It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since the Pittsburgh Steelers dumped the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL 21-10 and for some ‘Hawks fans, they are still bitter about that loss believing the referees cost them an NFL title.
But here we are in 2019 and the two teams will meet for the fourth time since that championship game with Pittsburgh having taken two of the last three. Overall, the Steelers and Seattle have played 18 times, 17 in the regular season and this Sunday’s game will break a 9-9 series tie.
The game is Pittsburgh’s home opener and there have been nine previous meetings between the two teams that were played at Three Rivers Stadium or Heinz Field. It’s been four years since the last matchup between the Steelers and Seahawks. That previous game was in Seattle where the Steelers lost 39-30 in a wild affair.
But in the ‘Burgh, the Black and Gold have won seven of nine. The last two games at Heinz Field resulted in Seattle being shutout, 21-0 in 2007 and 24-0 in 2011. Interestingly enough, that October 7, 2007 game was a follow-up to the 2006 Super Bowl and Pittsburgh scored the same 21 points they did in taking home their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
It might be a good thing this game is at Heinz Field because facing Seattle on the road, the Steelers have won only one of eight. Before I get to my preview, a view of one of several latest power rankings.
NFL Power Rankings - Week 2: Overreactions for every team
In this edition, we leap to way-too-early conclusions after a wild first week of gridiron action.
#1. New England Patriots (1-0)
The season might as well be declared over. The reigning champions crushed the Steelers - supposedly one of their biggest challengers in the AFC - with shocking ease. Nobody will be able to prevent the Patriots from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy once again.
#19. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Previous Rank: 16
The Steelers being outcoached by the Patriots is nothing new, but Ben Roethlisberger usually keeps it interesting with a few deep bombs. Despite leading the league in passing during 2018, Big Ben's arm appeared to be in decline. Now, it seems the quarterback's days of dominating downfield are over.
I never pay much attention to power rankings because the only thing that matters in the end is which team is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
A little insight on the Steelers heading into week #2…
NFL Week 2 survivor picks
Alex Moretto, theScore.com
If you're feeling lucky: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers were curb-stomped Sunday night, humiliated on national television, but come into Week 2 as favorites. How?
Well, the Seahawks didn't look much better, that's how. Pittsburgh lost at Foxboro against Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the Super Bowl champions. Seattle lucked its way into a one-point win, at home, against a Cincinnati Bengals team with just one win since last October. The Bengals had 200 more yards of offense, while Russell Wilson struggled to move the ball and was sacked five times behind an offensive line that Seahawks fans must be concerned about. And now they have to travel across the country to take on an angry Steelers team. No thanks.
Pittsburgh is on a 9-0 run under Mike Tomlin as the home favorite when coming off a double-digit loss. Meanwhile, Seattle is 1-9 straight up under Pete Carroll as a road 'dog in non-conference games. The Seahawks are also 5-16 ATS under Carroll when traveling to the Eastern time zone for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The Steelers have a tough home schedule this season. This might be the spot to take them.
Shooting Down Some ‘Hawks
The Seattle Seahawks come to Pittsburgh narrowly escaping defeat in the season opener to the Cincinnati Bengals. By beating the Bengals 21-20, Seattle’s defense allowed Andy Dalton to complete 35 of 51 passes for 418 yards and two touchdowns. They did however get to him behind the line of scrimmage five times. Seattle completely stuffed Cincinnati’s running game while offensively, there wasn’t a lot to brag about. Russell Wilson was sacked four times and no other offensive numbers stood out.
WHEN THE SEAHAWKS HAVE THE BALL
I questioned earlier this week whether the Patriots were that good or was Pittsburgh that bad? On both sides of the ball. The Steelers’ defense is what scares me the most. They got worked by Tom Brady last Sunday night. The 42-year old six-time Super Bowl winning quarterback made everything look so easy. Granted the Patriots are the world champions and an outstanding team in playing ability and coaching but if our defense is no better than what we saw up in New England this season is going to be a VERY long one.
For Seattle, Russell Wilson is that team’s only viable dangerous weapon. Receivers like Tyler Lockett and Nick Vannett and running backs Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson should pose no threat to Pittsburgh’s defense if they are on their game and playing to their abilities. That’s what I hope for is that the Steelers defense bounces back in a big way and shows Steelers Nation that the opening day loss was nothing more than an aberration.
Pittsburgh’s secondary HAS to be much better. Whether the Patriots are champions or not, a first game score of 33-3 is just downright embarrassing. Brady throws for 341 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, sacked just once and a QB rating of 124.9 is not a good indication of where our defense is. It gives the impression that either Tom Brady is superman or Pittsburgh’s defense just sucks. I thought this defense would be much improved in 2019 so I’m hopeful that on Sunday we see some of that improvement.
WHEN THE STEELERS HAVE THE BALL
The Steelers believed that the absence of Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell would not diminish the production of the Steelers’ offense. It appears that Roosevelt Nix won’t be able to play with a knee injury but the tight ends should be able to cover for his blocking abilities until he returns. Following the ineptness of Ben Roethlisberger’s unit last Sunday night much emphasis was put on that simple fact that without B&B this won’t be the same offense.
