Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Tennessee Titans strong safety George Wilson (21 middle) is congratulated after recovering an on-side kick against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Tennessee Titans won 16-9. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Transition Tuesday is a column from contributor Trey Frisbey. Frisbey gives his take on the previous game and a brief review of the upcoming matchup.
The Tennessee Titans start their season with a dominating 16-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. There was good, bad, and not very much ugly. This was the biggest win in Mike Munchak’s career. Some people may point to wins in 2011 when the Titans overachieved, but they really needed this one. So goes the Titans this year, so goes Munchak and Jake Locker.
The Titans were able to impose their will on both sides of the ball. Although the rushing numbers are not eye-opening, the Titans were able to run the ball well enough to do what they wanted to do. Like with any game against the Steelers, yards are hard to come by. Any positive gain is seen as a victory, especially when playing in Heinz Field.
The defense was a very pleasant surprise. They completely dominated the Steelers front seven and had great performances from Jason McCourty and Alterraun Verner. In the post-game press conferences, Munchak made it clear that it is Jerry Gray’s defense, but we all know that’s not entirely true. Gregg Williams‘ presence was felt and shown. The Titans will continue to deny it, but please, don’t be fooled.
Locker was able to do exactly what he wanted to do in that game, so I’ll leave him on the positive side of things. We’ll find out more about him next week when the Titans have a much better chance of getting themselves into a shoot-out with the Houston Texans.
As satisfying as the Week 1 win against the Steelers was, a win next week would give this team a huge confidence boost and advantage in the division. If the Titans can start the season with a 2-0 road record, they will not only start getting respect nationally, but they’ll also start believing in themselves. Learning how to win is something this team hasn’t done in a long time. It can start Sunday.
Make no mistake: the Houston Texans have something to prove next week. Some feel that their window is closing and it’s Super Bowl or bust for them. The Titans and Indianapolis Colts are closing the divisional gap faster than they anticipated. Expect that high-powered offense to be clicking on all cylinders next week.
All of that said, the Titans are playing with house money next week. Winning in Week 1 not only gave them a win but it took some pressure off of them. This Texans game is no longer a “must win.” That should play to their favor. It has been a long time since this team played a game while being over .500 in the win-loss column.
Although I have the Texans winning this one, this confident and aggressive Titans team should give them a run for their money.