Football Team

3 things for Washington fans to watch in Seahawks vs. Steelers

Football Team

Pittsburgh is looking to notch consecutive wins for the first time this season against the battered Seahawks in what should be another thrilling marquee Sunday Night Football game.

Seattle (2-3) travels east to face the Steelers (2-3) without their star quarterback Russell Wilson, who along with starting running back Chris Carson, was placed on injured reserve. That means the explosive offense duo will miss at least the next three games and now the Seahawks will have to cope, starting at Heinz Field. 

The Steelers, on the other hand, will look to create some momentum with a win at home under the lights after halting their three-game losing streak last week. The running game is back, but will it be enough against shorthanded Seattle? 

Here are three things to watch.

How will Seattle cope? 

Geno Smith went 10-of-17 for 131 yards in the fourth quarter but couldn't lead the Seahawks on a dramatic final drive and instead threw an interception on his first throw of the series. Smith will have to play at the top of his game to give the Seahawks a chance in this one. Alex Collins must bring more production than the last couple of weeks he's taken over for the banged-up Carson (neck). 

Offensive ailments aren't the end of the Seahawks' woes heading into this one. To an extreme degree, the defense has been a far cry from its vaunted defense during its Super Bowl run in 2014. Seattle's disorganized defense ranks dead last in giving up 450.8 yards per game and could be in for another challenge against a Pittsburgh squad finding its groove. 


Resurgent Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger was borderline unplayable the first four games of the Steelers season according to most NFL analysts and pundits. But last week against the Broncos, Roethlisberger put up his best quarterback rating (120.9) since Week 4 of last season to silence his critics after that tumultuous start. 

Pittsburgh's No. 7 completed 15 of his 25 passing attempts for 253 yards for two touchdowns and zero interceptions en route to a 27-19 win against the Broncos. Long completions to Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson showed there's still at least a little bit left in the tank for an arm for the 39-year-old. 

Will the 42.5 over/under hit? 

With Roethlisberger coming off his best performance of the season and coming up against the porous Seattle secondary, Big Ben and company could use last week's success to punish the visitors. But the Steelers are 1-4 in hitting the over this season, a trend that could remain if Roethlisberger again uses his running game to pace the win. 

Rookie Najee Harris ran for a career-high 122 yards and a TD to open the passing game up for Roethlisberger, but then cramping problems kept him out while Denver almost rallied late. Expect Roethlisberger to try to get Harris involved early and for the Steelers' defense to limit Seattle's offense. If both happen, the over could be out of the question. 

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