Pittsburgh can run vs. Oakland, but will they?

The Oakland Raiders rush "defense" is putrid. Jon Gruden's squad is ranked 31st in the league against the run and is giving up 153 yards a game. 

Can the Steelers run the ball? No doubt about it. They've got one of the best offensive lines in football. 

Will they run the ball? I'm not so sure. During Pittsburgh's six game winning streak, the team rushed for 100 yards in 5 straight games. Roethlisberger only turned it over 2 times. That should be Pittsburgh's identity. 

Over the last three games, though, the Steelers are running 14.6 times per game for 55.3 yards. This with James Conner. 

Jaylen Samuels is averaging 2.6 yards per carry. Stevan Ridley is averaging 3.1 yards per carry. If the Steelers weren't running the ball against shoddy rush defenses with James Conner, I don't think they'll be inclined to do it with a couple of inferior backs. 

The offensive line is capable. The Raiders defense stinks. But Ben Roethlisberger has a "shooters shoot" mentality, and Randy Fichtner's squad is throwing it about 67 percent of the time. 

Adam Crowley

Adam Crowley

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