As is the case with any season, there are a couple games that stand out when the Pittsburgh Steelers’ schedule is released. For the 2015 season, the mid-season matchup against the Seattle Seahawks was one of the more intriguing games on paper, and what took place on the field today was more than expected for the average NFL fan.
Unfortunately for the fans of the black and gold, the Seahawks made a couple more big plays down the stretching, outlasting the Steelers for a much-needed 39-30 victory.
Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson both had their way with the opposing defenses. Ben went 36-55 for 456 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while Wilson threw for 345 yards with five touchdowns.
The Steelers offense started off cautious but effective against the Seahawks defense, converting short passes to Heath Miller and Antonio Brown, while collecting handfuls of yards on efficient running by Deangelo Williams.
After moving down the field for the game’s first field goal, a 44 yarder by Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh was on the move, but a costly play-calling mistake cut the drive short.
After lining up for what would have been a 44 yard field, the Steelers changed formations, and Landry Jones made a short pass attempt that was intercepted by Jeremy Lane and returned for 54 yards to the Pittsburgh 24 yard line. Six plays later, Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 16 yard touchdown, giving Seattle a 7-3 lead.
Pittsburgh responded with an 8 play scoring drive, capped off with an eleven yard reverse run by Martavis Bryant. The Steelers took the lead back at 10-7 with 8:47 remaining.
Seattle answered with a 12 play drive of its own, and Wilson’s 12 yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse put the Seahawks back on top, 14-10, with just over two minutes remaining in the first half.
Six plays later, the lead changed again. The Steelers moved down the field for 80 yards in a minute and four seconds with ease, including a 41 yard bomb to Markus Wheaton, setting up a six yard touchdown by Williams. After the successful two point conversation, the Steelers led 18-14 at the half.
The teams traded plenty of punches in the second half, but in the end, the home team made more plays down the stretch. Boswell’s 25 yard field goal pushed the lead to 21-14, but Seattle responded with a drive down the field, ending with a one yard touchdown run by Thomas Rawls. But after a missed extra point, the Steelers still held a one point lead.
A 9 yard touchdown connection between Wilson and Kearse pushed the lead to 26-21, but Roethlisberger hit Wheaton for a 69 yard score, once again giving the Steelers the lead at 27-26. Wilson hit Baldwin from 30 yards out, and, after another failed two point attempt, the score was 32-27 in favor of the home team.
Pittsburgh moved down the field once again, but on a fourth down and goal with four yards to go, the Steelers decided to kick a field goal rather than go for it. Boswell’s field goal narrowed the Seahawks lead to 32-30. But on a 3rd and 10 from their own 20 yard line, Seattle put the game out of reach with an 80 yard touchdown from Wilson to Baldwin.
For two teams who have prided themselves on defense, both sides were dominated by the opposing offenses. This was a huge game for both teams, and unfortunately for the Steelers, the result of this game made the AFC Wild Card playoff picture much more interesting. This was an opportunity for Pittsburgh to separate themselves a bit from the rest of the pack, but now the remaining five games on their schedule just became that much more important.
The Steelers will need to wash this one off fast and begin preparing for another huge matchup next week, as they will face the Indianapolis Colts under the lights on Sunday night.
Overall Record: 6-5
Next Game: Sunday, December 6 vs. Indianapolis Colts 8:30pm