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Raiders looking for rare post-bye victory

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POSTED October 25, 2013 10:36 p.m.

OAKLAND (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers returned home from London three weeks ago with no wins, an offense that couldn’t run the ball or hold onto it, and a defense that couldn’t take the ball away.

That all added up to the worst start for the franchise in more than four decades. But it was nothing a week off couldn’t cure.

The Steelers (2-4) have been a different team since getting a bye the week after their loss in London to Minnesota, beating the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens in consecutive weeks to get closer to the playoff hunt in the AFC.

The biggest difference has been cutting down on turnovers. After giving it away 11 times and failing to take it back once in the four losses, Pittsburgh has just one turnover and two takeaways the past two weeks.

“We’re not shooting ourselves in the foot,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “We’re not turning the ball over as much and we’re getting some. I think it’s as simple as that.”

The Raiders (2-4) are hoping they can respond from a bye week as well as the Steelers did.

They went into the week off with a 24-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs when they allowed nine sacks and threw three interceptions in a sloppy offensive performance.

But the week off hasn’t been kind to the Raiders in recent years. They have lost the last 10 games coming out of the bye, getting outscored 271-139 in the process.

“I think we’re all aware of that, but like I told the players, the past has no relevance to the future,” coach Dennis Allen said. “Any of the outcomes that have happened after a bye in the past won’t dictate how we go out and play against Pittsburgh.”

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