Seattle Seahawks

What you need to know about Seattle’s week two opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers

From one AFC Central opponent to another, the Seattle Seahawks are looking to go two for two against the division and 2-0 to start the season.

After barely scraping by the Cincinnati Bengals 21-20 at home Sunday, the Seahawks go on the road for the first time in 2019 and face one of the league’s standard bearers.

Five things you need to know about the Seahawks week two opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers:

Big Ben on record pace, not in a good way

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will eventually end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There, he will join other quarterbacks like Joe Montana, Brett Favre and John Elway. However, Big Ben is on pace to pass both Elway and Favre for a record he probably doesn’t want.

Roethlisberger is in his 16th season in the league and has been sacked 502 times, making him the leader among active quarterbacks. The record is held by Brett Favre, who was sacked 525 times; Elway falls in second place with 516.

So if we’re doing the math, Roethlisberger needs to be sacked just 24 more times to break the all-time record. He was sacked once Sunday by the Patriots. The Seahawks, meanwhile, sacked Andy Dalton five times in week one.

Prime thinks Roethlisberger is retiring

NFL Network’s Deion Sanders seems to think that the Steelers quarterback will be retiring, not just after the season but during the season.

During NFL Gameday, Sanders remarked that Roethlisberger (and the Steelers) looked disinterested and not motivated during their season-opening 33-3 loss against the New England Patriots. Somehow, that prompted Sanders to think that something will shut down for Big Ben and he won’t finish the season.

A few of things on that interesting take:

Yeah, it was a team that clearly didn’t want to be there and wanted to get out of New England as soon as they could, but Big Ben ain’t retiring.

Meet Antonio Brown’s replacement

Coming out of USC at just 20 years old, JuJu Smith-Schuster has become one of the rising stars in the league. Solid playmaking ability matched with Madison Ave. and social media charm make this young wideout a staple of any NFL weekend on the field and in commercials. Smith-Schuster is one of the featured athletes for Madden 20 and is featured in one of the commercials that has been playing throughout the early portion of the season.

On the field, he has an even bigger responsibility, and that is playing the role of the Steelers’ No. 1 target. Over his two years in the league, he’s been targeted 253 times and caught 175 passes, including 14 touchdowns. The production level will go up but time will tell if he’s ready to assume the top spot as the next great Steeler wideout.

Rare 0-2 start for Pittsburgh?

Between 1989 and 2019, the Pittsburgh Steelers have gone 0-2 just five times (1989, 1993, 2000, 2002, 2013). As of 2018, teams who start 0-2 have a 10 percent chance of making the playoffs. Just last season, Seattle started off 0-2 and reached the playoffs so it’s not like all hope is lost for Pittsburgh if they drop a second-straight game to start the year.

Here’s a look back at how their seasons have ended after starting 0-2 the last five seasons.

  • 1989: 9-7 (3rd Place in the AFC Central: Divisional Round)

  • 1993: 9-7 (2nd Place in the AFC Central: Wild Card Round)

  • 2000: 9-7 (3rd Place in AFC Central: No Playoffs)

  • 2002: 10-5-1 (1st Place in the AFC North: Divisional Round)

  • 2013: 8-8 (2nd Place in the AFC North: No Playoffs)

A Trip to the Burgh

In 43 seasons, the Seattle Seahawks have made nine previous trips and are 2-7 in the Steel City. Overall, Seattle leads Pittsburgh with a 9-8 record in the regular season. Seattle last traveled to Pittsburgh in 2011 and were blanked 24-0.

The last game between the two was in 2015, and it was Seattle who came out on top, 39-30, highlighted by a wild fourth-quarter where Seattle scored three touchdowns from Russell Wilson.