Seahawks Instant Reaction: 710 ESPN Seattle on 28-26 win over Steelers
The Seahawks improved to 2-0 on the young season with a nail-biting 28-26 victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
As we do after each game during the Seahawks season, we have collected the instant reactions from 710 ESPN Seattle’s hosts and producers on the win in the Steel City. Read them below.
All East Coast road wins are good wins – even when they don’t look that way.
There were plenty of heroes for the Seahawks (and a few goats as well), but my game ball would go to the coach. On his 68th birthday, Pete Carroll won the game by correctly challenging a game-changing pass interference non-call and by showing faith in his offensive line and running back (despite neither doing much to earn it in the first 58 minutes) on fourth-and-1 inside the two-minute warning. Those calls changed the game and let the Seahawks survive and advance.
There is plenty to clean up. The offensive line sure doesn’t look like the elite unit we expected it to be. But 2-0 is two wins more than they had last year at this time and is a great way to start the season.
That is a huge win! The Seahawks overcame some very shaky O-line play, multiple fumbles from Chris Carson and some very ill-timed penalties (10 on the day) to snatch a win in a very tough place to play.
Russell Wilson played a brilliant game. Despite being under consistent pressure, he was on point with a beautiful throw to DK Metcalf for his the rookie receiver’s first career TD. Will Dissly was a beast as well – he was targeted five times and had five catches, including two for touchdowns.
Pete Carroll on his 68th birthday had a great day as well. First he won a crucial PI challenge to keep a drive going, but most importantly on fourth-and-1 with the game on the line he showed a ton of faith in his O-line that was having a rough day (the right side anyway) and his running back who had coughed up the ball twice. His trust was rewarded as the Seahawks were able to convert and ultimately run out the clock.
The Hawks definitely have things to work on but this win should go a long way in providing the confidence this team needs to be able to pull a game out when they are not at their best.
It was pretty at times and it was ugly at times – but as Pete Carroll would stress to you, the only thing that matters is the Seahawks’ 2-0 record.
The most encouraging part of this win, to me, was what went wrong. No, of course I don’t mean the mistakes were great, but I’m impressed by their ability to take a win in spite of them.
On the road.
At 10 a.m. PST.
Russell Wilson shined in a career passing game while the run game sputtered. I’d love to see more out of the ground game but today was not a banner day for the offensive line. I truly believe the line can and will be better and respect the commitment to establishing the run. It might just be why Russell had the ability to do what he did in the air.
The last time the Seahawks scored an offensive touchdown in Pittsburgh was in 1998. The last time they started a season 2-0 was 2013. That was a pretty good year, and I’m both encouraged and excited to see what the rest of 2019 has in store. Stay tuned.
Pete Carroll took advantage of the new rule allowing reviews on pass interference, and it turned what would have been a third-and-20 on a non-call and incomplete pass to Tyler Lockett into a 38-yard game-changing challenge.
I didn’t think there was enough there to overturn the non-call, but good for Carroll for challenging and finally getting one right. Russell Wilson’s 27-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf on the next play gave the Seahawks a 28-19 lead.
Also liked it when the Seahawks went for it on fourth-and-1 with two minutes to go and leading 28-26. Easy to say after Chris Carson picked up the first down, but at that point, you close out the game if you pick up the first down. If you go for the field goal, it would have been a 52-yarder so certainly not a gimme. If you don’t get the first down, you force an inexperienced backup QB to try to get his team into field-goal position to win the game.
That last part of it would have been dicey though – Mason Rudolph looked good enough in the second half to spark at least a moderate QB controversy in Pittsburgh. Rudolph has led the Steelers to 16 points in two quarters this season while Ben Roethlisberger, who sat out the second half with an arm injury, has led the Steelers to 13 points in six quarters. And Pittsburgh is 0-2 so some changes need to be made and fast.
I don’t think there should be a running back controversy in Seattle, but concern exists with Carson losing two fumbles Sunday after losing another against Cincinnati last week. I’m glad they still had enough confidence to give him the ball on the fourth-and-1 because he’s without question the Seahawks’ best running back between the tackles.
But I have to admit that Rashaad Penny looked so good on his 37-yard third-quarter TD run on third-and-2 that I wonder why anyone would write a post suggesting that C.J. Prosise should get more carries than the 2018 first-round draft choice. I think I might have mistakenly written something along those lines last week.
Nonetheless, the running back situation bears watching if fumbling becomes a trend with Carson because it’s No. 1 on Carroll’s no-no list.
Still, all things considered, it was a great road win for a team that might be playing in the NFL’s toughest division. The 49ers are also 2-0 after crushing the Bengals Sunday, winning their second straight road game. Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are better than expected, narrowly losing to the Ravens Sunday after tying the Lions in Week One. And the defending NFC champion Rams are still the Rams.
I missed most of the first half because I fell back asleep (oops!), but from what I read on Twitter it wasn’t pretty offensively. Four sacks on Russell? Wow.
The second half was a different story, though, because they ran it well, they pass blocked and Russell completed a bunch of beautiful passes to Metcalf that ended up helping them dominate the game. How did Nick Vannett hold on to that pass after being leveled after the catch? Throw in Russell’s scrambling for a few key first downs and away the Seahawks go with a tough win on the road in an impossibly difficult environment.
Oh, and Pete’s challenge of the no-call PI on the Lockett play was brilliant. The call could have gone either way, but it just goes to show how officiating can change games (and seasons). By the way, they should have hit the Steelers with a roughing the passer call on that same play because it was clearly helmet-to-helmet, but whatever. Also, kudos to Pete for going for it when he could have settled for the field goal and let his defense (which was suspect in the second half) take care of it the rest of the way. I would have kicked it but I’m not the one paid to make that decision. Great win!