Everyone take a deep breath. We all knew the Steelers were not going to go 16-0, but the way that they were handled last week against the Ravens was very alarming to say the least. This week they are back at the friendly confines of Heniz Field to take on a Seattle team that comes from the west coast, and lost opening day to the 49ers. Here’s our thoughts and the pick on the game this Sunday at 1pm.
1. Get Back to Being the Steelers – Forget what people and the TV talking heads are saying, the Steelers are still the Steelers, and Sunday they simply have to come out and play that way. That’s it, pure and simple. The Seahawks don’t have an overly impressive run game, nor do they have the physical players on defense like the Steelers do. The Steelers need to get that nasty attitude back, and it needs to come from their key players who usually set the tone – Polamalu, Ward, Harrison, Farrior and Woodley.
2. Establish Mendenhall – Last week the 49′ers were awful in getting their run game established, though they were able to run for 85 yards, they needed 32 carries to do it. The Steelers O-line needs to set the tempo, and they need to get Rashard Mendenhall early carries and early yards. Against the Ravens, the team saw some success running before they were plagued by awful turnovers and the game got out of hand. Against the Seahawks, they need to push the birds around a bit and show them early they are going to run the ball, and there’s nothing that Seattle is going to do about it.
3. Make it Easy – The game of football is so much easier when you don’t make it hard on yourself. Don’t put the ball on the ground, don’t commit bad penalties, don’t drop passes, don’t get in third and long situations. That’s it. Last week the Steelers did just about everything to make the game harder on them than it should have been, and while you have to give the Ravens credit, the Steelers did nothing to simply play the game and make it easy. The Hawks held Alex Smith and the Niners to 1-of-12 on third-down conversions, and most of them were not 3rd and 1. If the Steelers are going to set the tempo and play well against the Hawks, they need to play sound football and match whatever intensity that Seattle brings.
Prediction – A study shows that teams coming from the left coast to the east coast for 1pm games are usually always losers, and I can’t see the Hawks being a team to break that trend on Sunday. The Steelers defense is going to come out tasting blood, and the Steelers offense wants to show that last week was nothing more than a blip on the radar for the rest of the season. The Steelers are a much better team than last Sunday in B-More, and will show it with a thumping of Seattle. Steelers 31 Seattle 14