Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Week 2 Pick
Seattle Seahawks (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 2
Date/Time: Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 1PM EDT
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Point Spread: SEA +3.5/PIT -3.5 (Bovada)
Over/Under Total: 46.5
The Seattle Seahawks come into Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in a big week two matchup. Both teams let their bettors down ATS last week, one to a greater extent. Seattle at least won, albeit by one point in a tough 21-20 home win over the Bengals. So at least they got the win. The Steelers were embarrassing in a week one Sunday night loss to the Patriots, 33-3, never at any point looking like they were going to win or take a run at the win. It was a resounding dud for the Steelers. Still, it was one bad game, and we need to remember to not etch any week one observation in concrete, as things often do and will change in this league.
Which Offense Can Thrive in this Spot?
You would have to expect some offensive urgency from the Steelers this week. After putting up three measly points against the Pats, they are now at home and probably feeling the pressure. They also get an opponent in the Seahawks, who are really out of their element against a faraway AFC team with whom they have no real connection with other than Super Bowl XL. They just absolutely need to turn the page from last week. After missing the playoffs last season, this was supposed to be a season for the Steelers to “right the ship” and rejoin the AFC elite. Big Ben Roethlisberger came out and laid an egg and should be motivated this week against what could be a more-manageable spot. He didn’t look good in week one. In his first night as the clear number-one target, JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t look the part, while other receivers like Donte Moncrief were not in good form. James Conner and the rushing game managed a woeful 32 yards. Whereas some were expecting to see the Steelers shot from the cannon, four first-half first downs painted a different picture. Against a Seattle secondary that gave up 418 yards to Andy Dalton last week at home, Roethlisberger looks for a lot better this week.
In getting the win and scoring 21 points, the Seattle offense looked a lot better than the Steelers on Sunday. But in failing to keep Russell Wilson protected or in springing a good run-attack, the Seattle offensive line is still a significant issue, one that the Steelers’ “D” could exploit better than they did last week. Wilson is still a major asset and forged a win without having a lot to work with. Healthy ahead of schedule, rookie receiver DK Metcalf was productive with 89 yards in his league debut, with Tyler Lockett catching a 44-yard TD. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny should be better moving forward after a combined 69 yards in week one. But Pittsburgh isn’t the easiest team to run against, especially at home. After putting up 21 at home against Cincy and a secondary with a lot of question marks, what will they come up with against a pumped-up home Steelers’ “D.”
What’s Going on With Seattle’s Secondary?
Last season, as the Seahawks defied the odds and made it to the playoffs; we saw a revamped pass-defense that seemed to be developing ahead of schedule. And yes, week one results stand out more and it might be an aberration, but giving up over 400 to Dalton was a bad sign. A guy, a lot of people thought, was a bust, WR John Ross went for 158 yards and two TDs. And that was with the Seattle front-seven doing well, with Quinton Jefferson notching two sacks and newly-acquired Jadaveon Clowney announcing his presence with a sack. Linebacker Bobby Wagner played well, as usual, with Rasheem Green also getting to Dalton. It’s just that after looking so promising at times last season, giving up an aerial free-for-all to Cincy of all teams is a bit of a downer. At the same time, holding a team to 20 points isn’t so terrible, and that’s the bottom-line.
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A Bad Week for the Steelers Defense?
Pittsburgh’s Sunday night humiliation wasn’t just Big Ben and Company’s fault. Playing from behind almost immediately, the defense didn’t do its share of the heavy lifting. They did OK against the run. But, maybe that was because Brady was able to exploit the Steelers aerially so easily. They didn’t put any pressure on Brady, whose pocket was stunningly-clean a lot of the time. That perhaps didn’t paint the secondary in a very positive light, as New England was able to connect through the air at will. CB Joe Haden got burnt a few times, and the communication amongst the unit seemed flat. Linebackers Vince Williams, TJ Watt, and first-round rookie Devin Bush were taken mainly out of the game, and that’s supposed to be a strength of the team.
Let’s also mention that over the years, drawing any conclusions based off of what happened when a team went to play the Pats at Foxborough would have led a lot of people astray. This defense has a way better spot here in which to shine. If they can curtail the run, the passing game is a shadow of what they saw last week. In addition, the front-seven will have a far more-negotiable offensive line against whom they can flex their considerable muscle. There is a pretty significant drop-off from a home New England offense on a night where a Super Bowl banner is being hung to a road Seattle offense that doesn’t match up nearly as well.
Lay the Points
Taking either team in this spot requires a leap-of-faith. Seattle didn’t look that great at home against a Cincy team most feel will really struggle this season. And it goes without saying there are some legitimate concerns with the Steelers heading into week two. I just see this as being a spot where it’s going to be easier to thrive for the Steelers. Specific matchup components on both sides of the ball shake out a whole lot better for them than last week. Combined with some urgency and a tough road-spot for the Seahawks, I picture the Steelers looking more like the Steelers this week. I like Pittsburgh to cover the spread this week.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Pittsburgh Steelers minus 3.5 points.