The Pittsburgh Steelers started their season against the Baltimore Ravens in shocking fashion. The Ravens' pummeling of the Steelers made them clearly the second best team in the AFC North—at least for the moment.
Tarvaris Jackson and the Seattle Seahawks will be hoping to pile on the misery at Heinz Field this Sunday.
With the state of the Seahawks, this matchup is totally about how the Steelers react in the face of adversity. One of Mike Tomlin's favorite sayings is truly going to be tested now as it will determine whether this season's Steelers are a flop or if that was just a once off result.
On paper the Seahawks should be the perfect matchup for the Steelers to take out their frustration on. Tarvaris Jackson is a poor quarterback without the ability to recognize defenses or take advantage of the Steelers' secondary issues.
Their running game was non-existent last week against the 49ers and Tarvaris Jackson was sacked five times. Jackson threw one interception and had three fumbles to go with his two touchdown passes against what should be an inferior defense to the Steelers'.
The Steelers last week were horrible against the Ravens. I firmly believe if they had played that way against the Seahawks, they would have been blown out by them also. The Seahawks come into the game without John Carlson and potentially without Sidney Rice.
Simply put, the Steelers should easily win this game.
What will be a major concern for the team is that in recent years they have gotten into the rut of losing to teams they should have beaten. The Baltimore Ravens are undoubtedly a good team, but many of the Steelers' problems this past weekend were caused by their own actions.
The last time the team came off a Super Bowl appearance, they lost to the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, who were all cellar dwellers that season. Much like a baseball team, this group appears to be one of those teams that can keep on falling in a losing streak once things start to go bad.
Now, while losing to the Ravens isn't an issue, the nature of the loss was a major concern. I can't remember the last time the Steelers were beaten so easily in such a fashion. Outside of when Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers was on the other side of the ball, the Steelers defense has never been so ineffective.
Of course, I'll have to see it to believe it if Tarvaris Jackson is going to cut them apart, but it certainly isn't out of the question. This week is a mental challenge more than anything for the Steelers.
I could sit here and point out all the reasons the Steelers will win the matchup because of their talent. They are markedly the better football team, but everyone knows that. Everyone knows that Ben Roethlisberger is better than Tarvaris Jackson and James Harrison is better than Chris Clemons.
The backlash will hopefully be of the "unleash hell" variety on the field rather than off of it.