Uphill, both ways

The tailspin continues, the losing streak now standing at five. The Seattle Seahawks provided the Pittsburgh Steelers with plenty of chances to steal this road game, but wasted opportunities resulted in a 23-16 loss for the Steelers, dropping them three games behind the North-leading Baltimore Ravens.

QB Tommy Maddox and the Pittsburgh Steelers continued to look out of sync on offense during the first half, but dropped balls by a number of Seattle Seahawks kept the game close, 6-3 at the close of the second quarter.

The score could have just as easily been 14-3 at the half, but the Steelers defense should be given credit for keeping the game close. Defensive coordinator Tim Lewis promised an aggressive game plan and he delivered.

The Steelers blitzed often, racking up 4 sacks before the second half even started, but QB Matt Hasselbeck finished without throwing a single interception, going 18 for 31, 215 yards, and 1 touchdown. Despite the multiple QB pressures, Pittsburgh failed to force a mistake.

Against the run, the Steelers stifled Shaun Alexander, holding him to 48 yards on 20 carries. Yet as good as the statistics looked, Pittsburgh's offense and defense could not seem to post back-to-back great series.

Add to that the erratic punter Josh Miller, who is clearly on the decline of his career, and the Steelers couldn't seem to leverage any good things one of the units accomplished.

To the Steelers' credit, they did not fold after the Seahawks blocked Miller's punt attempt, which was after Pittsburgh's opening second half series stalled near mid-field. However, the defense seemed to run out of luck.

On the Seahawks' next three series they scored a field goal and two touchdowns, the odds catching up with the Steelers defense.

Maddox and Hines Ward kept Pittsburgh close with scoring drives of their own, grabbing two field goals and one touchdown, also in three successive series.

The defense finally made a stand towards the end of the game, but it was too little, too late. The offense couldn't beat the clock and the Steelers turned over the ball on downs, handing the victory to the 6-2 Seahawks.

The Steelers have completely forgotten how to win a game. When one thing works, another thing breaks down. Mistakes outpace great plays, the officials calling the Steelers for 11 penalties and costing them 76 yards.

Maddox often appeared vexed and frustrated by the calls, the offense struggling to find a groove. The Steelers are desperate for a victory, but nothing is going right.

The reason for 2-6 and last place in the AFC North is simple. Pittsburgh continues to fail to seize any opportunity presented them, completely mired in a losing way reminiscent of the hapless days of the Cincinnati Bengals.

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