The Steelers find themselves, once again, in a late-season race for a Wildcard spot, and on the brink of all their playoff hopes going down the drain for the second consecutive year. In order to strengthen their chances at the postseason, the Steelers will need to win in a place in which they haven’t won in 40 years. Here are this week’s keys to victory over the Seahawks.
Find success in the run game
The Seahawks rank 30th in the NFL in defensive EPA against the run. Seattle is also just 24th in defensive success rate against the run. Pittsburgh should look to feed Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris early on. While the passing game had a jolt of electricity against the Bengals, help out your quarterback and put the offense in a more balanced situation. If it goes their way, run a play action bomb to George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, or maybe even Calvin Austin.
Joey Porter Jr masterclass
The Seahawks lead the NFL outside targets to the left side of the field, targeting that side 43 percent of the time. If they want to have Porter travel with D.K. Metcalf, then that’s understandable. Keeping him on one side though to handle both Metcalf and Tyler Lockett when they are on that side. Make the Seahawks as uncomfortable as possible and make them do things they don’t want to do.
Stay ahead of the chains
The Seahawks are the seventh worst defense on third-down. The Steelers are not an offense that is built to constantly convert third-and-longs and/or third-and-mediums. This reverts back to our first key- run the ball well. Get to second-medium or second-and-short to set up advantageous situations for Mason Rudolph. If opportunities present themselves to let the ball fly, then great- sling it. The Seahawks won’t have Jamal Adams, and Devon Witherspoon is dealing with an injury, as well. Take advantage of the Seahawks’ back seven when you can, but don’t force the issue. Play smart, stay ahead of the chains, and take calculated risks downfield to try and get some big chunk plays.