The Seahawks came into Sunday's game against the Steelers having won two in a row to get right back in the NFC playoff race, but those postseason hopes took a hit as the Steelers, who are also fighting for a playoff spot, were able to come into Lumen Field and earn a 30-23 victory.
Here are five rapid reactions to a Seahawks loss that dropped their record to 8-8 with one game left in the regular season:
1. The Seahawks' playoff hopes took a blow, but they're still alive.
The Seahawks came into their Week 17 game against the Steelers in control of their playoff destiny, knowing that if they won their final two games, they were in the postseason. Now, having fallen to 8-8, things get a lot more complicated for the Seahawks.
Seattle can still make the playoffs with a win in Arizona next week, but it isn't going to be a simple win-and-in scenario. Instead, with a big crowd of NFC teams clumped together with eight or nine wins heading into the final week, the Seahawks will need a win over the Cardinals and some help to get back to the postseason for the 11th time in 14 seasons under Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
2. Seattle's turnover-free streak ended at the worst possible time.
The Seahawks played turnover-free football in each of their past two games, a big factor in winning them both, and they were without a turnover for three-plus quarters against the team that was tied for the league lead in turnover differential heading into the game. But after the Seahawks were able to keep 2021 Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt and the rest of the Steelers pass-rush in check for most of the game, Nick Herbig broke through in the fourth quarter with Pittsburgh's first sack of the game, forcing a fumble that the Steelers recovered at Seattle's 16-yard line.
That turnover came with the Seahawks trailing by seven points, and the Steelers kicked a field goal to make it a two-score game. The Seahawks did put together a quick scoring drive on their next possession, but were unable to get the stop they needed to attempt a game-tying drive.
3. DK Metcalf had another big day, and has another 1,000-yard season.
DK Metcalf came into the game needing just two yards for the third 1,000-yard season of his career, and he got that and plenty more. Catching five passes for 106 yards, Metcalf is up to 1,104 this season, giving him two straight 1,000-yard seasons and three in his five-year career.
4. The Steelers rushing attack was a problem.
While the Seahawks did well in the past couple of weeks to take away explosive plays, they have still been allowing more yards on the ground than they would have liked. And on Sunday the Steelers came to Seattle looking to run the ball, and found plenty of success with Najee Harris leading the way. Harris, a bruising 242-pound back, ran for 122 and two touchdowns on 27 carries, while Jaylen Warren added 75 more on 13 carries, including an 18-yard touchdown for the game's first score.
Making matters worse for the Seahawks defense, the Steelers were also able to hit several big plays through the air, including completions of 42, 37, 25 and 24 yards, a change after the Seahawks went two straight games without giving up a completion of 20 or more yards.
5. Devin Bush had a very busy day against his former team.
With Jordyn Brooks missing the game due to an ankle injury, Devin Bush got the start at linebacker next to Bobby Wagner, and Bush's first game as an every-down player for the Seahawks happened to come against the team that selected him in the first round of the 2019 draft.
And playing against his former team, Bush had a very busy day, recording a game-high 17 tackles, including one tackle for loss.
Check out some of the best action shots from Week 17 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lumen Field on December 31, 2023. Game action photos are presented by Washington's Lottery.