Here’s what the Seahawks have to do to win today
SEATTLE – The rivalry between Pittsburgh and the Seahawks has very much been in the Steelers’ favor since the last time they played in Seattle, way back in 2003. It’s been so bad, in fact, that the Seahawks haven’t scored a point the last two times the teams played.
What do the Hawks need to do to reverse the trend today? Here are a couple keys to the game.
Stop the Steelers’ passing attack
Ben Roethlisberg is still really, really good, and he has perhaps the best receiver tandem in the NFL at his disposal in Antonio Brown and Martavis Byrant. (Tight end Heath Miller’s no slouch either.) The Steelers have a vast array of tactics in their aerial arsenal – crossing routes, go-routes … you name it, they can beat you with it.
The numbers tell the story. Roethlisberger is No. 2 in the NFL in yards per passing attempt, and has thrown for 300 yards four times in the six games he’s played this season. Brown, who’s on pace for 126 receptions, has six 100 yards receiving games – including 284 in a win over the Raiders – already this season.
Complicating things further: For the first time in the Legion of Boom era, Seattle’s struggled at times against the pass. On the plus side, defensive back Jeremy Lane is coming back this week after the two horrific injuries he suffered on the same play in the Super Bowl.
Can Rawls do it again?
Thomas Rawls was nothing short of spectacular filling in for the injured Marshawn Lynch last week, rushing for 209 yards and a touchdown. It was his third 100 yard rushing game of the season, and he showed he’s very Lynch-like in that he can run through guys and looks to initiate contact. He loves to take on tacklers, which gives the team an attitude it’s been missing at times this season. That running style and that attitude are what Lynch has always brought to the table, and it permeates through to the rest of the team.
Rawls is no slouch through the air, either – he picked 46 yards receiving and scored another touchdown on Sunday. He finds open space, he sees the field really well, he finds the holes – there are lots of guys in the NFL who can find a hole and get through it, but to read the play the way he’s been able to as a rookie is what’s been most impressive about him so far.
Rawls is as good as it comes in the NFL right now. He leads the league with 6.0 per carry (among those with at least 100 attempts), and he needs to average 66 yards a game to reach 1,000 yards.