The Tennessee Titans beat the Pittsburg Steelers in a classic Titans/Steelers matchup last night. The whole game was neck and neck with both teams picking off the opposing QB’s.
The Titans were able to find momentum early with a blocked punt they would recover at the Steelers’ 1 yard line that would be run in by RB Jamie Harper for the Titans first rushing TD of the season. The Titans did give up a touchdown in a momentary lapse when burner WR Mike Wallace slipped behind CB Jason McCourty and past FS Michael Griffin for a huge touchdown on the Steelers first play of that drive.
One of the biggest struggles for the Steelers was the fact that they couldn’t stay healthy. Every other play a Steelers’ player was lying on the ground in pain. They lost safeties, O-lineman, and running backs. It certainly didn’t help a team already missing FS Troy Polamalu and OLB LaMarr Woodley.
Titans’ RB Chris Johnson nearly found the 100 yard mark again, settling for 92 yards on 19 carries, his best ever mark against the Steelers.
The Steelers, on the other hand, were down to their 3rd string running back.
Tackling was once again a problem for the Titans, though their defense still had a better game than usual. I credit that to the fact that the Titans finally won the time of possession, by 6 seconds.
In the end, the Titans defense was able to hold the Steelers to a 54 yard field goal attempt, one that they missed. The Titans then took the ball and drove it down to the Steelers’ 22 yard line, thanks to a crucial catch by TE Jared Cook. The Titans drained the clock down to 4 seconds before calling a time out. Rob Bironas then kicked his fourth field goal of the night to clench the game for the Titans.
FINAL SCORE: Titans 26 – Steelers 23
QB Ben Roethlisberger kept plays alive, avoiding at least two Titans sacks and getting an incomplete pass out of what was originally ruled a sack/fumble by Titans rookie DT Mike Martin.
QB Matt Hasselbeck stepped up after having a more than forgettable game the previous week in Minnesota. While accuracy was still an issue, he made much better use of his WR’s and was able to move a Titans offense that has struggled to get 1st downs. He also received a boost from a line that was at it’s best.
CB Jason McCourty gave up a huge TD early to WR Wallace but came back with a key pick before half that set the Titans up to get a field goal before halftime, giving the Titans a 16-10 lead before the break.
DE Derrick Morgan was pushing the pocket around all day, collecting 1 sack (his 2nd of the season) while hurrying Big Ben multiple times and holding up big in the run defense.
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