By Jeremy Hritz
It’s Gameday, and at the end of the day, the Steelers will battle the Seattle Seahawks under the lights at Heinz Field. This is a big opportunity for the Steelers to get back to .500, rest up during the bye week, and then come out firing on Halloween against the hated Cleveland Browns. As you prep for your day of Steelers football, here are my Study Notes for 10/17/21:
- JuJu Smith-Schuster has been placed on the IR, and in a corresponding move, Zach Banner has been activated to the 53-man roster. Will he get the start today at right tackle? Or do they leave well enough alone on the offensive line for continuity’s sake? Will be interesting to see how this unfolds tonight.
- Najee Harris cramped up pretty significantly last weekend against the Broncos, something he attributed this week to “some drink.” That’s good for a chuckle. How can you not appreciate this kid’s down-to-earth, humble nature?
- James Washington is healthy and will play today, and he will get the opportunity he has been seeking to actually play a contributing role in the Steelers offense. He has shown the ability to get behind defenders, and I would not be surprised whatsoever to see a deep shot or two go his way. If he can squeeze one of them, and do it consistently with Smith-Schuster out, it will enhance this offense all the way around.
- You know which position is due for a big game? The outside linebackers. Against a bad offensive line, TJ Watt, Alex Highsmith, and Melvin Ingram should have big days, especially against a backup journeyman quarterback. That quarterback? Geno Smith, who hasn’t started a game in 1413 days.
- The Steelers will honor their Hall of Fame inductees at tonight’s game, including Troy Polamalu and Bill Cowher, both of whom will be in attendance. This is an intangible factor that should hype up the crowd, assuming there will be a decent one following decreased attendance this season.
- Seahawks coach Pete Carroll praised Ben Roethlisberger for being able to get rid of the football quickly, saying “Nobody gets the ball out faster.” That’s all well and good Pete, doesn’t mean it that it leads to good plays.
- Final thought… is this the big breakout game for Pittsburgh Pat Freiermuth???
- And in case you didn’t listen to this week’s Steel Study Podcast, my prediction is that the Steelers throttle the Seahawks, 33-16. Everything will go right tonight, and you will get to sit back and enjoy a playmaking festival. If they lose, Steelers Nation will riot…
That is all for today, Studians! Enjoy the game, and go Steelers! Make it a great day!