The song lyrics go What a Difference a Day Makes, while in the National Football League the right words may be What a Difference a Week Makes.
The 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers are as reliable as guessing which way a feather will blow in a swirling wind. They opened the season against the powerful Buffalo Bills on the road, and as a touchdown underdog overcame a 10-0 halftime deficit to pin the Bills with their only loss of the season, 23-16. Favored at home over the Las Vegas Raiders in second week action, they dropped a 26-17 decision before losing a second straight home game the following Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-10.
By the time they lost a third straight game, this one on the road against the Green Bay Packers, most football pundits were all pretty well convinced that Pittsburgh was no good. Then, as an underdog at home last Sunday against the Denver Broncos, the Steelers downed the 3-1 Broncos at Heinz Field. This week, they go from a home dog to a bet-on home favorite.
Pittsburgh opened as a 4½ point favorite over a Seattle team that limps into town on the heels of a home loss to the Los Angeles Rams in their last game and without their quarterback. Seattle has lost three of four games, and the most significant loss in last week’s setback to the Rams was the injury that has landed quarterback Russell Wilson on the injured reserve list.
Wilson will miss his first professional contest this week, it comes after he started 149 games with the Seahawks to open his sure-to-be Hall of Fame career. Without Wilson, and a rare losing record after five games for the Seahawks, it is little wonder they are underdogs to the Steelers tonight.
Two teams that are as common in the NFL playoffs as Santa Claus is on Christmas are struggling this year. Neither has a winning record, and both have been hurt by injuries.