The Pittsburgh Steelers had their highest offensive outing in Week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and many fans wondered if they would be able to repeat their success this week against the Seattle Seahawks. Considering how bad the offense has been all year, these concerns were justified.
Fortunately, it didn't take long for the Steelers to put these worries to rest. While Pittsburgh's defense was gashed early at times against Seattle, their offense was firing on all cylinders. This was thanks in large part to the suddenly lethal two-headed monster in the backfield.
In the first half against the Seahawks, Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren combined to rush for 141 yards on 20 carries (an impressive 7 yards per attempt), per ESPN box score stats. Both running backs made it look easy. Warren sliced his way to the second level -- going untouched for an 18-yard touchdown scamper. Meanwhile, Harris acted as the bulldozer as he plowed his way through traffic for an impressive score of his own.
By the end of the first two quarters, both running backs had 23-yard carries under their belt and aided the Pittsburgh Steelers in 17 first-half points. To put that into perspective, that's more offensive points than Mike Tomlin's team averaged per game all season long.
Steelers running game is aiding another brilliant offensive performance
Tomlin made the controversial decision to stick with QB Mason Rudolph in this contest, and things seem to be paying off so far. Rudolph hasn't been perfect, but he averaged 9.2 yards per attempt in the first two quarters and showed a willingness to sling the ball down the field. However, the running game is greatly aiding Rudolph this evening.
So far, it doesn't look like the Seahawks can slow down Pittsburgh's offense at all. Who ever thought we would be saying that after watching this team over the first 15 weeks of the season?
The Steelers still have problems of their own, as they can't stop a nosebleed. They have allowed QB Geno Smith and company to answer back with big plays that led to 14 first-half points.
While the banged-up defense is concerning, Steelers fans have to be optimistic about the way things are going so far. These past six quarters have shown more signs of life on offense than we have seen since Ben Roethlisberger was running the show. Let's hope they can keep it up.