The Pittsburgh Steelers are gearing up for the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 of the 2019 regular season. After Week 1 the Steelers are limping back home after being smacked around by the Patriots in New England; however, the Seahawks were able to squeak out a home victory vs. the Cincinnati Bengals in front of the ‘12th Man’.
Since this is a unique matchup for the Steelers, hosting an NFC West team, there is a lot fans don’t know about these type of teams. And that is okay, but what I wanted to do was to get a lowdown on what the Seahawks might have in store for the Steelers by talking with Field Gulls, SB Nation’s Seahawks website, editor Kenneth Arthur to pick his brain on the upcoming matchup.
In this first of many installments, I asked Arthur what he thinks the Seahawks will do when they have the ball against the Steelers’ defense. Check out his response:
When the Seahawks have the ball, I expect them to run. On the road in a tough environment at 10 AM (1 p.m. ET), I expect as much as ever for Seattle to keep the ball in the hands of its backs and its quarterback and on the ground because it’s what Pete Carroll has preached and played above all else.
The last time these teams met it was a shootout in Seattle, but I think a ground control attack is going to be more preferable to Carroll.
There are new wrinkles, however. Chris Carson got a career-high seven targets in Week 1. They plan to use him a lot more in the passing game than they’ve done with their lead back in the past. I could see another 15 carries to Carson and maybe 8-10 going to Rashaad Penny if the team is able to build a lead, or stay within a score. So there’s nothing mysterious about the plan, I’d say it’s to run the football as much as possible.
The other thing we’ll be watching for is the second game of receiver D.K. Metcalf. He’s the rookie every Seahawks fan has had their eye on the most since the draft, and he was dynamic in his debut with 87 yards on four catches. He was the most targeted receiver on the team and nobody other than him and Tyler Lockett was even involved at that position. Of course, things will change week to week, and we only have a one-game sample size. The Seahawks were led in receiving by tight end Will Dissly in Week 1 of 2018 and then he wasn’t a huge part of the plan in Week 2. (He tore his patellar tendon in Week 3.) I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dissly get some more run in this one and perhaps Lockett too, who only had two targets in his first game as Seattle’s de facto number one.
At this point the question becomes how do the Steelers combat this style of offense? Do they play Vince Williams more as a primary run-stopper, or try and go with Devin Bush and Mark Barron in hopes of containing Russell Wilson along with the running game?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to keep tabs on BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Seahawks in Week 2.