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Following their game on Thursday Night Football, the Seattle Seahawks are still enjoying their moment in primetime. This week, they will be getting the Sunday Night Football treatment as they travel to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers. Last year these teams were mirror images of eachother. Both started hot, fell apart down the stretch, but finished as division champions with 12-4 records, then had their seasons end in a home Wild Card blowout defeat to a division rival.
The issues which doomed Seattle and Pittsburgh last year are still prevalent in 2021. The Steelers cannot find a way to score, while the Seahawks’ defense is once again on pace to be the worst in NFL history.
Of course the biggest storyline this week will be the absence of quarterback Russell Wilson, who will miss the first start of his career. Wilson, a bonafide iron man, will see his streak of 149 consecutive starts snapped.
The man who will fill his shoes is veteran backup Geno Smith, starting his first game since 2017. Smith will face a ferocious Steelers defense in a hostile environment. Not exactly an ideal situation, but this team has found a way to win in difficult spots before.
Wilson is clearly the better QB, but the Seahawks offense was dead in the water against the Rams well before he injured his finger. Smith provided a legitimate spark and led Seattle on two scoring drives to get them back into the game.
Granted, the Rams were likely caught off guard a little as their game plan was undoubtedly tailored for No. 3. However, it’s not like the Steelers have tons of recent film on Smith to parse information from. Perhaps the Seahawks could tap a little more into some unknown Smith magic to their advantage.
I’m taking a leap of faith in Smith providing solid relief one more week, and faith that the Seahawks defense might be able to defend one of the few offensive units as sorry as they are.
Prediction: Seahawks upset the Steelers, 24-21.