The Pittsburgh Steelers travel out west to take on the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday in a crucial matchup with playoff implications for both teams. A loss could essentially eliminate the loser from postseason contention.
The Steelers' rare visit to Seattle, coupled with the New Year's Eve setting and a playoff berth at stake, sets the stage for a hostile environment. Here are a few things Pittsburgh needs to do in this high-stakes showdown against an uncommon NFC opponent.
Ways the Steelers offense can maintain momentum
After the Steelers posted their highest point total of the season, there's speculation about the starting quarterback against Seattle. The situation mirrors last week, with Kenny Pickett recovering from injury and Mason Rudolph taking starting reps in practice. Whoever leads the offense must sustain the momentum from the previous week. Every player, particularly the offense, stepped up under pressure, demonstrating improved execution and rectifying previous mistakes.
Facing a deafening environment, communication is crucial. The QB must block out the noise, and the entire offense must communicate effectively to replicate last week's success. Exploiting Seattle's defensive weaknesses involves a heavy emphasis on the run game.
According to NFL.com, the Seahawks have the sixth-worst rush defense in the league. The Steelers need a consistent and frequent running attack to control the clock, keep Seattle's offense off the field, and exploit a defense grappling with injuries.
In addition to injuries, Seattle's vulnerable secondary presents an opportunity. To sustain a passing attack for a second week, utilize George Pickens vertically to challenge their corners. Scheming opportunities in the middle for Pat Freiermuth is crucial, especially if former Steeler Devin Bush starts, particularly if Jordyn Brooks is unavailable. Capitalize on injuries, test their depth, and exploit weaknesses in key areas throughout the game.