It’s been roughly 22 months since Heinz Field was packed full of fans for a primetime matchup like the one the Pittsburgh Steelers will find themselves in at 8:20 p.m. Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.
All that time ago, the Steelers matched up with the Buffalo Bills and dropped a 17-10 decision to Buffalo while trying to stay playoff relevant with Devlin Hodges at quarterback.
Now, 22 months later, the Steelers will be at nearly full strength for the big SNF game, including having Ben Roethlisberger back under center. That, along with the thought of a packed house on Sunday night in primetime, has players and coaches excited for the opportunity ahead, none more than star outside linebacker T.J. Watt.
Speaking with the media during his Friday availability, Watt expressed how pumped up he is to see a packed house inside Heinz Field, knowing just how impactful the faithful can be, especially coming off of the performance the fans in the stadium had in Week 5 against the Broncos, helping force a false start on the first play of the game for Denver.
“Oh, hell yeah, man. I’m super excited for Heinz Field. It was pretty rocking and rolling the last time we played there in a nighttime atmosphere,” Watt said to reporters Friday, according to Steelers.com. “I’m sure the beers will be flowing a little bit more throughout the day for the fans and the place will be absolutely nuts. And the fans help so much, especially for us pass rushers and as a defense. The louder they are, the better that we’re going to play.”
In recent years there have been some complaints about the fans that attend the games in person, often not being as loud as possible in an effort to create a hostile environment for visiting teams. That seems to be changing some in recent weeks, especially the Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos.
A Sunday Night Football matchup against the short-handed Seahawks in Week 6 should be a continuation for the fans in attendance, especially considering the festivities leading up to the 8:20 p.m. kickoff. We’ll see how big of an impact the fans in attendance can have for a second straight week, but it’s exciting to hear a player of Watt’s stature is excited to see a packed Heinz Field in a nighttime environment once again.