I don’t buy that. It was only the first game of the season and the offense was obviously not in sync. Dante Moncrief is not as bad as his multiple cement hands night. He was targeted 10 times and came away with just three receptions and 10 yards. Sunday presents a good opportunity for the Steelers to right the ship and get a few wins under their belt before facing the high flying Ravens in Pittsburgh on October 6. In between there is Seattle, San Francisco, and the Bengals, three games Pittsburgh has no business losing and a chance to get the offense in rhythm and prepare for a tough Baltimore team and then a follow-up out west against the Chargers.
The Steelers have a reputation of bouncing back in a big way after an embarrassing loss. As this is the home opener I fully expect that to be the case. Mike Tomlin should have the team clean up all the mistakes in practice this week and if his team comes out flat again on Sunday, you know there are bigger issues. The crowd will be alive and the Steelers by Sunday will have forgotten last Sunday night’s nightmare.
I have confidence that you will be seeing a MUCH different team in the Steelers come Sunday. I think the defense has a chip on their shoulder to prove they are way better than what they gave up in New England. Steelers 27 Seahawks 13.
Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin indicated on Tuesday that the Steelers could be without fullback Roosevelt Nix for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at Heinz Field after he suffered a knee injury against the Patriots.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
In reviewing last week’s performance by these two teams, Carolina definitely played better and they are home for this one. Advantage Panthers. Panthers 31 Tampa 24.
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals opened some eyes last week nearly winning on the road but San Francisco also played well. Andy Dalton is under the gun forced to have a good season or he might be seeking a new team in 2020. His current roll will continue. Bengals 21 49ers 17.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins
The Cowboys blew out the Giants in their season opener while the ‘Skins choked. I’m not sold on Dallas and I think Washington has enough to pull the upset. Redskins 23 Dallas 21.
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens set the tone for the AFC North last weekend and the other AFC North teams best be prepared for a season long war as Baltimore defends their division title. Ravens 38 Cardinals 12.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
No Luck certainly did not mean NO LUCK for Indianapolis in week one as they nearly won. Tennessee just laid it on the “new look” Browns. This one will be closer. Titans 30 Colts 24.
Buffalo Bills at New York Giants
It should be Eli Manning again behind center but if he performs badly here don’t be surprised if Daniel Jones is the starter the following weekend. Buffalo had a nice comeback to upend the Jets and Le’Veon Bell. Josh Allen had a decent day despite throwing two picks. Giants 28 Bills 17.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
This game could be WAY ugly. If Antonio Brown avoids being held out by the NFL for the rape allegations he is facing then you can rest assured he will be the recipient of at least one touchdown. Even without him, you can see the damage the Patriots can inflict on a team after what they did to the Steelers. Miami gave up 59 points to Lamar Jackson and Baltimore who are certainly not New England. Patriots 51 Miami 10.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
The Jags are in trouble. They went out of their way to get Nick Foles onboard in the off-season and let Blake Bortles finally go and then Foles breaks a clavicle against Kansas City last Sunday and is out at least until sometime in November. That leaves rookie Gardner Minshew unless he falters then ex-Steeler Joshua Dobbs will become the starter. For now, they are no match for Houston in Houston. Texans 33 Jaguars 14.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Are the Packers back to normal? This game might reflect on that. Packers 28 Vikings 24.
Los Angeles Chargers at Detroit Lions
Detroit is left licking their wounds after tying Arizona last Sunday and allowing rookie Kyler Murray to bring his team back and send the game into overtime. Another season for Philip Rivers which in the end will probably result in another opportunity that goes by the wayside to get into a Super Bowl. This will be a tough game for both teams. Lions 35 Chargers 31.
Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders
No Brown…no problem. The Raiders without Antonio Brown defeated the Denver Broncos. The Broncs are certainly no barn burners so not sure how much to make of that Oakland victory. The Chiefs have a potent offense and you know they are going to score and score again in this one. Hats off to the Black Hole though last Monday by chanting “Fuck A.B.” That was classic. Chiefs 39 Raiders 14.
New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams
In typical Drew Brees style, the Saints came from behind to defeat the Texans on Monday night and this game could be a playoff preview. It might even be a possible NFC title game matchup come January. I like a road upset here. Saints 30 Rams 27.
Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos
Did Mitch Trubisky have a career year in 2018? Some believe he is not as good as how he performed last season. I’m on that train. Joe Flacco might not be as great as some think he can be but he is still effective. Broncos 17 Bears 14.
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
The Eagles got a win on opening day while the Falcons were not so good. I’m not a believer in this Atlanta team either where some think they are playoff bound. Eagles 31 Falcons 17.
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets
This should be a fun game between two bad teams from 2018 and before that. Can Baker Mayfield and his toys rebound from a red-faced loss to face Le’Veon Bell in a hostile New Jersey stadium? How many BIG games will Bell have this season? This could be the first. Jets 24 Browns 17.
and NFL predictions