NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 6 Game Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Seattle Seahawks 20

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes against pressure from Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) and outside linebacker T.J. Watt (90) during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In a prime-time showdown featuring two sub-.500 teams, it was the Pittsburgh Steelers who broke even in the win-loss column with a thrilling 23-20 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football.

Steelers kicker Chris Boswell nailed a 36-yard field goal with 2:50 left in overtime to hand Pittsburgh its third win of the season, though all credit belongs to edge rusher T.J. Watt for forcing the Geno Smith fumble to set Pittsburgh's kicker up in field-goal range.

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Pittsburgh Steelers


Ben Roethlisberger has looked like a complete shell of his former self at points this season, but he was at least serviceable again tonight, completing 29-of-40 attempts for 233 yards and a touchdown. He earned a 67.3 PFF grade on first review. 

The veteran passer recorded one big-time throw but also got away with what could have been a costly mistake when an errant throw hit safety Jamal Adams in the face mask late in the fourth quarter with the game tied up.

Week  Passing Yards ADOT Touchdown Passes Interceptions
Week 5 260 8.9 2 0
Week 6 233 7.9 1 0
Running back

Najee Harris racked up 80 yards on 24 rushes, with two explosive runs of 15 or more yards and three first-down conversions. He forced just one missed tackle tonight, which is partly why he'll likely end up with a sub-65.0 PFF grade.

The rookie did grab six passes for 45 yards and the team’s lone receiving score to finish with a 79.0 receiving grade, showcasing his versatility out the backfield. 

Wide receiver/tight end

Diontae Johnson came down with just one explosive play of 15-plus yards, finishing the night with 10 catches for 68 yards. He had a crucial drop in the fourth quarter that could have burned the Steelers if not for some overtime heroics, but he did move the chains five times.

Pat Freiermuth’s 75.3 receiving grade consisted of 7 catches on 7 targets for 3 first downs, 14 yards after contact and 58 yards overall. While he served as Big Ben’s most valuable tight end, Eric Ebron had a rushing score to compensate for an underwhelming 60.3 PFF Receiving Grade. 

Offensive line

While the Steelers' offensive line allowed 10 total pressures, only one resulted in a hit or a sack. The unit earned a PFF pass-blocking grade of 73.1 on first review.

Defensive line

Nine stops and six tackles for loss highlighted an up and down performance from the Steelers' defensive front. The constant motor on the defensive line was ageless wonder Cam Heyward, whose two stops and one tackle for loss paved the way to a 90.2 PFF run-defense grade on first review.


T.J. Watt was a force to be reckoned with tonight. He recorded two sacks, two batted passes and one hurry to earn a 90.7 pass-rushing grade on first review. 


Two stops, three tackles and a forced incompletion by rookie cornerback Tre Norwood may have justified potential playing time down the line. The Oklahoma product finished with a 92.3 coverage grade on 13 coverage snaps on PFF's first review of the game film. 

Seattle Seahawks


Geno Smith’s 68.0 passing grade was respectable enough to aid Seattle in a potential road victory against the Steelers. However, his lone but crucial turnover-worthy play in overtime cost the Seahawks the chance of stealing a victory. 

The veteran quarterback completed 23-of-32 attempts for 201 yards and one score tonight, though his 4.1-yard average depth of target was a far cry from what the 12s have come to expect from their quarterback.

Running back

Alex Collins saved his best rushing performance for the second half against the Steelers. Collins' 79.8 rushing grade consisted of a combination of power and explosiveness that injected life within a Seahawks’ offense that scored more points in the second half (20) than they did in the first half (0).

Running back Explosive runs Yards After Contact Missed tackles forced
Alex Collins 4 70 2

 Collins finished with 117 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown in his second consecutive start since replacing an injured Chris Carson

Wide receiver/tight end

 A 68.6 receiving grade that featured zero explosive catches and an average depth of target of 6.2 yards summarizes the level of limited productivity D.K. Metcalf had with Geno Smith serving as the starting quarterback.

Tight end Gerald Everett returned to the lineup with an explosive pass play that forced two missed tackles to position Seattle for their second touchdown of the night. That possession finished off with a Will Dissly score which did nothing to masquerade Dissly’s 59.3 receiving grade. Everett finished with a 67.2 receiving grade of his own as the Seattle tight end duo combined for 4 grabs on 4 targets. 

Offensive line

Seattle’s offensive line finished with a 61.5 pass-blocking grade upon first review. They allowed three sacks, six hurries and one QB hit. Left Tackle Duane Brown was the team’s brightest spot, and even he finished with a 63.2 pass-blocking grade after giving up a sack, a hit and three total pressures. 

Defensive line

Before leaving the game with a serious-looking injury, Darrell Taylor‘s 70.0 pass-rushing grade was the brightest spot on Seattle’s pedestrian defensive line. He tallied two total pressures — one hit and one hurry.


Four tackles, three stops and a 76.7 run-defense grade was just a regular Sunday in the office for Bobby Wagner.

The longtime Seahawks linebacker may have allowed all six of his targets to be caught, but only two of those catches moved the chains. 


D.J. Reed Jr. was tested all night and held his own by forcing two incompletions and accumulating three stops alongside his 74.7 coverage grade. The former 49er only allowed three catches on nine targets.

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