Shutdown in steeltown: Seahawks lose to Steelers, 24-0
ERIC WILLIAMS; Staff writer
PITTSBURGH – Only one question lingered – would they at least score?
But Sunday’s game ended just as it started for the Seattle Seahawks – with zeros staring down at them. Seattle’s offense crossed midfield twice in the game.
For the second consecutive week, the Seahawks coughed and sputtered offensively in a 24-0 manhandling by the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
Seattle fell to 0-2 after back-to-back road games to open the season. The Seahawks return home licking their wounds, hoping to get well at CenturyLink Field this week against NFC West rival Arizona.
The Steelers – 141/2-point favorites heading into this contest – predictably dominated all phases of the game.
Seattle’s defense allowed 421 yards of total offense, including 124 on the ground. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger kept the chains moving by using his trademark scrambling ability to extend plays and find his speedy receivers down the field. Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace led the group with eight catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. The Steelers converted eight times in 14 third downs.
Pittsburgh scored on three of its four possessions in building a comfortable 17-0 lead at the half.
While Pittsburgh’s offense purred, Seattle’s offense was stuck in neutral all game, finishing with just 164 total yards. Seattle quarterback Tarvaris Jackson completed 20 of 29 passes for 159 yards, with his longest completion a 17-yard catch and run by fullback Eddie Williams – who joined the team just five days ago.
Jackson didn’t have any interceptions, but he didn’t create any big plays either, and was sacked five times. Seattle’s offense converted twice in 12 third-down chances.
The Seahawks have not scored against the Steelers since the third quarter of Super Bowl XL – a span of nine quarters. Seattle got blanked 21-0 against the Steelers in Pittsburgh four years ago, also the last time Seattle was shut out.
Coach Pete Carroll blamed himself for his team’s struggles.
“I’ve told the players in the locker room I’m not helping them enough,” Carroll said. “And I’ve got to do a better job of finding ways to make it more available for us to move the football, and to make our plays – like on third down today. We had a hard time today.”
Jackson said the rest of team has to take some accountability for Seattle’s inept play on offense.
“We’ve got a lot of changes we have to make, obviously – we didn’t score a point, period,” Jackson said. “That’s embarrassing. We can’t be a good football team and go in and play like that.”