Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 12 game at the Seattle Seahawks.
The spectacle that was Steelers-Seahawks at CenturyLink Field included a fake field goal that resulted in an interception, multiple two-point conversion attempts on both sides and one monster kick-or-go-for-it decision in the fourth quarter by the visitors.
But third downs proved as critical as any in the Seahawks' 39-30 victory on Sunday afternoon.
The Steelers held quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense to four three-and-outs on the 12 possessions that preceded safety Kam Chancellor's game-sealing interception with 1:37 left in regulation.
But the Seahawks also went seven-for-13 on third-down conversions (54 percent).
The Seahawks moved the chains on third-and-6, third-and-16 (touchdown), third-and-10, third-and-10, third-and-16 and third-and-10 (touchdown) among their seven conversions.
"We didn't have enough three-and-outs," defensive end Cam Heyward lamented. "There were so many times we had third-and-long that we didn't capitalize. That's disheartening because that means we're doing our jobs on first and and second (down) and not getting off on the critical down.
"We had talked about it going into this game and that was one of our goals but we didn't accomplish it."
Seattle's third-down touchdowns came on third-and-goal from the Steelers' 16-yard line in the second quarter and third-and-10 from the Seahawks' 20 with Seattle leading, 32-30, just ahead of the two-minute warning.
"Some of that stuff they ran really well," safety Will Allen said. "(Wilson) understands zone coverage and we were in a lot of zone coverage. He plays against zone coverage every day, that's the Seahawks' M.O.
"They caught us in some defenses and made some plays."
The back-breaker was the 80-yard catch-and-run touchdown from Wilson to wide receiver Doug Baldwin that made it a two-score game late.
Safety Mike Mitchell and cornerback Antwon Blake had shots at Baldwin but couldn't get him on the ground.
"They saw we were in man (-to-man coverage)," Blake said. "On that play I just have to make a tackle. Gotta make a tackle and get off the field.
"(Head) Coach (Mike) Tomlin harped on that this week about making the third-down plays and giving our offense back the ball and we didn't do a good job of that."
BELOW THE LINE: The defense gave up 436 yards, including 336 through the air, on the way to surrendering a season-high 39 points and failed to register a turnover.
"It (stinks), the passing yards and no turnovers and the points," Allen said. "We can't have that to be a dominant defense, it's not good enough. We had the lead (27-26 in the fourth quarter), we didn't finish it off. It's similar to the Baltimore game (a 23-20 overtime loss on Oct. 1), we're up 20-7, we didn't finish.
"This is a great team, they fight well. Super Bowl champions and then they went back to the Super Bowl last year. We can't keep opening the door and keep giving opportunities to really good teams."
Added linebacker Arthur Moats: "Gotta move on to the Colts. Gotta digest it and learn from it but can't dwell on it. You definitely have to tip your hat to them. They executed when we didn't and I felt like they capitalized on our mistakes."
WHEATON'S DAY WASTED:** Wide receiver Markus Wheaton's career-high nine catches for a career-high 201 yards and a touchdown didn't contribute to a victory, and that's all that mattered to Wheaton.
"We come here to win games," Wheaton said. "We travel to win games, play to win the game. The other things are just extra, so it kinda kills the day."
FAKE MISTAKE: The fake field goal the Steelers tried on fourth-and-2 from the Seattle 27 on the first play of the second quarter turned into an interception of holder/quarterback Landry Jones by cornerback Jeremy Lane on a pass intended for eligible offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva.
"I was rolling out and was going to go to (tight end) Heath (Miller)," Jones explained. "They covered Heath. Al's the second option on that whole deal. I just tried to put one up and that guy made a great play on the ball.
"They might have expected it seeing me go into the game (punter Jordan Berry normally holds for field goals) but you still have to execute the play. I have to have a better throw to Al on that. When it left my hands I thought it was a good throw. I thought it was high enough to get over that guy. He just made a really good play on the ball."
Said Tomlin: "I called a fake field goal that wasn't successful. I own that, that's part of it."
CONCUSSION CONCERNS**: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger started but didn't finish.
Roethlisberger took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Seattle defense end Michael Bennett, who was charged with roughing the passer, on third-and-10 from the Steelers' 39 with 7:18 left in the fourth quarter.
Roethlisberger finished the drive, which resulted in a field goal that cut the Seahawks' lead to 32-30, but it was Jones who came in when the Steelers regained possession trailing 39-30 with 1:57 to play.
Roethlisberger headed to the locker room during the Steelers' final series.
"Right when we were about to go on the field the doc started checking him out," Jones said "I don't know what they were saying but for brain stuff you better be more safe than sorry."
Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said Roethlisberger self-reported concussion-like symptoms when he came off the field, and that no NFL-appointed observer had called down from the press box to have him taken off the field.
"All of that stuff's going on behind me," Tomlin said. "We're going to do what's appropriate and take care of our guys. We're going to do what's right in terms of safeguarding those guys."