Key Matchup #1
Ty Sambrailo and Dennis Kelly vs TJ Watt and Bud Dupree
The Titans offensive line will have its toughest task to date when they take on TJ Watt and Bud Dupree, two exceptional edge rushers who have combined for six sacks in five games.
In this matchup, it will be two unsurprisingly dominant defenders against two surprisingly solid tackles in Ty Sambrailo on the left side of the field and Dennis Kelly on the right. Kelly, the day one starter, hasn’t been the All-Pro level player he’s replacing in Jack Conklin, but he and right guard Nate Davis have done a solid job all season of securing the right side of the line.
Sambrailo has been looking solid himself at the left tackle spot, although in different circumstances. Despite not having a single start all season, Sambrailo has appeared at tackle in four of the Titans’ first five games of the season in relief of Taylor Lewan who had been battling a nagging shoulder injury. Now, with Lewan out for the season with a torn ACL, Sambrailo will get his first chance to start for Tennessee– but the former second-round pick has played well in relief of Lewan, and will need to continue to play at that level for the Titans to win.
Watt and Dupree could turn this game into a disaster for Tennessee if Sambrailo and Kelly can’t contain them. With how good the Steelers’ run defense has been, the Titans can’t afford to let those two have their way on passing downs.