Posted on September 15, 2019, by Travis Pulver
After getting embarrassed by the Patriots defense in Week One, the offense of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense was likely hoping to rebound in Week Two against the Seattle Seahawks. However, that wouldn’t be easy against a tough Seahawks defense.
Then again, the Seahawks secondary was decimated the week before by the Cincinnati Bengal. So, maybe there was hope for the Steelers this week.
A slow start for the offense wasn’t too encouraging. When Ben Roethlisberger grabbed his elbow on his throwing arm following a pass attempt, it didn’t look good. It was later said that he was questionable to return, but he did not end up playing again.
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Despite not playing well in the first half, the Steelers were able to take a 10-7 lead into the half. They just needed to continue playing good defense and then try to get the run game going to take pressure off Mason Rudolph in the second half.
But the run game continued to struggle, and Russell Wilson got hot. After going three and out on Seattle’s first drive of the second half, he led the Seahawks to three consecutive touchdowns.
However, Rudolph was able to keep the Steelers within reach. An eight-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald with 11:16 left closed the gap to two-points, 21-19. Then Wilson answered with his third touchdown of the half to extend the score to 28-19 with 7:15 left to play. But then Wilson fumbled deep in Seattle territory setting the Steelers up on a very short field.
Rudolph took advantage of it and connected with Vance McDonald on the next play with a three-yard touchdown pass to cut the gap back to two-points, 28-26, with 4:53 left to play. He would not see the ball again, however, as the Seahawks were able to bleed out the remainder of the clock to preserve the win.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin recognized in his postgame comments that all the injuries the Steelers suffered but refused to blame the loss on them (via ESPN):
“We lost a number of guys in this game, but that wasn’t the reason why we didn’t win this game. We were fully capable with the guys that were on the field, [and] we didn’t make enough plays, to be quite honest with you…
Along with losing Roethlisberger, the Steelers lost running back James Conner in the fourth quarter to a knee injury. It is unclear if either will miss any time in the near future, but the offense appears to be in capable hands with Rudolph behind center. His second pass attempt was picked off, but he completed 12 of 19 for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Rudolph was able to engineer two scoring drives in the second half; three if you count the three-yard pass to McDonald in the fourth quarter as a drive.
The Seahawks will try to improve to 3-0 next week when the New Orleans Saints come to town. Pittsburgh will try to get their first win of the season when they head out to San Francisco to play the 49ers (whom they haven’t beaten in San Francisco since 1999).