The Seattle Seahawks take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 at Lumen Field. Both teams are 8-7 and trying for playoff spots, though Seattle has a much easier path. As long as Seattle wins its final two games of the season, they will make the playoffs.
Both teams are struggling with injuries, however. Pittsburgh has multiple concerns in their secondary and will be starting backup quarterback Mason Rudolph again on Sunday. The Seahawks might not have Kenneth Walker against a Steelers defense that is not great against the run.
One thing that could truly help the Steelers secondary, though, is their vaunted pass rush. T.J. Watt leads the NFL in sacks with 17 and has 33 quarterback hits. If Pittsburgh can get pressure against Geno Smith before he can unleash deep passes to DK Metcalf, for example, then Seattle is going to have problems.
Previewing Week 17 on our latest Seattle Seahawks podcast
If Walker cannot play then the Seahawks still need to use RB2 Zach Charbonnet a lot. Running the ball effectively will keep the Steelers' pass rush honest and could make Pittsburgh's safeties cheat in a bit. That could open up the field for Metcalf, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and Tyler Lockett. That works in theory anyway but what remains to be seen is if Seattle is truly capable of sustaining a running attack.
The great thing (or perhaps terrible thing) is that you can listen to our thoughts about what will happen in Week 17 by tuning into our podcast. We also discuss former Seahawks QB Russell Wilson's issues with the Denver Broncos. Should Seattle entertain brining Wilson back? We discuss.
We do talk about Seattle's late-game success in the last two weeks as well. Does that mean Geno Smith is no different from Drew Lock. We debate. And you can yell at us via your listening device if you disagree with us.