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Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers Edge Seahawks in OT After Watt Forced Fumble, Boswell FG

Doric SamOctober 18, 2021

AP Photo/Don Wright

The Pittsburgh Steelers topped the Seattle Seahawks 23-20 in overtime at home on Sunday Night Football to improve to 3-3. Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell drilled a 37-yard field goal to secure the victory.

Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt forced a fumble by Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith late in the overtime period to set up the game-winning kick.

NFL @NFL

TJ WATT FORCES THE FUMBLE. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HereWeGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HereWeGo</a><br><br>πŸ“Ί: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsPIT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SEAvsPIT</a> on NBC<br>πŸ“±: NFL app <a href="https://t.co/SbUBpLy0qI">pic.twitter.com/SbUBpLy0qI</a>

Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris had 127 all-purpose yards in the win.

The Seahawks were playing without starting quarterback Russell Wilson for the first time in 10 seasons. In his first start in nearly four years, Smith threw for 209 yards and a touchdown.


Notable Performers

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: 29-of-40 for 229 YD, TD, fumble lost

Steelers RB Najee Harris: 24 ATT fo 81 YDS; 6 REC for 46 YD, TD

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Seahawks QB Geno Smith: 23-of-32 for 209 YD, TD, fumble lost

Seahawks RB Alex Collins: 20 ATT for 101 YD, TD


Steelers Still Searching for Offensive Identity

The Seahawks came into Sunday's game giving up an NFL-worst 450.8 yards per game, but the Steelers still struggled to establish themselves on offense.

The rushing and passing attempts balanced out late in the game, but early on, it seemed like Pittsburgh couldn't decide if it wanted to establish the run or attack through the air. Roethlisberger attempted 40 passes while the Steelers ran the ball 30 times.

The Steelers scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter, but the offense was very stagnant besides that. Najee Harris opened the scoring with a touchdown reception, and Eric Ebron followed with a run at the goal line.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Najee Harris finds his way into the end zone for the Steelers πŸ’ͺ<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/XPIIzN8NLb">pic.twitter.com/XPIIzN8NLb</a>

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Ebron made this TD look way too easy 😀<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>) <a href="https://t.co/lB3eADV1Wj">pic.twitter.com/lB3eADV1Wj</a>

With wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster out for the season after shoulder surgery, Pittsburgh is down one of their reliable options. Diontae Johnson led with nine catches for 71 yards, but the rest of the Steelers had a quiet performance.

Pittsburgh will have to figure out what type of team it wants to be on offense if it wants to keep pace in the AFC North. The Steelers have a strong rookie running back in Harris and solid receivers with Johnson, Chase Claypool and James Washington. They should've been able to put more points on the board against one of the NFL's worst defenses.


Geno Smith Does Well as Game Manager

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith committed a crucial turnover when he lost a fumble in overtime, but he performed adequately prior to that.

Despite trailing 14-0 at halftime, the Seahawks stuck to their offensive game plan to take most of the pressure off of Smith. Seattle made a point to establish the run and really picked things up in the second half. Alex Collins was able to get going and broke the ice for Seattle early in the third quarter.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Seahawks on the board 🀝<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/8FS2IttE7k">pic.twitter.com/8FS2IttE7k</a>

With the Steelers' defense focused on stopping the run, Smith was able to find success with play-action and brought the Seahawks back in the game. He found Gerald Everett for a big gain that set up a one-yard touchdown pass to Will Dissly.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Gerald Everett shook off three defenders on this play 😳<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/P31mnkl4TV">pic.twitter.com/P31mnkl4TV</a>

Seahawks Videos @seahawksvideos

Geno Smith to Will Dissly for the TD <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Seahawks?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Seahawks</a> <a href="https://t.co/e0Btt0AedN">pic.twitter.com/e0Btt0AedN</a>

Despite the loss, the Seahawks may have found a successful formula with Smith running the offense for the time being. Seattle isn't as dynamic as it usually is with Wilson under center, but playing safer is the team's best option while Smith is at quarterback.

Smith started his first game since Dec. 3, 2017, when he played for the New York Giants. He was known as being turnover-prone early in his career, so as long as he can take care of the ball, he will grow more comfortable leading the Seahawks in Wilson's absence.


What's Next?

The Steelers will be on a bye in Week 7 and return to action Oct. 31 in an NFC North road matchup against the Cleveland Browns. The Seahawks return home next week to host the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.

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