Lots of panic and worry are settling over the Pittsburgh Steelers as they opened their season with one of the worst displays during the Mike Tomlin era. A 33-3 blowout loss to the New England Patriots has everyone and their mother talking about the potential catastrophe that awaits the Steelers this season. Last Sunday’s game may have been bad but it will mean no more than any of the next 15 games that follow it, starting with this Sunday’s home opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Here are all the stats you will need to know before Sunday’s big game.
5 – Traveling can be pretty brutal, but do not take my word for it, just ask the Seahawks how much they have enjoyed travelling. Pete Carroll’s Seahawks have struggled on the road, especially early in the season as they have dropped their first road game of the season every year since 2014. Carroll’s road record also leaves a lot to be desired as the Seahawks have compiled a 12-11-1 road record over the last three years.
7 – The Steelers allowed seven pass plays that went for 20 yards or more last Sunday against the Patriots and you can bet that the Seahawks definitely took notice. Russell Wilson has been known for his deep ball, as he is the NFL’s active leader in yards per pass attempt with 7.87 yards per attempt and flashed off his arm in last Sunday’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Wilson completed three passes that went for over 20 yards, with D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett being on the receiving end of those throws. The return of Sean Davis is going to be crucial for this matchup as the Steelers’ safeties must deem their secondary a no-fly zone after allowing Brady to freely operate in their airfield last weekend.
29-6-1 – Heinz Field has not been kind to NFC opponents since the stadium opened in 2001. The Steelers own an AFC best 29-6-1 record against NFC opponents at home since 2001. In fact, the Steelers are 7-1 over their last four seasons when playing an NFC opponent at Heinz Field, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys in 2016. That should be unsettling for a Seahawks team that has not scored a point in Pittsburgh since 1999.
104.9 – One big reason why Heinz Field has been a disastrous destination for visiting NFC teams is the play of Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers’ franchise quarterback has put together a 104.9 passer rating over 27 career games against NFC teams at home. Roethlisberger has compiled a 22-5 career record with 55 touchdowns and just 16 interceptions in 27 home matchups against NFC foes.
418 – If the Steelers are looking for an opportunity to turn their struggling offense around, they could not have run into a better opportunity than the Seahawks. While that statement may seem ludicrous, the Seahawks are coming off a performance in which they allowed Andy Dalton to throw for a career high 418 yards. Roethlisberger will also have a chance to iron out his deep ball after the Seahawks allowed six passes of 20 yards or more from Dalton last Sunday. This could also mean that James Washington will be in store for a heavy workload as he has primarily served as the Steelers’ new vertical threat.