PITTSBURGH (AP) – Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns, including a 28-yard rainbow to DK Metcalf midway through the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Seahawks held off the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-26 on Sunday.
The Steelers lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a right elbow injury late in the first half and fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2013 despite solid play from backup Mason Rudolph, who threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes to Vance McDonald in relief.
Roethlisberger began flexing his right arm after an incompletion late in the second quarter. He stayed in to finish the drive before jogging to the locker room. When the 37-year-old QB emerged for the second half, he was wearing a white cap while Rudolph, taken in the third round of the 2018 draft, took the first meaningful snaps of his career.
Rudolph completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards, the two scores and an interception but couldn’t quite keep pace with Wilson and the Seahawks (2-0).
Wilson was 29 of 35 for 300 yards and the three TDs, becoming the fifth-fastest quarterback in league history to reach 200 career touchdown passes (114 games). Wilson also ran four times for 24 yards, most of it coming on Seattle’s final drive as the Seahawks protected a two-point lead.
A week after escaping Cincinnati with a one-point win, a game in which coach Pete Carroll said his team wasn’t particularly crisp, the Seahawks took advantage of a series of mental mistakes by the Steelers to win in Pittsburgh for the first time in 20 years.
Wilson’s first touchdown pass to Will Dissly – a 14-yarder in the second quarter – came after Steelers defensive tackle Dan McCullers was called for a personal foul on a field goal attempt by Seattle. The Seahawks took the first down instead of the points, and on the next snap Wilson hit a soaring Dissly for the score.
Seattle went in front early in the second half when a pass from Rudolph to Donte Moncrief went through the receiver’s hands, smacked off his facemask and landed in the arms of Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald. Wilson found Dissly again for a 12-yard score seven plays later.
A 37-yard touchdown sprint by Rashaad Penny put Seattle up 21-13 late in the third quarter before Rudolph guided Pittsburgh 75 yards for a score, ending a 12-play drive with an 8-yard flip to get the Steelers within 21-19.
Rudolph tried to hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on the 2-point conversion attempt, but it was picked off.
Pittsburgh had the Seahawks backed up on Seattle’s ensuing possession. The Seahawks had a third-and-20 when Wilson flung it deep for Tyler Lockett. The pass fell incomplete, but Carroll challenged the play, claiming Steelers safety Terrell Edmunds interfered with Lockett. The 38-yard penalty was enforced after review. Three plays later, Wilson found Metcalfe streaking into the end zone to restore Seattle’s nine-point lead.
It was just enough to give the Seahawks their first 2-0 start since 2013, when they went on to win the Super Bowl.
Seahawks: RG D.J. Fluker left in the second quarter with an ankle injury, but returned in the second half.
Steelers: ILB Vince Williams exited in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
Seahawks: Host New Orleans next Sunday. Seattle has won last three home meetings with Saints.
Steelers: Head west to face San Francisco next Sunday. Pittsburgh hasn’t beaten the 49ers on the road since 1999.