Seahawks fans probably still harbor ill will towards Pittsburgh following a controversial loss to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL and next week would be a perfect time to exact a little revenge. In fact, if Seattle can’t pick up a victory over Pittsburgh in Week 12 (Sunday, Nov. 29, at 4:25 PM Eastern), they could kiss their chances of making it back to a third-straight big game goodbye.
Seattle still has to travel to Minnesota and Arizona this year, and are currently caught in a cluster of teams that are two games out of an NFC Wild Card spot. They can’t afford any more setbacks, especially at the safe haven that used to be CenturyLink Field. After going 22-2 at home over the past three years, the Seahawks are just .500 at home this season: those wins coming against the Lions and a Bears team without Jay Cutler.
Then again, a lot of things have been off about this Seahawks team this season. Every since they blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIV, Seattle has struggled to hold a lead, currently ranking 21st in the NFL in points allowed in the final frame.
They’ll need to tighten up against a potent Steelers offense that ranks sixth in yards per game, despite losing Le’Veon Bell for the season and missing Ben Roethlisberger for lengthy stretches this season. Big Ben rushed back from injury to play in relief of Landry Jones last week, and threw for 379 yards and three touchdowns in the win. With Pittsburgh on a bye this weekend, Roesthlisberger will be well rested and ready to pick apart the “Legion of Boom.”
On the other side of the ball, the Steelers have been a force against opposing quarterbacks; totaling 28 sacks and nine interceptions in nine games. The Seahawks have surrendered 33 sacks on the year, and with all that pressure, Russel Wilson is averaging a turnover a game (seven interceptions, two fumbles).
The Steelers have won the last three meetings between these teams, including registering two shutouts at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh’s defense may not be as good as those teams of the past, but they still hold teams to just 19 points a game. The Seahawks defense is no slouch either, but if one offense is going to go off this afternoon, you have to like the team with the All-Pro receiver who has already racked up 1,000 yards on the season.
Roll with Antonio Brown and the Steelers to continue their march towards the playoffs, and seriously hurt Seattle’s in the process.
Straight-up pick: Steelers.
(Photo credit: Larry Maurer [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)