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It’s official, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (finger) is out for at least this Sunday so veteran backup Geno Smith will get the starting nod, but with a defense now ranked last in the league, Seattle could still struggle against this Steelers’ middling offense, though the extra rest that the Seahawks got since their game last Thursday should help.
In last week’s 27-19 win over the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers’ rookie running back Najee Harris averaged 5.3 yards a carry while rushing 23 times for 122 yards and a touchdown, plus QB Ben Roethlisberger’s surgically repaired throwing arm seems right as he connected with receiver Chase Claypool five times for 130 yards and a touchdown in their second win.
These two cross-conference rivals have played each other 19 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the Pittsburgh Steelers winning 9 of those games and the Seattle Seahawks winning 10 of the games.
When Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson banged a finger on his throwing hand against an opposing helmet, it looked bad (quite crooked) and took him out of the game, and injury that required surgery, and some more time on the sidelines.
Now it will be up to veteran backup journeyman quarterback Geno Smith, now with his fourth NFL team and ready to prove he can cut it as the starter, the man with a career 57.9 completion percentage and a 12-19 record as a starter.
Last week after Wilson was injured, Smith came into the game and completed 10 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown plus a pick, and at one point the L.A. crowd began chanting “Geno, Geno!” but despite that, he still could not find a way to beat those Rams.
Some haters have questioned the Steelers’ 39-year-old quarterback “Big” Ben Roethlisberger accusing him of having lost his NFL arm and at least several steps as he enters the twilight era of his pro career.
Last week Big Ben proved them all wrong by leading Pittsburgh to its second win of the season while throwing 15 completions for 253 yards and two touchdowns with zero turnovers, his quarterback rating an impressive 120.9, his highest of the five-game season.
Could be another productive week for Roethlisberger against this last ranked Seattle defense, but with receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) out and Chase Claypool (hamstring) listed as questionable, it could be tough for Roethlisberger to find an open receiver on Sunday Night Football.
With starting QB Russell Wilson out and backup Geno Smith taking starter naps, it will be up to Seattle’s rushing attack to pick up the slack, and that means all eyes will be on Seahawks veteran running back Chris Carson.
The is Carson’s fifth pro season, all with Seattle, and he is capable of being a 1,000+ yard rusher – he did it in 2018 and 2019 – but last season in just 12 games due to a foot injury he came up a bit short (681 yards) getting fewer overall touches as a result.
Carson can also catch the football well, this season with just 6 receptions for 29 yards, a part of his game that could help backup QB Smith on his checkdowns, so watch for him all over the field this Sunday night.
With star receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (shoulder) out on Sunday and deep threat Chase Claypool (hamstring) listed as questionable, the main receiving duties will most likely fall on backup Diontae Johnson.
Johnson, now in his third NFN season, is a 5’ 10” 183 pound speedster who is slowly becoming a dependable target for QB Roethlisberger, so far catching 63 percent of his targets and posting 15 career touchdowns, production that should be growing this season.
Also needing to step on Sunday will be receivers Ray-Ray McCloud, Cody White, and James Washington as well as tight ends Eric Ebron and rookie Pat Freiermuth, all capable ball catchers that should easily get open against the Seahawks’ 30th ranked pass defense.
|Seahawks vs Steelers Information|
|What||Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Where||Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA|
|When||Sunday, October 17, 2021; 8:20 PM ET|
|How to watch||NBC|
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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