Steelers vs. Seahawks 2015 final score: Pittsburgh blinked first and lost
The Seahawks and Steelers treated us to a great game of haymakers Sunday, yet when the Steelers had just three downs to gain on their last offensive possession, they blinked.Down 32-27, they kicked a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the Seahawks 3-yard line and entrusted a defense that had been torched repeatedly to get one last stop. Doug Baldwin repaid this insolence with an 80-yard catch-and-run to the end zone that put the Seahawks up for good, 39-30, in a game that featured seven lead changes.
The Pittsburgh Steelers got in trouble Sunday when they tried to do too much. It was only after they settled down that they were able to assert themselves against the Seahawks.A poorly conceived fake field goal resulted in an interception and a short field for the Seahawks. The Seahawks scored a touchdown to briefly give them a 7-3 lead.The Steelers took leads of 10-7 and 18-14 thanks to Ben Roethlisberger. He had more than 200 yards passing in the first half against Seattle's vaunted secondary. When the Steelers kicked a field goal after a long drive on their first possession of the second half, they appeared to have the momentum needed to beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink.The Seahawks stormed back with their defense. They pressured Roethlisberger into an interception that led to another short-field touchdown, set up by a spectacular catch by Jimmy Graham. After missing the extra point, they took the lead back -- the fifth lead change of the game -- on a four-play scoring drive set up by a Richard Sherman interception on a deep pass intended for Antonio Brown, who tripped (the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful).Three of the Seahawks first four touchdown drives went 24, 37 and 39 yards, thanks to Roethlisberger interceptions.But despite the miscues, Roethlisberger never stopped slinging. The Steelers dialed up deep balls all day, and Markus Wheaton took the most advantage. He finished the game with nine receptions, 201 yards and a score, his touchdown coming on a long bomb over the head of safety Kam Chancellor. The score gave the Steelers a 27-26 lead after another missed two-point conversion -- the sixth lead change of the game.Again, Wheaton had toyed with the Seahawks' secondary. Again, the Seahawks offense responded. Lead change No. 7 came with a little more than two minutes two play. Wilson hit Baldwin with a bomb of his own.The score stemmed the streak of punches and counter-punches. The Steelers picked their way up the field with more steady passing, but though Roethlisberger went over 450 yards for the day, the drive stalled at the Seahawks' 3-yard line after 13 plays. The Steelers opted for a field goal on fourth down to pull within two points, now down 32-30 with 3:02 remaining in the game.The two teams combined for 974 total yards of offense. Doug Baldwin responded to Wheaton's big day with six reception for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson posted a near-perfect 147.9 passer rating with 345 yards and five touchdowns. And yet, both defenses made enough big plays to nearly win the game for their teams.The outcome was important for two teams battling for wild card spots at the moment. The Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburgh Steelers have struggled to be their best selves at all times this season. They've been great a roughly equal number of times, now both 6-5 on the season.On Sunday, they did us the pleasure of being their best selves at the same time on the same field, and treated us to one of the more entertaining games of the season.