It was a typical Sunday afternoon in the pacific northwest as the Pittsburgh Steelers squared off against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12 NFL action. The Steelers looked to advance their record to 7-4 with a victory, while the Seahawks tried to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win.
The two teams both stalled on their opening drives, but the second time Pittsburgh received the ball it was Ben Roethlisberger finding Heath Miller early and often as the Steelers moved the ball into Seattle territory. Despite the impressive drive, the drive stalled and the team settled for a Chris Boswell 44-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead with 5:31 left in the opening frame.
The Seahawks were unable to answer on their next drive, and when the Steelers got the ball back they drove the ball into field goal range, but a failed fake field goal equated in an interception of Landry Jones. The interception gave the Seahawks their best field position of the game when the second quarter started. Seattle wasted little time taking advantage as Russell Wilson hit Doug Baldwin for a 16-yard go-ahead touchdown, and the Steven Hauschka extra point made it 7-6 with 12:18 left in the first half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff 36-yards, and with a 15-yard horse collar penalty on Kam Chancellor added on to the end of the run, Pittsburgh started the drive in Seattle territory. The Steelers continued to move the football on the Seattle defense, and after a 19-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Markus Wheaton, it was a reverse to Martavis Bryant that worked for a 11-yard touchdown run which gave Pittsburgh the lead. The Boswell extra point made the score 10-7 with 8:39 left in the half.
Seattle was not to be outdone, and drove the football 85-yards on an 11 play drive which took up 6:30 minutes where Russell Wilson relied heavily on Jimmy Graham and Jermaine Kearse on big third down conversions. The drive resulted in a Wilson 12-yard touchdown pass to Kearse, and the Houschka point after touchdown gave the Seahawks a 14-10 lead with 2:10 left in the half.
The quick-strike offense of the Pittsburgh Steelers took little time, one minute and 14 seconds to be exact, to drive 80-yards and answer the Seattle touchdown with a DeAngelo Williams 6-yard touchdown run. The Steelers went for the two-point conversion, and it was completed to Jesse James to give Pittsburgh an 18-14 lead with 56 seconds left in the second quarter. The drive was sparked by Markus Wheaton, who caught over 100 yards in the first half. Seattle was unable to move the ball, and the half ended with Pittsburgh clinging to an 18-14 lead.
After a three-and-out by Seattle to start the third quarter, Roethlisberger led the Steelers offense down the field, aided by a 40-yard pass to Martavis Bryant to move Pittsburgh into the red-zone. On third down, Roethlisberger was unable to scramble for the first down, and a Chris Boswell 25-yard field goal extended the Pittsburgh lead 21-14 with 5:51 left in the third quarter.
The Seahawks again failed to gain a first down on their second drive, and again gave the ball back to the Steelers offense with 4:20 left in the third quarter. The Steelers committed their second turnover of the game with Roethlisberger was intercepted by Ahtyba Rubin, and two plays later the Seahawks turned the turnover into a Thomas Rawls one-yard touchdown run. However, Steven Hauschka's extra point was blocked, narrowing the Pittsburgh lead 21-20 with 3:00 left in the third quarter.
The Steelers weren't able to equate their next possession into points, and Jordan Berry was called onto punt for only the second time in the game, and on the punt Shamarko Thomas was flagged for interfering with a fair catch, giving Seattle tremendous field position to start the fourth quarter. However, Seattle was forced to punt the ball back to Pittsburgh with 14:23 left in the fourth quarter.
The next play for Pittsburgh saw Roethlisberger take a shot downfield, only to have Antonio Brown get tripped up and it equated in an easy interception for Richard Sherman, which gave the Seahawks the ball right back. Russell Wilson again picked on the Pittsburgh secondary, eventually hitting Kearse for his second touchdown of the game, and the third touchdown scored off a Steelers turnover. Seattle went for the two-point conversion and failed, giving them a 26-21 lead with 12:17 left in the fourth quarter.
Pittsburgh scored quickly on their next drive with a 69-yard touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton to give Pittsburgh a 27-26 lead. The Steelers went for the two-point conversion and failed, keeping the 27-26 lead with 11:40 left in the game. At this stage it marked the 6th lead change during the game between these two teams.
Seattle responded with a drive of their own, and it was Russell Wilson creating plays with his arm and legs and eventually hitting Doug Baldwin for the go-ahead touchdown, but the Seahawks failed to convert on the two-point conversion and had a 32-27 lead with 8:12 left in the fourth quarter.
Pittsburgh, needing a touchdown to take the league, were able to drive the length of the field, but weren't able to get the touchdown necessary to win, and had to settle for a 22-yard Boswell field goal to cut the Seattle lead to two points, 32-30, with 3:00 left in the game.
Seattle took the ball at their own 20-yard line, and after two consecutive runs, Wilson hit Doug Baldwin in stride and it was an 80-yard catch and run giving the Seahawks a 38-30 lead. The Steven Hauschka extra point made the score 39-30 with 2:01 left in the football game.
Landry Jones came into the game on the next drive for the Steelers as Roethlisberger headed to the locker room to be observed for a concussion, and Jones was intercepted on his second play by Kam Chancellor which iced the game for Seattle.
The loss moved the Steelers record to 6-5, which put them in the growing pack of 6-5 teams vying for an AFC Playoff spot, and propelled Seattle's record to 6-5, and kept their playoff hopes alive with 5 weeks left in the season. The Steelers will host the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field in Week 12 on Sunday Night Football.