SEAHAWKS 39, STEELERS 30**
Steelers' record: 6-5
One year ago: 7-4
Series record (including playoffs): Series tied, 9-9
This was how Coach Mike Tomlin assessed the challenge facing the Steelers in Seattle: "We have to weather the storm of the environment, and by that I mean we've operated in the comforts of home for the last three weeks, a month, and it's been some time offensively since we've been on the road in a hostile environment. We can't allow that to be negative. We have to work through that and find our rhythm in that environment, and we have to do so quickly. On defense, we have to minimize the splash and play good red zone ball. We have to get off the field on get-off downs. We have to minimize known entities. Jimmy Graham is a dangerous guy, and we've had our issues with tight ends. We have to minimize his impact on the game. We have to minimize Russell Wilson's scrambling ability and what that creates for them in terms of plays. It's going to take a tremendous effort, but I'm excited about it. The guys have had a good week of work, and we're ready to get a little measuring stick of where we are in a hostile place against a good football team."
HOW THE STORYLINE PLAYED OUT
Overall, the Steelers simply didn't do enough of the things Tomlin was seeking to come out of Seattle with the victory, even though the team did perform above the line in some of the categories.
The Steelers were penalized only six times for 65 yards, and none of those could be traced to the noise inside the stadium. The teams' respective third-down conversion percentages were in the same neighborhood – 7-of-13 (54 percent) for the Seahawks vs. 5-of-11 for 45 percent for the Steelers – but in the area of red zone performance could be found what may have been the deciding factor. Seattle was a perfect 4-for-4 in the red zone, while the Steelers were just 2-for-4. On those two failed red zone possessions, scrambles by Ben Roethlisberger came up just short of the first down yardage, and the Steelers settled for field goals of 25 and 22 yards from Chris Boswell.
Besides the red zone issues, the area that killed the Steelers in their bid for only a second victory in Seattle was turnover ratio. The Steelers were minus-4, and did not record a takeaway.
FIRST HALF STAT THAT STANDS OUT**
The Steelers ran 39 plays in the first half, and only 10 of them were designed runs. DeAngelo Williams had six carries for 28 yards, Martavis Bryant had an 11-yard touchdown run on a reverse, and Ben Roethlisberger had two quarterback sneaks and a kneeldown at the end of the half.
NOT ENOUGH PLAYS ON THE BALL
Russell Wilson attempted 30 passes, and the Steelers had no interceptions, with their only pass defensed coming when nose tackle Steve McLendon got a hand on a ball at the line of scrimmage.
THE DIFFERENCE WAS IN THE SECOND HALF
The Steelers went into halftime with an 18-14 lead, but the second half belonged to the home team. Each team had seven possessions in the second half, with the Steelers' seven ending this way: field goal on a failed red zone trip, interception, punt, interception, touchdown, field goal on another failed red zone trip, interception. Seattle's seven possessions – before victory formation – were: punt, punt, touchdown, punt, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown.
During the fourth quarter, Ben Roethlisberger was put into the NFL concussion protocol after he self-reported symptoms, according to Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten, and Roethlisberger was replaced late in the game by Landry Jones. The independent trainer in the press box charged with monitoring such situations did not call down to the sideline to alert any medical personnel there of the situation.
Game action from the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 12 game at the Seattle Seahawks.