Tennessee Titans: Reviewing Week 1 Keys to Victory vs. Steelers

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Winning the Trenches

The Steelers are moving to a zone-blocking scheme. There are concerns about how both of their offensive tackles—Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams—fit in it. Senior defensive assistant Gregg Williams may try to take advantage of the weakest link on the Steelers team. Is Akeem Ayers healthy enough to contribute as a pass-rush specialist?

Could the Titans have their own offensive line issues? A calf injury means that David Stewart is questionable. Mike Otto would start in his place at right tackle. Playing alongside Otto is Chance Warmack, a rookie offensive guard who’s making his first NFL start.

REALITY: Stewart played through his calf injury. Even the most pessimistic of Titans fans would have to agree that the Steelers were dominated in the trenches. Their offensive line surrendered five sacks, two each to Zach Brown and Jurrell Casey. The Titans controlled the football for more than 34 minutes.

For the Titans, trench play was the name of the game. Pure dominance. Now can they hold their own against better teams?

SUCCESS (3 of 3)

Tackling Big Ben

That sounds easy enough. Key word “sounds.” At 6-5 and 241 pounds, few quarterbacks are better than Ben Roethlisberger at dodging defenders, escaping tackles and turning a sack into a downfield completion.

REALITY:  Sounds easy? The Titans made it look easy. Roethlisberger was sacked five times and he had no rushing attempts. He had nowhere to go. And when a Titans defender got his hands on him, Roethlisberger went down quickly.

SUCCESS (4 of 4)

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Topics: NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans

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