Super Bowl XL Rematch: Steelers look to rebound against Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday, 9/18/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Pittsburgh -14.5
Current Betting Line:  Pittsburgh -14
Opening Total:  37.5
Current Total:  40
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Steelers Seahawks NFL Preview
Pittsburgh RB Rashard Mendenhall did not get much action last week since his team got off to a rough start.

The Pittsburgh Steelers will try to bounce back from their worst loss in 14 years on Sunday when they host the Seattle Seahawks.  The Steelers (0-1) turned the ball over seven times in suffering a 35-7 rout at Baltimore and hope hosting the Seattle Seahawks (0-1) will cure some of the ills that plagued them last week.

Pittsburgh (-14, O/U 40) did very little right against the Ravens and played especially bad on defense, giving up 170 rushing yards after allowing just 62.8 per game a year ago to lead the NFL.  Baltimore jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, giving up only one score on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in the second quarter.

Roethlisberger had an awful game with three interceptions to go along with the lone touchdown, and he completed 22 of 41 passes overall for 280 yards.  Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall was limited to 45 yards on 12 carries as the team was forced to throw early and often in playing from behind.

The Steelers will be hosting the Seahawks for the second time since squaring off in Super Bowl XL at Detroit’s Ford Field back in 2006.  Pittsburgh won its fifth league title in that controversial game, “earning” a 21-10 victory with referee Bill Leavy last year admitting to two botched calls he made.  Leavy will be the head referee at Heinz Field, and he has been involved in a Seattle game just twice since then.  The Seahawks lost the last meeting with the Steelers at Heinz 21-0 a year later, and seven of the last 10 games between the teams have gone UNDER the total.

Seattle is coming off a 33-17 loss at San Francisco last week that was actually a lot closer than the final score would indicate.  The 49ers led 19-17 with 3:56 remaining but got two touchdowns from Ted Ginn Jr. on kickoff and punt returns to seal the deal.  The defense did a solid job though, holding San Francisco to 209 yards and only one conversion on 12 third-down attempts.

New quarterback Tavaris Jackson looked shaky at time for the Seahawks much like he did with his last team Minnesta, finishing with 197 yards passing, two touchdowns and one interception.  Jackson will face a very tough test against a Pittsburgh defense that was fuming after the team’s performance at Baltimore, giving the players extra motivation against Seattle.

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