Seahawks vs Steelers; three things to watch

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Three things to watch as the Seattle Seahawks take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a must-win home game at CenturyLink Field.

It’ll be a playoff atmosphere Sunday at the Clink as the Seahawks host the Steelers in a must-win game for the home team. Right now the 5-5 Seahawks chances of making the playoffs sit at 11.2%. A win on Sunday would give those odds a boost, while a loss (when you look at the schedule that lies ahead) would be a devastating blow.

So before you stuff yourself with Turkey, stuffing and pie…. here’s Seahawks vs Steelers, three things to watch for:


We’ve seen CB Richard Sherman utilized in a myriad of different ways this year. Formerly positioned for good as the left CB, regardless of the opponent, Sherman has moved around this year. While he stayed put against Arizona, that was to be expected because of the overall depth and balance of the Cardinals receiving corps. But when he’s faced WR1 types like A.J. Green and Dez Bryant, he’s shadowed those players the entire game.

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Pittsburgh presents a unique challenge. Antonio Brown is clearly their #1 WR, and perhaps the most prolific playmaker in the league right now. He’s already hauled in 79 catches for 1,141 yards through 10 games. So it would seem to be an obvious shadow matchup for Sherman.

But not so fast…. Sherman’s unique skillset and long, lanky frame is an advantage against bigger WR’s like those mentioned above, but Brown is a different cat altogether. He’s 5’10”, 181 and lightning quick. He’s a great stop-and-start route runner, and this plays right into Sherman’s biggest weakness at times, his lack of quick-twitch ability to recover. Pittsburgh’s other wideouts are taller (#2 weapon Martavis Bryant checks in at 6’4″) and may be more natural matchups for Sherman.

But then that begs the question, if not Sherman then who? Marcus Burley, Deshawn Shead, Tye Smith, or (gasp) the about-to-be-officially-benched Cary Williams? None seem like a good alternative. A healthy Jeremy Lane might just be the perfect guy, and he will be playing in his first game Sunday since recovering from injuries sustained in the Super Bowl, but will he be ready for such a challenge right out of the box?

Seeing where Sherman goes on Pittsburgh’s first offensive play might be the biggest storyline of the game on Sunday.

Next: Getting To Big Ben