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Big Defensive Letdown Leads To Tough 39-30 Steelers Loss to Seahawks

A Steelers defense that at times this season had looked like it was making strides took a huge step the other way Sunday, allowing Seattle QB Russell Wilson to throw for five touchdowns in a hard to swallow 39-30 loss to the Seahawks.

It was a game that the Steelers looked like they had in control at points, but a head-scratching fake on a field goal up 3-0, and a couple huge Ben Roethlisberger picks with some questionable non-calls by the officials spelled doom for the now 6-5 black and gold.

The game came down to a Steelers secondary that was torched all day, especially corner Antwon Blake, who seemed to always been on short end of a big Seahawks play.

Wilson ended the day 21-for-30 for 345 yards and five scores, none bigger than an 80-yard score to Doug Baldwin on a third down play after the Steelers kicked a field goal to close it to 32-30 3:02 left to play.

Baldwin got loose, and outran Blake after a Mike Mitchell missed tackle for the score that killed any hopes that the Steelers had of getting out of Seattle with a win.

The defensive mishaps wasted a big day throwing for Roethlisberger, who went 36-for-55 for 456 yards with a touchdown and two picks. The two picks were bad, but bottom line the offense put up 30 points and it should have been enough to win the game.

The loss jumbles the playoff race in the AFC, as now there are four teams in the conference all at 6-5, the Chiefs, Texans, Jets and now the Steelers.

The game went back and forth till the Baldwin score to put it away, as the Steelers led the game 3-0, 10-7, 18-14 and 27-26 before Seattle was able to take the lead for good 32-27 on a Wilson to Baldwin 30-yard score with 8:20 to play.

Baldwin had six catches for 145 yards and three scores. Seattle RB Thomas Rawls had 21 carries for 81 yards and a score.

Markus Wheaton had the biggest game of his career with Antonio Brown shut down most of the day. The third-year WR had 201 yards on 9 catches with a 69-yard score that put the Steelers up 27-26 with 11:51 to play.

Brown had six catches for 51 yards, and Martavis Bryant had five grabs for 69 yards, but had a few huge drops and clearly did not play one of his better games of his young career.

Four turnovers and some questionable calls along with a bad effort from the secondary spelled doom, and now with five weeks left the team likely will have to win no less than four of them to make the postseason.

The team will play the Colts next Sunday night at Heinz Field in the Sunday night 8:30pm game. Indy beat the Buccaneers on Sunday, and they are 6-5 on the year.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Greg

    November 29, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    if this horrible performance by the worst secondary in the NFL doesn’t shake Tomlin out of his Bro-fest then hes gotta be shown the door. this game was won by both the O-line and D-line but binned by the secondary. Blake just terrible, Mitchell his usual useless, Cockerall college, Gay tries but he cant do it all.

  2. DrGeorge

    November 30, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Last night, Brock Osweiler, a journeyman QB out of Arizona State, led the Broncos to an overtime 30-24 win over the undefeated Patriots and Tom Brady. What has this got to do with the Steelers? The Broncos won with defense and a solid running game, a running game they did not abandon when they got behind – which was most of the game.

    In Seattle, the Steelers blistered the Seahawks’ secondary with an unrelenting aerial attack, putting up 30 points, while Ben R. generated 456 yards through the air, the most ever against a Seattle defense. However, the Steelers ran the ball infrequently, even though D. Williams ran well when given the chance, and the defensive secondary, that started the game 28th in the NFL against the pass, surrendered 345 yards through the air and five TDs, thereby enhancing their statistical grasp on ineptitude.

    Before the game, I argued the Steelers ought to win the game against the struggling 5-5 Seahawks, “barring key injuries and turnovers.” Alas, there were key injuries to Miller, Shazier, and Ben R. himself, and there were turnovers, 4 of them, two by each QB, one of them directly attributable to a bonehead call by Tomlin-Haley. But the turnovers and injuries and the bad call did not decide the game. Nor did our weak secondary.

    The Steelers could have won the game (they actually led several times, including late in the game), if Haley had run the ball often and consistently, thereby keeping our secondary off the field and controlling the clock when we had the lead. Our secondary was on the field far too long yesterday. In a word, the folly of emphasizing offensive display over defense and of neglecting the virtues of the run could not have been more clearly illustrated than it was last night. The Steelers are a team strategically out of balance. And the fault for that lies not with our secondary, but with our myopic coaches who created our dismal secondary and then repeatedly put it in a position to fail.

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