Steelers Beat Seahawks 27-20; Keep Playoff Hope Alive

0
132
Mason Rudolph was the Steelers' starting QB, securing a second win in the role. Image Credit: Vince Butts/UMT.

By Ray Porter Jr.

SEATTLE, WA–After losing three straight games, the Pittsburgh Steelers have now won two straight after beating the Seattle Seahawks 23-20 at Lumen Field, known as the loudest Stadium in the National Football League. (NFL)

“The guys, we were in a hostile environment today to say the least, and playing a team that was desperate like we were, and we didn’t blink, and so I’m appreciative of that.” Said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. “They are to be congratulated for that, but I thought the offensive line provided the wave that we rode. We talked all week about trying to conquer the environment and winning the line of scrimmage being a major component of it, and they embraced that challenge, and I thought they kind of controlled the climate, made third downs manageable ones, minimized possession downs, minimized the crowd component of it, and so just thankful for that. A lot of plays made by a lot of people, but that’s team football, particularly this time of year as the road gets narrow.”

QB Mason Rudolph started his second-straight game, and he was once again the Star as he executed a turnover-free game and led the Steelers to their 2nd-consecutive 30-point game and another game with over 400 total yards (468). He led the Steelers on six scoring drives, three resulting in TDs (2 by RB Najee Harris and one by RB Jayen Warren). K Chris Boswell added 3 Field Goals. Rudolph finished passing 18/24 for 274 yards. The Steelers’ running game finished with 202 total yards (122 by Harris, 75 by Warren)- their most-productive game of the season. With his first 100-yard game of 2023, Harris (923) is on track to record his third consecutive 1,000 season.

“I thought he was determined as was Jaylen [Warren],” said Tomlin of his Running Backs. “You know, I thought we got appropriate efforts from all parties involved and not to minimize it. It’s just a critical time and so if you’re a competitor, you’re gonna be at your best.”

When asked about Rudolph’s play, Tomlin replied, “I thought he did a nice job.”

WR George Pickens caught seven passes for 131 yards. Fellow WR Diontae Johnson caught four passes for 76 yards.

The Steelers’ defense had their challenging moments, but they held QB Geno Smith (23/33, 290 yards, TD) and the Seahawks’ offense to 20 points. Rookie LB Nick Herbig’s strip-sack and fumble recovery on Smith late in the fourth quarter helped the Steelers put the game out of reach with Boswell’s 3rd field goal. It was not easy, but the Steelers proved they were up to the challenge and got the job done.

“That’s football, particularly this time of year, they got an explosive group. They got a veteran quarterback, they got an awesome group of weapons, receivers, tight ends, running backs. I’m appreciative of the efforts of everyone, particularly on the short field,” said Tomlin. “I just thought it was the difference particularly in the second half, holding them to field goals and being solid down there on the short field, and to be honest, after we experienced a lot of attrition at linebacker and safety, we hadn’t done a lot of that, so it was cool to see that happen.”

With the win, the Steelers are 9-7 and are still alive in the NFL Playoffs. They would need a win vs. the AFC’s #1-seeded Baltimore Ravens (13-3) and wins and losses by key AFC teams. The Steelers have also clinched their 17th non-winning season under Tomlin, who has never had a losing season.

“All we can do is win the games that we are in. And that’s this time of year, that’s any time of year.” Said Tomlin. “You know, you can’t spend a bunch of time scoreboard watching and things of that nature. It’s professional ball. We gotta beat the people we play.”

Notes: Tomlin on who will be the QB vs. the Ravens: “Right now, we’re just appreciative of the victory, and we’ll give you guys something to buzz about here for the next 24 or so.”

Please email Ray at [email protected]

Follow him @rp2872_Jr on X (Formerly Twitter)