The Pittsburgh Steelers’ postseason dreams live to see another week, as a 30-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 17 kept their playoff hopes alive — even if just barely. The Steelers improved to 9-7 and notched several statistical milestones along the way.
The win marked the first time the Steelers had managed back-to-back games with 30+ points since October 2020, when they scored 38 points in Weeks 5 and 6 against the Eagles and browns, respectively. Though that season may have been riddled with fewer complications, it’s still a nice consolation prize for fans who have weathered a bumpy ride in 2023, with struggles aplenty on offense. The win also marked their first regular season game of 450+ yards of offense dating back to the 2018 season.
The game got off to a relatively slow start, with the Steelers having gone for it on fourth down to close out an eight-play opening drive, turning it over on downs. The Seahawks followed it up by going three-and-out. However, the fireworks weren’t far behind (ha — get it? It’s New Year’s Eve!).
On the five drives to follow, the Steelers and Seahawks combined for four touchdowns (two apiece) and a field goal (a 39-yarder from Chris Boswell). The Steelers absolutely dominated on the ground in the first half, as Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren and quarterback Mason Rudolph combined for a whopping 145 rushing yards to the Seahawks’ 54 heading into the half.
The first half was a fairly evenly matched contest... but the second half? It was all (or, at least, mostly) Steelers from there on out. Harris and Warren continued to grind out the game, combining for 197 rushing yards and three touchdowns total, while George Pickens finished over the century mark for the second consecutive game.
Though Rudolph didn’t score any touchdowns of his own in Week 17, his poise and production for the second consecutive week almost assuredly has starter Kenny Pickett on notice. Pickett was inactive in Week 17 with an ankle injury, though his rehab had progressed to the point where he said he felt as though he could play if needed in Week 17. It’ll be difficult to sit Rudolph in favor of Pickett, regardless of health, after back-to-back games with this kind of momentum and the season on the line, however.
The Steelers will play their final game of the season against the Ravens in Baltimore in Week 18. The New York Times NFL Playoff Simulator grades them with a 19% chance to make the playoffs following their win.