The Steelers offense dominated the Seahawks defense on the ground in the first half, running for 145 yards on the half. Their yards per carry average, which is at six yards per carry, is brought down by quarterback sneaks by Mason Rudolph. In reality, the running backs are averaging over seven yards per carry at 7.1 yards per carry.
Najee Harris has 13 carries for 74 yards and a touchdown. His heroic second effort pulled the Steelers in front of the Seahawks to give them a 17-14 halftime lead. He has an explosive run by dragging defenders into the second level, too. So far, the Seahawks have not found a way to stop them.
Najee Harris running through the defense on his way to the end zone 😤
— NFL (@NFL) December 31, 2023
Jaylen Warren has found similar success. He has seven carries for 67 yards and a touchdown. George Pickens got out before him on his run, helping block Warren right into the end zone for the touchdown. This is not their most prolific rushing attack of the season, but it is getting close. They also spliced up the Green Bay Packers, running for over 200 yards that day. That seems to be in serious reach for the offense once again.
The Seahawks have made some solid second-half adjustments before to help their run defense. For one, they allowed just 3.1 yards per carry in the second half last week against Derrick Henry and a furious Titans rushing offense, too. But the Steelers running backs have forced missed tackle after missed tackle, and that has become the key difference in the game.
Meanwhile, George Pickens has been targeted five times and has three receptions for 52 yards. He has shown some increased effort throughout the day, including making a tackle on a play that could have been a fumble by Diontae Johnson. With the passing attack doing just fine enough with the help of the rushing attack, the Steelers hope their productive first half on the ground can parlay itself into an equally dominant second half.