The Raiders took control of the clash with a fast start, scoring in the opening play as Terrelle Pryor ran 93 yards to waste no time in breaking the deadlock.
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Darren McFadden found the endzone soon after as the Raiders scored 14 unanswered points in the first quarter, with Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham offering just a single field goal from three attempts in response.
Early in the third quarter McFadden's second rushing score looked to have the Raiders home and dry, but Pittsburgh rallied late to set up a grandstand finish.
Ben Roethlisberger found his range in the fourth quarter as he picked out Emanuel Sanders to reduce the deficit, before helping turn Le'Veon Bell's touchdown into eight points with a two-point conversion.
That gamble moved the Steelers to within three points with less than 90 seconds to go, but the Raiders pressed the visitors five yards from their own line late on.
Roethlisberger was unable to work any late magic, as the Raiders won a game after their bye week for the first time in a decade.