Seahawks: 8 takeaways from their overtime loss to the Steelers

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The Seattle Seahawks made it interesting after falling behind 14-0 at halftime against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They came out of the locker room a completely different team, energized and determined to change the terms of the engagement. Seattle rallied behind a huge second half for Alex Collins and eventually tied the game, forcing overtime. They couldn’t quite finish the job though, losing 23-20 on a field goal by Chris Boswell.

Here are eight takeaways from tonight’s game.

The Seahawks are going to miss Russell Wilson

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Russell Wilson won’t be able to return to the field for at least a month from now. Odds are the next four weeks are going to feel like an eternity to Seattle fans. Wilson’s absence this evening highlighted just how important he is for this franchise. Without their star quarterback to prop them up, the Seahawks’ passing offense fell completely flat against Pittsburgh.

Geno Smith did little to impress

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Geno Smith admittedly didn’t get a whole lot of help from OC Shane Waldron or his offensive line, but in a vaccuum this was still an unimpressive start for No. 7. Smith (23/32, 209 passing yards) never looked comfortable on the field and was largely inaccurate and out of rhythm with his receivers. His fumble in overtime sealed the outcome.

The pass protection was awful

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While their run blocking was brilliant after the half, for the most part this was a poor pass blocking effort from the Seahawks offensive line. Alex Highsmith and T.J. Watt terrorized the tackles. Meanwhile, the interior linemen had all kinds of issues trying to contain Cameron Heyward. Geno Smith was fortunate that he was only sacked five times.

The run game was strong without Chris Carson

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Chris Carson is also on the injured reserve list along with Russell Wilson. He won’t be missed nearly as much by the looks of things, though. With some help from mauler right guard Gabe Jackson, Alex Collins had another strong outing with Carson out, racking up 101 yards and a score on 20 carries. Travis Homer chipped in a couple of explosive plays, as well.

Seattle (mostly) contained Najee Harris

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One of the few silver linings in this game was the Seahawks’ run defense, which was on point for a change. Pittsburgh’s first-round draft pick, former Alabama running back Najee Harris was held to just 81 yards on 24 carries (3.4 YPC). Harris did score a touchdown as a receiver, though.

Ben Roethlisberger was unbothered

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Aside from some early pressures by Darrell Taylor and a couple more on blitzes by Jamal Adams, the defense was totally unable to affect Ben Roethlisberger in the pocket. He neutralized the pass rush by getting the ball out quickly and accurately. Roethlisberger was not sacked once and took only one QB hit. That helped him post a respectable line of 29/40 for 229 yards and one touchdown.

Tre Brown thrived in his debut, D.J. Reed did not

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The Seahawks are still having consistency issues with their cornerbacks. When one is on, the other is off – if not both. This time rookie Tre Brown had a solid debut on the left side rotating with Sidney Jones. However, right cornerback D.J. Reed got dominated by Diontae Johnson. He was Pittsburgh’s most productive playmaker, totaling 71 yards on nine catches.

Jamal Adams got a great birthday gift

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Seattle made some interesting defensive changes in this game. The most encouraging one was how strong safety Jamal Adams was used. Adams turned 26 years old today and got the gift of being used correctly. The Seahawks finally accepted his true nature and frequently lined him up on the edge and blitzed him far more often than they had in any other game this year. Adams made some tone-setting hits and got a few hurries, but continues to have issues making plays on the ball.

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