Now that's more like it.
A week after being trounced by their arch-nemesis, the Steelers were able to regroup and take out some anger and frustration on a very unfortunate Seahawks team that was out-manned, out dueled, out-gunned and just plain out of place.
Seattle to Pittsburgh is roughly a 3,400-mile trip. It's three timezones ahead, meaning a 1:00 p.m. game is being played about the time brunch is starting on the west coast -- 10:00 a.m., for anyone who failed math in pre-school.
So, basically, the 'Hawks were being asked to play a football game at what to them was mid-morning against a team that had a lot to prove to themselves and the rest of the league, in a stadium that likely had fewer Seattle fans than Seattle players.
Sorry 'bout yer luck, Pete Carroll & Co.
From the perspective of a Steeler fan, this one was fun to watch. Despite some struggles at the goal line -- expected when you replaced 40 percent of your offensive line since the previous game -- the Pittsburgh offense had their way with the Seattle defense from the first play. Consider that the two teams had played for 32 minutes, 49 seconds of game time before the Steelers punted the first time -- their only punt in their first eight drives. The only thing that managed to keep the Steelers from scoring was the Steelers. Or, more accurately, their agression and a missed field goal.
The first drive ended on downs at the Seattle one-yard line after four tries to punch it in -- including a sack on second down. After that, Pittsburgh scored on three straight drives and four of five stretching into the second half. Only one of their first seven drives netted less than 42 yards, and only three the entire game went for less than 30, and that included the final drive on which the Steelers knelt to kill the final two minutes in a typical show of class and respect.
As porous as the Seattle defense was, it was matched in futility by its offense, which averaged 3.9 yards per play. By contrast, the Steelers averaged a meager 3.5 yards per rush. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was sacked five times and hit three more times besides that. He spent the day running for his life.
In short, aside from a continued lack of turnvers forced, the Steelers did to the Seahawks what the Ravens did to the Steelers a week ago.
This was the kind of dominant performance we have expected from this team, though Seattle is hardly top-notch competition. There are few stars to name outside of Marcus Trufant, Earl Thomas and Zach Miller, and no one chose to step up Sunday. In fact, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the Seahawks have a legitimate chance at winning the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes as the worst team in the NFL.
But for one week, let's not take away from what the Steelers did: they shut out last year's NFC West champion. It was domination in all facets of the game, winning nearly every battle on every play. Seattle's longest play from scrimmage was 17 yards; the Steelers, conversely, had eight plays that were longer than that, with four of them covering 20 yards or more -- including a 53-yard bomb to Mike Wallace and a 20-yard touchdown run by Isaac Redman. There is a Seahawk still at Heinz Field around the 15-yard line looking for his jock strap.
Ironically, their last home shutout was a 27-0 victory over Seattle in 2007. Since Super Bowl XL, a game in which Pittsburgh played down to their competition almost to the point of failure, the Steelers have owned the Seahawks, preventing them from scoring for more than nine straight quarters of head-to-head play. Perhaps the reason is in the rosters: two Seahawks remain from that 2005 team; 17 2011 Steelers played in Super Bowl XL.
It's worth mentioning, of course, that once-a-starter-but-now-forgotten Ramon Foster threw a block on Redman's touchdon scamper that took out two defenders and slowed a third. That block is the biggest reason that run went for a touchdown rather than three yards.
Likewise, Marcus Gilbert's name never came up. For offensive linemen, that's usually a good thing. I would suspect Gilbert will find himself at left tackle sometime before this season draws to a close, whether that happens in December or February.
And in closing, I have one more remark:
Don't ever scare us like that again, Ben!