The Pittsburgh Steelers defense was up and down against the Seattle Seahawks, but here’s how T.J. Watt saved the game in overtime.
It was an electric start for the Pittsburgh Steelers under the lights on Sunday Night Football. Less than five minutes into the first quarter of their Week 6 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, the offense had sustained an eight-play, 54-yard drive that Najee Harris capped off with a 5-yard touchdown reception.
The Steelers added a second scoring drive just before the end of the first quarter to take a two-touchdown lead. Unfortunately, this momentum didn’t hold up.
In the first half of the game, the Steelers allowed just 65 yards and 3 first downs on 6 offensive drives. Quarterback Geno Smith was just 8 of 14 for 63 yards while their running game was able to muster up just 18 yards through two-quarters of play.
However, in the second half, this defense looked like a completely different unit — surrendering two third-quarter touchdowns and a field goal early in the fourth. A Geno Smith-led Seahawks offense climbed right back in this game and sent this contest into overtime with a game-tying field goal as time expired.
Fortunately, the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player came to the rescue. Tied at 20, Smith looked to move the chains in overtime. He found a running lane and decided to take off, but T.J. Watt had other plans. Watt clubbed the ball out of Smith’s hands and the Steelers recovered in chip-shot field goal range for Boswell. Steelers went on to win 23-20 in overtime.
Steelers don’t win this game without T.J. Watt
You can try to slice this victory any way you want to, but the fact of the matter is that Pittsburgh doesn’t win this contest without T.J. Watt — and this isn’t just because he forced a huge fumble late in overtime.
Though the Steelers defense was up and down in Week 6, Watt remains heads-and-shoulders the best player on this football team — the best player on either football team on Sunday night, for that matter.
While Watt didn’t record a sack in the first half, he made his presence known with 2 quarterback hits and his ability to get his hands in the passing lane multiple times — single-handedly forcing the Seahawks to punt.
There were other notable defensive performances worth mentioning. Cameron Heyward was his usual dominant self on Sunday Night Football, while young guys like Alex Highsmith and Tre Norwood really stepped up to the plate. However, it was Watt who carried this team on his shoulders when it mattered most.
The Steelers star defensive player finished the game with 7 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3 tackles for a loss, 3 pass defenses, and 2 quarterback hits, via Pro Football Reference. While this was just another day in the park for a player like T.J. Watt, it’s hard to believe that Pete Carroll’s team wouldn’t have come away with a win if Watt had sat this one out.
The Steelers have improved their record to 3-3 on the season after winning two straight games. Still, they’ve got a lot to work on as they head into the bye week. Let’s hope they can continue to improve when they step back on the field against the Browns in Cleveland on October 31st.