Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on OT loss to Steelers
The Seahawks took another close loss to drop to 2-4 to start the 2021 campaign, falling to the Steelers 23-20 in overtime after a late takeaway by the Pittsburgh defense.
In the first game with Geno Smith under center for the injured Russell Wilson, the Seahawks wound up putting points on the board and even playing some solid defense, but the Steelers made the big plays when needed to come away with the overtime home win on Sunday Night Football.
As we do after every Seahawks game, we have collected the instant reactions to the loss from the voices of 710 ESPN Seattle. Read what they have to say below, and tune in to 710 ESPN Seattle all day Monday for full Seahawks coverage beginning with The Mike Salk Show at 6 a.m. and The Pete Carroll Show at 9:30.
Before any reaction to the game, I have to say I wish nothing but good thoughts and positivity for Darrell Taylor. He is a quality young man and has been playing lights out this year. He’s arguably the only player on defense that you can say is having a great season.
The Seahawks had the game right in front of them and it was there to be won. But the difference between a great team and the rest is the ability to overcome the absence of star players. The ability to find ways to win games when you’re shorthanded or things aren’t going your way.
The Seahawks were almost able to pull it off on the road without Russell Wilson or Chris Carson. But in the end, almost doesn’t amount to much other than a loss here.
As much as this started out incredibly poorly, you have to give the Hawks credit for turning things around on both sides of the ball and making this a winnable game. Alex Collins was outstanding as was the run blocking of this offensive line, which has struggled in that area for most of the season.
Geno Smith made some nice plays, but I think it’s pretty clear at this point why he’s the backup QB. That’s two weeks in a row where the game was essentially lost on a turnover.
Rookie cornerback Tre Brown made a brilliant play late in the game that looked like it might change the fortunes of the Seahawks. He gave fans a reason to be excited about seeing him on the field more often.
Jamal Adams had a chance to make a game-changing interception but instead the ball bounced off of his face mask. Opportunity lost.
Overall this was definitely a better version of the Seahawks compared to what we’ve seen in previous weeks, but did it look like a playoff team to anybody out there? It’s also not fair to expect them to look like a playoff team without their franchise quarterback and their starting running back.
In the end, there was much more positive than there has been recently, but this is a 2-4 team now that is just trying to stay afloat until they get healthy.
The Groz – Host emeritus, 710 ESPN Seattle
What a crazy night in Pittsburgh.
After 30 minutes, the outlook seemed extremely bleak for the Seahawks. But as I noted on Twitter:
NFL games are often surprising and unpredictable….. let's hope so #Seahawks
— Dave Grosby (@Thegroz) October 18, 2021
And this one certainly was. The Seahawks flipped the script on the Steelers in the third quarter and overcame a 14-point deficit nearly pulling off the upset in Pittsburgh in overtime after a chaotic finish to regulation.
For the second week in a row, an injury was a major takeaway. This week it was the unfortunate hit that Darrell Taylor took that got him carted off the field in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately for Geno Smith, he will be remembered for the fumble in overtime that cost Seattle the game. It was his only mistake of the night, but it was fatal.
After being held to under 70 total yards in the first half, the Seahawks ran the football extremely well in the third and fourth quarter and the defense had its best overall performance. Solid effort from special teams, and 101 yards on the ground from Alex Collins was nice as well.
Unfortunately it’s a loss, and Seattle finds itself four games behind Arizona, but the effort and the comeback can hopefully be built on in time for a must-win game Monday night against the Saints.
Mike Lefko – Producer, Wyman and Bob
Above all else this is a game, so first and foremost our thoughts should be with Darrell Taylor and the hope that everything turns out OK in what was a scary situation on the field.
As for the game itself, put that down as the next chapter in the Seahawks’ lore of strange and wild endings.
In the first half, the offense without Russell Wilson was a manifestation of our worst fears: completely unable to move the ball. It’s a testament to the Seahawks that they were able to overcome that first half performance because 65 total yards of offense won’t win any football games.
Whether it was a blend of desperation and urgency or simply a great halftime adjustment, the touchdown drive to start the third quarter was thoroughly impressive. Ten plays, 75 yards and all but one of them was a run. Alex Collins ran with resolve and purpose while the offensive line dug deep to batter back a good Pittsburgh defensive line.
Ultimately, that Steelers’ defensive line was the difference once they figured out how to stop the run. It would have been tough to ask Geno Smith to do too much in a situation like this yet he still led an impressive 50-yard drive in the final 90 seconds to get the Seahawks into overtime.
And yeah, it stings because it’s a loss, but the silver lining is in the Seahawks’ defense.
They held the Steelers to just six points in the entire second half and put the Seahawks in position to get back into the game after what seemed like an insurmountable halftime deficit. It definitely hurts with the way it ended, but if you string together two halves of consistent football it’s a different outcome tonight, and hopefully a week from Monday against the Saints.
Justin Barnes – Producer, The Mike Salk Show
What a bonkers football game.
It’s probably safe to say every Seahawks fan in the world was watching this game with bated breath, high anxiety (more than usual for me) and hopefully a ceremonial scream-pillow for those classic Seahawks-in-primetime moments that you just knew were coming. But weren’t you also watching with some morbid curiosity, too? That was true at my house, complete with the trademarked frustrating ending.
The first half was about as forgettable as it could be, but with positive plays from D.J. Reed, Darrell Taylor (praying he’s OK) and Tre Brown, I started to believe the defense would force a turnover to give Geno Smith a break.
I was wrong, but thankful for the aforementioned scream-pillow after the near-interception by Jamal Adams. But truthfully, the Seahawks were never even close to scoring points in that first half. That changed quickly in the second half thanks to Alex Collins, but going 3 for 12 on third down is not going to be enough to beat anybody, and ultimately that proved to be true.
At the very least, we learned a lot from the questions on the table: Would Geno’s performance (or lack thereof) show us that Russell Wilson really has been holding this offense together like a duct-taped carnival ride? Feels like it. Could the defense fix the massive leaks of the last five weeks? It wasn’t great, but wasn’t as bad as it’s been. Can the run game be effective without Chris Carson? Emphatic yes. And most importantly: In what nation is Jamal Adams the best? He might want to check with T.J. Watt next time.
Morbid curiosity (and the L) aside, I am eager to see what adjustments can be made with Geno and optimistic that Collins will continue to rack up yards next Monday night.