Prediction No. 2 - The Steelers get 3 interceptions
This won’t be a great game for Geno Smith, however, and it won’t all be his fault. He is going to get sacked 5 times and have pressure constantly in his face. The Seahawks' offensive line, especially the right side with right guard Anthony Bradford and right tackle Abraham Lucas, is better at run blocking than pass protection. Seattle still throws the ball a bit too much and offensive coordinator Shane Waldron can go through bouts of only passing the ball on drives, especially early in the second halves of games, but hopefully, Waldron will see what is going on between the Steelers and Seahawks and adjust his play-calling.
Smith will throw for a touchdown but he will also throw for 3 interceptions. Twice his arm will get hit and the ball will flutter to a Steelers defender. The real difference between the Titans, who Seattle played in Week 16 and gave up a lot of pressure on Smith early in the game, and Pittsburgh is that Pittsburgh’s secondary is better. Smith likely won’t be able to throw the ball as quickly as his receivers won’t be getting open quickly.
This has been an issue all season, unfortunately. Maybe it is the routes that DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are being asked to run. The trio of receivers is too good to be shut down quickly in routes unless the routes they are running are too slow to develop. The longer Smith has to hold the ball, the more he will be forced to put the ball in danger.
But before 12s go blaming Smith for all the interceptions - two of them in the first half - the blame should really go toward Waldron for putting Smith and the offensive line in harm's way. Smith will still have an efficient game except for the interceptions and when the game is tight in the fourth quarter, he will play clean.