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)
The third quarter ended with Marcus Trufant and Kam Chancellor colliding as Chancellor went up for an interception attempt, on a play that didn't count due to offsetting penalties. The Steelers won the 3rd quarter 7-0 and have the ball in field goal range. How is Pete feelin' right about now?
So, another 2nd and 29 turns into 3rd and 29. I like Brandon Browner, but he's had a really rough game. However, he does something good to start the 4th!
Another hogtie type tackle. Gotta love the fight Browner gives when trying to get opposing ball carriers to the ground.
Seattle could have rolled over after the 3rd and 9 bomb late in the third, but they didn't. Also, the penalty earlier on the drive that set up the 2nd and long helped. The Steelers got chunks of yards at will in this game; four plays of 20 yards or longer and 10 of 15 or more. Seattle allowed two of those plays, including the longest, on this one drive and held them to a 41 yard field goal attempt, which was no good. Seattle's defense started this one strong, and they showed some fight later in the game.
Seattle ball. T-Jax snaps under center and sprints right, then we have a Kris Durham sighting. His first catch!
Eight yards, but we have a three and out. Steelers get the ball on their 11. Seattle blitzes six on 3rd and 5 and we have another punt. Seattle's ball on their 36.
An already lopsided game is entering a lull. We haven't seen the Steelers blitz much in this game; to this point, Seattle's pass protection has held up better than it did in Week 1. So what happens when Pittsburgh is up 24 with 11 to go, at home and pitching a shutout?Seattle in '11,' Steelers have only two down linemen.
Mike Williams motions; the corner stays on that side and moves onto the line. Williams gets picked up on top by the linebacker. The middle linebacker will come right at the middle on the blitz. The stand-up end drops.
Play action. Forsett picks up the corner, Okung (wide arrow) blocks Harrison and the middle linebacker comes up the middle. Gallery sees him, but...
...he misses and the rest is history.
Seattle rebounds with this screen on the next play. Steelers drop eight well off the line and the play develops nicely. This is a good defense to call the screen against.
Hawks in '11,' Steelers in a heavy coverage look. All three receivers clear out out on the bottom; watch the interior linemen.
Gallery goes low, and Forsett plants to cut inside of Moffitt who will kind of connect. Forsett has to hit this hard...
He does. Now is the time to mention Mike Williams, who has been blocking for the past four frames. I pointed out his not full effort on the mis-timed/botched pass play in the first half, now I'll show quite the contrary. He really is the final piece to this blocking puzzle and lets Forsett get those extra 5-7 yards...
To here. Now the tempo picks up. No huddle time. On 3rd down we have another Kris Durham sighting.
Taps those toes. That's two on the right sideline to Durham. Justin Forsett made a nice pass-pro block. Next play, another one of these:
His second bobbled shotgun snap in this game, soft hands on both. This time, Jackson gets off a pass to Forsett for eight. Then Jackson hits Durham for a 1st down, ahead of the sticks now.
Yeah...now the Steelers match the tempo. Anyone in that box is eligible to blitz.
Jackson then talks to the line to configure the protection; he had to double check something after his main communication.
Corner comes in from the bottom, a backer from the bunch drops out the top left corner of the square. Here they come.
The biggest arrow is on Leon Washington. Because he is on the right side of the quarterback and Unger blocks left on the snap, it would make sense Washington has to block the blitzing OLB to his side or the free man up the middle, depending on what the center, right guard and tackle do.
The three lined arrows from top to bottom; the OLB on the rush, a man coming free up the middle and Gallery's target as he comes off from helping Unger. What their actual assignments were I don't know, but it looks like there is a major breakdown coming.
Carpenter (down facing arrow) lets the outside man go; was he supposed to take him? Moffitt is looking back at the big man who just blew by his left shoulder; is he confused because he just screwed up or because Carpenter just took the wrong man? Leon (double arrowed) is doing...I'm not sure. Is he screwed up because someone else screwed up? Did he screw up on his own? Did no one screw up? Did I screw up? This is screwed up.
I can't wait for Week 3 and it's possible at this point you can't, either.
Make that 4th and 8.
We feel ya, Pete.
It gets no better. Three men rush and Jackson gets sacked while scrambling.
Steelers ball on their 35. Good run defense leads to 3rd and 6, Seattle brings six. Trufant gets away with some contact, somewhat reasonable given the time/score, three and out. Punt, touchback.
Seattle ball and they get 25 yards in four plays, setting up a 3rd and 5 and what looks like another breakdown in protection:
Steelers bring five, then one late. Gallery blocks right off the snap to help Unger and Forsett doesn't slide across left to man a lot of free space that should have been accounted for, not sure who is at fault here. The circled man comes free through the B-gap and it's a sack. Seattle punts on 4th and 12 from their 38.
We just saw Pittsburgh start blitzing to preserve the shutout, not to keep the Seahawks' offense from going from lukewarm to hot. Seattle could have gone for it here; but really, 24 points in 4-plus minutes after the way the first 56 has gone ain't gonna happen.
Someone tells this to Heater and he sends a lineman flying:
Then the Steelers run a reverse on 2nd which gets stopped. Fittingly, Brandon Browner gets beat down the sideline for 19 on a 3rd and 8. That put Pittsburgh a 1st down away from ending the game, which they soon get and then do.
Week 1 had a very different complexion in the 4th quarter. Here it was a back and forth battle to 0-0. The Steelers had four 4th quarter sacks and kept Seattle out of the redzone...for the whole game. Enough said.
On the whole, there really isn't much to say. The stats are about as lopsided as the score. Seattle didn't have their fullback, which likely contributed to the running backs averaging 1.9 yards per carry. The offense didn't have a single explosive play. The debut of Robert Gallery didn't bring the spike in efficiency some hoped. The issues between quarterback and receiver have us all hoping Sidney Rice will debut soon, and wondering how much his presence will help. The defense missed too many tackles and allowed too many big plays. Seattle fought a full 60, but couldn't hang with the Steelers in Week 2.
On to happier times we go, Week 3 coming soon.
Gamebook here. Some stats below: Note total 1st downs, 3rd down and time of possession.