PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Tavaris Jackson #7 of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by Steve McLendon #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on September 18, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks 24-0. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Welp, uh, that wasn't very fun. The Seahawks failed to get anything started on offense all day and the Steelers waltzed through on their way to an easy 24-0 win. I can't say I'm surprised by the outcome, but despite my low expectations coming in I still find myself reeling a bit from the total ineptness demonstrated by the Seahawks today.
The Seahawks managed just 8 first-downs to Pittsburgh's 23. The Hawks eked out 164 yards to the Steelers 421. Seattle rushed for 31 yards on 2.4 yards per carry. The most important number though: zero points. The obvious excuse to throw out there is that the Steelers are a very good team with a very good defense. It doesn't make me feel much better, but it is true.
On defense, the Seahawks didn't fare a whole lot better. The Steelers went 8/15 on third down and dominated time of possession (38:44 - 21:16). Obviously, most of this is owed to the offensive disfunction, but when the opposing team converts more than 50% of their third downs the defense isn't doing its job either.
Brandon Browner was picked on all day by the NFL's fastest wide receiver, Mike Wallace. There was naturally an outpouring of emotion on Browner's suckatude but if you take a step back and look you might want to question the strategic intelligence in putting a 6'4, 220 pound press-corner on the league's fastest receiver. Furthermore, the Hawks rarely even pressed Wallace, instead choosing to play Browner off the line 10-15 yards. You can complain about Browner all day but in my opinion he was misused. His specialty should be matching up physically against the league's bigger, slower receivers, not trying to run step for step with the elite speed receiver in the NFL.
Of course, it didn't help that Ben Roethlisberger typically had a good amount of time to throw the ball. The defense did manage 2 sacks and 3 QB hits, but I don't think those numbers really represent what happened in this game. Namely, what I saw was Steelers methodically picking apart our defense in all facets. Browner is the obvious scapegoat.
It's kind of tough to talk about silver linings with this bad taste in my mouth but I suppose there were a few. The goal-line stand early in the first quarter comes to mind. Umm... well, maybe I'll take a step back, rewatch the game, and come back to you soon with some more indepth stuff. Right now, I'm just glad that there didn't appear to be any major injuries, unless you count the news pre-game that it's now believed that Sidney Rice is fighting a torn labrum. Rice will now have to decide whether to play through that or have surgery and go on the IR.
Overall, not a good game for the Seahawks, but as they say, the Seahawks will have to take a look at their mistakes, learn from them, then flush the memory of that game down the toilet.
Boxscore here: Seahawks vs Steelers boxscore.