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Winners and Losers from Steelers 23 Seahawks 20

Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

This is going to be a not completely thorough Winners and Losers because it’s late in the night and this ended up being a far more exhausting game than it looked at first glance. The Seattle Seahawks were down 14-0 and looked lifeless against the Pittsburgh Steelers, made a great rally, made a mess out of a two-minute drill, then the fumble luck turned against them in overtime for the 23-20 loss.

Let’s do this.

Winners

The running back trio of Alex Collins, Deejay Dallas, and Travis Homer

It sucks that Collins went off injured but he was stellar. Just over 100 yards rushing and a touchdown for Collins, 5 catches for 33 yards for Dallas and some nice kick returns, and a couple of explosive plays from Travis Homer both rushing and receiving. They played well collectively in their respective roles.

D.J. Reed and Tre Brown

Reed is a natural at right cornerback. He had two pass break-ups including tremendous recovery after Chase Claypool (or was it Diontae Johnson?) had a step on him down the field. What a gem.

But what about Tre Brown! The rookie showed out in his NFL debut and that 3rd and 4 tackle of Ray-Ray McCloud in overtime was textbook tackling and he did so after coming off of his man. That’s tremendous anticipation and instincts and even when Big Ben targeted Brown he more than held up in coverage. I think Brown was very encouraging even in limited snaps.

If Sidney Jones’ injury is serious then we may have two starting outside corners at 5’9”. How times have changed.

Gerald Everett

That 41-yard rumble after the catch was my favorite offensive play of the evening. He was wide open and could’ve had about 20 to begin with but he discarded Steelers defenders with ease and showed off his YAC abilities. Maybe they should get him the ball more...

Darrell Taylor

This is two-part. One is that he looked like the best player on defense all game. We even saw him get involved in limiting the Steelers rushing attack. The second part is that the injury he suffered doesn’t appear to be so serious that he would need an overnight hospital stay. It is so relieving to hear that he’ll be flying back with the team after a terrifying on-field moment that had everyone concerned on both sidelines. I hope his injury isn’t serious because his future is bright.

Jason Myers

He needed a pick-me-up after the missed field goal last week and an all-around uninspiring start to the season. No missed kicks this evening and he had the game-tying kick in the clutch to force overtime.

Losers

Jamal Adams

Not the happy birthday for Jamal that he wanted. I thought he actually played well, but he had his chance to make the biggest play of his Seahawks career and he botched it badly. These are plays that a franchise safety has to have and he hasn’t delivered on that front.

DK Metcalf

Holy shit, man. I’ll ignore his stats for a bit because I don’t expect big explosive plays with Geno Smith at quarterback. That decision to stay in bounds and try and push for more yards with no timeouts was an unbelievably bad decision. Freddie Swain bailed him out and prevented both a game-losing fumble and the clock expiring altogether.

I love DK, and he’s been a star, but I think that play kinda sums up what I dislike most about a lot of the more recent Seahawks draft classes. Far too often there are just too many bad football decisions that manifest itself in the form of disregard for time and score, failure to track the ball, or just taking some silly undisciplined penalty.

That was unacceptable by Metcalf. There’s trying to make a play and there’s knowing the game situation and just going out of bounds.

Marquise Blair

I am pretty sure that every play he was involved in had a failure to wrap up the ball carrier. Quite honestly I am not sure what Blair actually does well at this point. He’s a second-round pick and has no obvious and merited path to a full-time starting job whether at safety or as a slot corner. That’s not good.

Whoever keeps putting defensive ends in coverage in obvious mismatches

You have to drop defensive linemen into coverage on some occasions. It’s just how football works. But Benson Mayowa on Najee Harris in the slot is a joke. Of course this ended in a touchdown. I’m not sure why Mayowa is playing as a SAM backer is even a thing but I’m sick of seeing this shit out of the Seahawks defense. We should’ve been warned when Alton Robinson was out there on Zay Jones in preseason.

Defensive line (except Darrell Taylor)

They weren’t good enough tonight and haven’t been good enough all season. Kerry Hyder Jr was the only DL to have a tackle for loss. Darrell Taylor (who’s DE/OLB) had the only quarterback hit and the only one who was getting close to Ben Roethlisberger. Carlos Dunlap recorded no stats yet again. It says something that L.J. Collier can’t get any playing time on this team.

And while the run defense held up for much of the game they broke down in the 4th quarter. They just get bullied too often for my liking. This was the unit they invested in more than the secondary this offseason and it has not resulted in anything special. I think the outside corners and slot players were the high point for a defense that looked decent in theory but also played an extraordinarily limited offense.

Pass protection from the offensive line

It was not good. Some of the sacks Geno Smith took were on him, but Duane Brown and Brandon Shell struggled. I expected Shell to have no chance against T.J. Watt but it didn’t look like they helped him enough of helped him adequately. Damien Lewis was absolutely brutal until he went off injured, and Duane Brown has given up a sack yet again and doesn’t quite look like the Duane we’re used to seeing.

Shane Waldron

Will this be my most controversial selection? Probably. The shine is off Waldron for me outside of the 3rd quarter, which felt entirely like Pete Carroll reading him the riot act at halftime after that absurd 1st half where he gave up on the run so early. I couldn’t believe they went straight dropback on 3rd and 1. I’m not getting the sense that, regardless of who is under center, Waldron has a great feel for playcalling yet. Play-action was scarce again (and sadly when it did occur we saw sacks and a fumble) and I don’t think I ever want to see this team run a screen pass ever again.

He called a better 2nd half but after the Steelers adjusted to the run spamming it felt like there wasn’t a counterpunch to be had by Shane.

Final Notes

  • Geno Smith is neither a winner nor a loser. He played within himself and within the offense. His turnover was costly and bad otherwise I probably would’ve made him a winner. We’ll have to live with his depth of target being incredibly tame and for him to process the game slowly, but for a backup QB he acquitted himself fairly well on the road against a defense that’s formidable.
  • That holding penalty on Jamarco Jones was BRUTAL. It was a horrible call and it cost Collins a first down and the Seahawks ended up with no points after their only takeaway of the game. The refs weren’t particularly impressive and I can’t believe the replay booth even entertained reviewing that Metcalf catch-fumble to see if it was actually a catch.
  • Russell Wilson is the ultimate teammate and competitor. It’s not often you have a guy on IR out there for the coin toss and also doing pre-game drills knowing he won’t be back until at least early November.
  • This team clearly isn’t good. Even if they make the playoffs they will be chewed up and spit out very quickly. Maybe they’ll rally and have a respectable record but it’s hard to look at this squad and not conclude that a rebuild is needed. One thing I do know is that I don’t want the current front office involved in that rebuild. And yes that includes John Schneider, whom I feel often gets blame deflected away from him largely because of all the ire towards Pete Carroll. Everyone involved has got to own it.