Oct 11, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers corner back Ike Taylor (24) loses his helmet while trying to tackle Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) during the second half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Steelers 26-23. Mandatory credit: Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Tennessee Titans Game Notes from Thursday Night

The Tennessee Titans got a much needed win at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers last night. The offense finally was able to find a rhythm and keep the ball moving, giving their defense time to catch their breath. It was a much needed win for the team, who can hopefully carry that momentum on to their next game against the Buffalo Bills.

Here’s some notes I took from the game:

  • Roethlisberger was lucky to escape that game with only one sack. DE’s Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley kept him moving all night. Half the time I swear Morgan was hanging off of his hips. It’d be nice to see that pressure continue.
  • Rookie DT Mike Martin is everything I said he’d be, and more. He’s starting next to Jurrell Casey and wreaking havoc on opposing offensive lines. He’s a star in the making.
  • DT Karl Klug on the other hand, is losing playing time to him. Klug has only one tackle on the season. If I’m the Titans, I’m considering two things: Trade Klug, a guy who led the Titans as a rookie DT with 8 sacks, or move him to DE where the Titans have thin depth.
  • CB Jason McCourty did give up a big play early, but was solid the rest of the game, notching a crucial INT before half that led to a Titans field goal and 6 point lead before half. The Titans need more big plays from him like that.
  • Rookie OLB Zach Brown continued as a starter over Will Witherspoon, who only saw time on special teams.
  • Speaking of special teams, they have been the stars of the Titans team thus far this season and came through with a huge blocked punt that they recovered at the Steelers 1 yard line, leading to the Titans first rushing TD of the season.
  • The O-line needs to be more consistent, and maybe they are. The Minnesota Vikings have a solid defensive line and you can’t always expect the Titans to have huge running games. The O-line has been solid against the Houston Texans and now the Steelers, two tough lines the Titans have faced in the last three games. I won’t go as far as to say they’ve finally fixed the line, but they’re awfully close. That’s huge for the Titans offense.
  • Rookie WR Kendall Wright continues to impress me. He set a new career high last night with 71 receiving yards on six catches, both of which led the team.
  • QB Matt Hasselbeck stepped up after a terrible game against the Vikings to put together a good performance last night. That being said, I expect to see Locker back under center when the Titans play the Bills next week.
  • The Titans safeties are still struggling with tackling, specifically FS Robert Johnson, who continues to confirm my belief that he should never have been drafted.

There was lots to take away from that game. The Titans had plenty of positive notes, the biggest being the offense moving the ball. That’s a big step forward for OC Chris Palmer. I also noticed that the safeties weren’t 30 yards back every play.

The Titans still have lots of work to do if they want to make the playoffs, including better tackling by everyone, but they kept their playoff dreams alive for another week with that victory against an AFC opponent and hated rival, their first AFC victory of the season.

(2-4) is actually a better record than most had the Titans at, looking at their schedule earlier this year. It’s relatively light from here on out, save for a few games. Don’t hang your heads yet, Titans fans!

 

You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart

 

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