This Saturday, the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers will play their first preseason game of the 2022 season. The kick-off will be at 7:00 PM EST inside Acrisure Stadium. Both of these teams are no longer with their long-time starting quarterback, as the Seahawks are without Russel Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger retired.
The Seattle Seahawks are coming into their first preseason game with Gino Smith named as the starter. He got the nod earlier this week, as he and Drew Lock have been battling in training camp. Both of these guys will be looking to perform at a high level to get the upper hand on one another. The Seattle defense also looks different, as they have made multiple adjustments there, as well.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are entering this season with Mitch Turbisky as their starting QB, as he has been battling with Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph for the QB1 position. Mike Tomlin doesn't like to lose, as he will have his team prepared for this game.
The New Look SeahawksThe Seattle Seahawks had a very interesting offseason, as they traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos and claim they aren't rebuilding. They have now allowed Geno Smith and Drew Lock to battle for the starting quarterback spot this season. This should give the Seahawks an advantage in these preseason games, though. Both of their quarterbacks have started in the NFL and have enough experience to carry this offense through this game. Lock went (8-13) in his 21 starts in Denver, as he has shown sparks of greatness. Reports say he has struggled through the camp, though.
The Seahawks also did some work in the draft as they spent two of their first three picks on offensive tackles. Wilson was constantly running for his life last season, as Seattle has to do a better job of protecting their quarterback, regardless of who it is. They took Charles Cross with the #9 pick, as the offensive tackle out of Mississippi State should help this offensive line. They also drafted Michigan State RB, Kenneth Walker III with the 41st pick in the draft. They needed a starting running back and Walker could be the perfect fit. Chris Carson was forced to retire due to injuries, so the Seahawks desperately needed to do something with this position.
According to Walterfootball.com, Pete Carroll is also (26-17) in his preseason career, as he doesn't like to lose, no matter what time of the year it is.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Seahawks were also forced to make a few adjustments. They drafted Boye Mafe LB, out of Minnesota as he will look to range from sideline to sideline for Seattle. They no longer have Bobby Wagner, as the legion of boom is officially gone. They will now have Artie Burns, Quandary Diggs, and Sidney Jones IV in their secondary. The Seahawks gave up the 12th most points per game last season with 21.5, as they were touched through the air. Luckily, the Seahawks also added a few more players through free agency. Uchenna Nwosu will be playing for the Seahawks now and so will Quinton Jefferson. The Seahawks can't risk losing any players before the season starts. Carroll doesn't like to lose, as he will expect his team to win this game.
The Steelers Have a Fresh StartThe Pittsburgh Steelers are coming into this season after allowing their long-time starting QB, Ben Roethlisberger to retire. The Steelers now have a QB battle going on in training camp, as they signed Mitch Trubisky and drafted Kenny Pickett. Mason Rudolph is also still in Pittsburgh, but it looks as if Trubisky is leading the charge. It doesn't sound like he is lighting up camp, though. He continues to miss open targets and can't pull away from a struggling young rookie QB.
The Steelers also made some additions in the wide receiver room, as they drafted George Pickens with their second-round pick. The WR out of Georgia dealt with injuries all of 2021, as he only played in four games and made five catches for 107 yards. The Steelers will most likely be very cautious with him in these preseason games, as they will want him healthy for week 1. I'm expecting Najee Harris and the other workhorses for the Steelers to not see much action in this game, as well. Harris rushed for over 1,200 yards last season as he will be a main focal point for the Steeler's offense this season. Mike Tomlin is also (34-24) in his career in the preseason, as he expects his team to get the W every single time they step onto the field. It doesn't matter what time of year it is. His team has also gone (3-1) in their past four preseasons, as they have been getting the job done.
On defense, I wouldn't expect many of the Steelers starters to see much time on the field this week. Watt, Fitzpatrick, and Busch are the three most important players on this defense, as they are the heart and soul of this team. They will most likely only play a series or two if they even spend that much time on the field. Pittsburgh will rely on their rookies and their backups to get the job done in this one. The Steelers did make some defensive adjustments this off-season, though. They let go of Joe Haden and drafted DeMarvin Leal out of Texas A&M. This pass rusher will play and learn from T.J. Watt, as this duo could be scary in the regular season. Pittsburgh gave up 24.4 points per game last season, as they will have to better if they want to support their offense. They also made a few additions to their secondary, as they will be looking to defend the pass more efficiently this season. Pittsburgh signed DB Levi Wallace to help hold down the secondary and they signed Myles Jack, as the Steelers will be looking to continue pressuring the opposing quarterback.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Steelers in this one. I trust the Pittsburgh quarterback position more than the Seahawks, as Drew Lock and Geno Smith have struggled in their careers. I understand that they might have a leg up in these preseason games, but Mike Tomlin and the Steelers don't care. Tomlin is (34-24) in his preseason career, as he gets the job done. Pittsburgh will allow their backups to play the majority of this game, but I have faith in them. Mike Tomlin has gone (3-1) in the preseason the past four seasons, as he gets his team ready to compete no matter what time of the year it is. I also see the Steelers secondary having a great game in this one. Lock and Smith have had turnover issues throughout their entire careers and they will both show that in this one. Pittsburgh also made some key additions on both sides of the field, as I see them being the better overall team in this matchup. The Seahawk's legion of boom is gone and their defense no longer worries me. Trubisky, Pickett, and Rudolph should all have success in this game, as the Seahawks starters don't scare me, and either do their backups. Pittsburgh will consistently score throughout this game and it won't stay close. I don't think the Seahawks will be good this season and they will start by losing their first preseason game.
Take the Pittsburgh Steelers and lay the points (-3).
Full-Game Total Pick
I will be taking the under (36) points in this game between the Steelers and the Seahawks. Both of these teams have a current QB competition going on right and I'm honestly not impressed with anyone. Reports have said that Drew Lock has continued to struggle through training camp, as this is why Geno Smith is getting the start. I just don't see either of these guys scoring a lot of points on the Steeler's defense, as they will play with pride and heart. Tomlin will get his defense ready to play and they will make it difficult on Smith and Lock throughout this entire game. I also see the Steelers staying stagnant on offense at different points in this game. Trubisky has shown that he can make mistakes and Kenny Pickett is still trying to figure out how to play in the NFL. The Steelers will also struggle on offense and this will stay a low-scoring game. I see both of these new-look defenses having the advantage, as both of these teams are trying to adjust to a new starting QB on their team.
Take the under (36) points and expect both of these teams to struggle on offense.