evidenced by how unencumbered Terrelle Pryor was on his 93-yard touchdown run. “There was a lot of talk all week about turning McFadden back, and everyone was revved up for that,” Clark said. “That was a good play by him (Pryor) to read the option and pull it. Even if you're excited about (opposing) McFadden, you have to understand the beast that is playing quarterback.”
• For Shaun Suisham, missed field goals come in bunches. He was 28 of 31 last season, but two misses came in the 13-10 loss to the Bengals that cost the Steelers a playoff spot. He was 15 for 15 this season before missing from 32 and 34 yards Sunday in Oakland.
— Alan Robinson