9-7 is there for the taking

Five sacks. No turnovers. Over 100 yards rushing and 200 yards passing.<br><br> The Steelers did everything they needed to do to win Sunday at Seattle - except win.<br><br> While many will look at the Steelers' fifth consecutive loss as a negative, there were once again a lot of positives to take out of Sunday's 23-16 loss at Seattle.

Now a loss is still a loss. And for a team in dire need of a victory, this loss is a very bad one.

But if the Steelers play their final eight games this season like they played Sunday, there's no reason to believe they can't go 7-1 the rest of the way.

Take a look at the schedule.

After hosting Arizona next Sunday, they travel to San Francisco for a Monday night contest. Then, it's on to Cleveland for some payback before home games against Cincinnati and Oakland. The Steelers then travel to New York to face the Jets before finishing up with a home game against San Diego and a road contest at Baltimore to finish the regular season.

Heading into Sunday's game at Seattle, the Steelers had the easiest schedule in the league according to opponents records. And that was counting the 5-2 Seahawks.

Even after Sunday's game, the Steelers have just one team with a winning record left on their schedule, the season finale at Baltimore. And the Steelers already handled the Ravens, 34-15, earlier this season.

Will 9-7 be enough to win this division? Maybe.

But making the playoffs with this team would likely be a bad thing. It would just cover up the fact that this is a team with a lot of holes.

© For those who didn't notice. Damien Robinson started in place of Ken Hamlin at safety for the Seahawks.

© Bill Cowher still doesn't know when best to use replay. To call for a replay of Darrell Jackson's fourth-quarter TD reception was just a waste of a timeout.

Couldn't have used that later in the game, huh?

© If Jerame Tuman had continued his pass pattern to the corner of the end zone instead of stopping short in the fourth quarter, the Steelers would have scored to make it 23-20 instead of settling for a field goal.

© His two-yard TD pass to Hines Ward in the fourth quarter was Tommy Maddox's first of the season in the fourth quarter. Ouch!

© Keydrick Vincent had a rare daily double in the second quarter, heading downfield illegally before a screen pass and then getting called for a clip on the same play.

Vincent was also illegally downfield on a screen play last week against St. Louis - about 20 yards downfield. Hard to believe Russ Grimm didn't point that out to him on film.

That play ended up costing the Steelers dearly as they couldn't recover from the 15-yard penalty and were forced to punt deep in their own end. It gave Seattle great field position, which they turned into a field goal.

© Of course that was just one of 11 penalties the Steelers had during the game. Was there anyone who wasn't penalized for a false start?

© What was Troy Polamalu doing on Josh Miller's blocked punt?

Yes, Seattle overloaded the right side and that was where Polamalu - who was the upback - slid to help. But D.D. Lewis ran right past him to block Miller's punt. I guess Polamalu figured the guys up front would actually do their job and not let Lewis come up the middle like that.

© Did the Steelers give up some big plays in coverage Sunday? Yes.

But if you're going to blitz like they were doing, that's going to happen on occasion. If you leave those corners on an island, sometimes they are going to be beaten.

© That being said, defensive coordinator Tim Lewis called a pretty good game.

© I've said it before and I'll say it again, why don't the Steelers run the no-huddle more?

© The play calling at the end of the first half was ridiculous on the Steelers' part.

You get the ball back at the 20 with just under a minute left and all three timeouts. I can only assume I wasn't the only person who knew they were going to run a draw to Amos Zereoue to see what they could get. When they got nine yards on it, it seemed like a safe bet they would go for some points.

Instead, they ran another draw and then started looking to throw. Too little, too late.

© The Steelers need a player like Marcus Trufant in their secondary more than anything else.

© Seattle linebacker Chad Brown should have been penalized for taunting or unnecessary roughness on at least four occasions in the first half by my count.

© Oliver Ross did a pretty good job at right tackle. He gave two sacks, but one was a coverage sack in which Maddox had plenty of time to get rid of the ball.

Steel City Insider Top Stories