Seahawks (0-1) @ Steelers (0-1)
Time: 1:00 p.m. | Where: Heinz Field
TV: FOX (Kenny Albert, play-by-play; Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa sideline reporter)
Odds: Pittsburgh -14
Game Day Notes:Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is 4-0 all-time in home openers…..The Steelers are 6-0 at home in September since 2007……The Steelers are 4-1 against the NFC West (including playoffs) since 2007…..The Seahawks are 5-19 in their last 24 road games….QB Ben Roethlisberger coming off a 5 turnover game is 6-2 in his last 8 home regular season games, throwing 15 touchdowns and 3 interceptions…..Roethlisberger is 4-1 all-time in home openers…..
What To Look For: All eyes will be on whether the defending AFC Champions rebound for last week’s 35-7 thrashing from their biggest rivals in the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers looked old, slow and unprepared. Things setup for a rebound game with the Seattle Seahawks coming cross country.
Can the Steelers stop the run:For the Seahawks to be successful today offensively, it’s likely going to have to come on the ground not the air. The Seahawks struggled to run against San Francisco but will surely test the Steelers early and attack the right side.
Rookie Marcus Gilbert makes first start: The Seahawks come into the game with a young inexperience offensive line but the Steelers come in with just as many questions. Rookie Marcus Gilbert makes his first start and could affect the Steelers offense, most notably in the two-minute offense. The Steelers will have to account for edge rusher Chris Clemons.
Seahawks running mis-directional/screen passes:The Ravens exploited the Steelers defense by getting Ray Rice involved in the passing game. What to watch today is Seattle’s ability to attack the Steelers on screen passes, an area the Steelers are vulnerable at. The Seahawks have two good running backs in the passing game in Leon Washington and Justin Forsett.
Game Day Inactives
Chris Kemoeatu, Bryan McFadden, Jonathan Dwyer, Chris Carter, Jerricho Cotchery, Jamon Meridith, Dennis Dixon.
McFadden (hamstring) and Kemoeatu (knee) both came into the game questionable and will sit. Ramon Foster will get the start at left guard.
The Steelers will dress seven offensive linemen. Chris Scott will be active for the first time in his career.
With the Steelers not expecting the Seahawks to spread them out with multiple wide receivers, Gay is expected to start at RCB, while Lewis is expected to see significant time in that spot when the Steelers move Gay inside.
Key Matchups to Watch:
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger vs Seahawks Safety Earl Thomas: Ben Roethlisberger was erractic and out of sync throwing 3 interceptions and having 5 turnovers in last Sunday’s season opener vs Baltimore.
Ed Reed had 2 interceptions and Roethlisberger goes up against one of the games most dynamic young players in Earl Thomas who is drawing comparisons to Troy Polamalu.
“When you turn the tape on, both appear to be moving at a different speed than other men on the tape,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said on Earl Thomas when asked about the Polamalu comparisons.
Thomas had 5 interceptions last season, his rookie year.
Seahawks LT Russell Okung vs. Steelers OLB James Harrison: Harrison has not looked healthy and on the downside of his career since the preseason. He was manhandled by Bryant McKinnie in week 1 and suffered a knee injury. Okung is going to be one of the best at his position but is young and has battled an ankle injury.
Seahawks RT James Carpenter vs Steelers OLB LaMarr Woodley:With Harrison not up to par, LaMarr Woodley has to be the difference maker for the Steelers and he has wasn’t last week. He goes head-to-head against Seahawks first rounder James Carpenter. Carpenter started at guard last week but will move to right tackle with Robert Gallery back.