The Steelers haven't had a season with fewer than five victories since 1969, when they went 1-13 in Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll's first season. Dan Rooney authorized nearly $80 million in signing bonuses the past three seasons to keep this team together at Cowher's urging. They cannot break it up because the salary cap ramifications would be too steep.
Their defense finally cranked up some pressure with five quarterback sacks in Seattle, but their offense was impotent until the fourth quarter and it was too little, too late for them.
Second-highest for Maddox and Bettis
QB Tommy Maddox had his second-highest passer rating of the season at 88.5, completing 21 of 35 for 226 yards, one TD and no interceptions. But he had only 61 yards after three quarters and did not look good doing it. He rolled out on bootlegs more often and was sacked just twice.
When Jerome Bettis has his second-best day of the season and has only 50 yards rushing, something is wrong in Pittsburgh. The Steelers had their second 100-yard game, with 105 on 30 carries. They had no touchdowns rushing and they had too many runs for losses.
Amos Zereoue leads the Steelers with 315 yards rushing halfway through the season. He's on pace to lead them with 630 yards, which would be the fewest since Merril Hoge led them with 610 in 1991.
Modest numbers, but enough for the win
Matt Hasselbeck was sacked five times, but he managed to complete 18 of 31 for 215 yards, one TD, no interceptions and a 90.1 passer rating. He did it when he had to in the fourth quarter, leading the Seahawks on two touchdown drives. The Seahawks running game was held under 100, with 98 yards and a 3.9-yard average. Shawn Alexander did run for one touchdown. But nearly half of their rushing total came on one 47-yard run by Maurice Morris.
- CB Dewayne Washington was benched late in the game Sunday in favor of CB Deshea Townsend after Washington gave up a medium-range pass and then missed the tackle in what turned into a big gainer.
- CB Chad Scott led the Steelers in tackles Sunday with eight, and also knocked down a pass and forced a fumble.
- PK Jeff Reed has made 13 of 15 field goal attempts this season after kicking 17 of 19 in just six games last season as a rookie.
- Josh Miller punted poorly for Pittsburgh with a gross average of just 35.8 on four punts. One of his punts was blocked and led to three points for Seattle.
- LB Kendrell Bell has lost his job as a rush end in the dime defense, when he gives way to Joey Porter. Bell still plays inside linebacker in the base and in the nickel.
Quote to Note
"I don't know if they're saying that, but the record is saying that." - Jerome Bettis, on whether the rest of the NFL considers Pittsburgh among the worst teams in the league.