Home > Steeler Articles > Steelers-Titans Recap, Week 2

Steelers-Titans Recap, Week 2

The Steelers come away with a huge win on the road in Tennessee in a game hardly anyone gave the team a chance to win. Somehow, in typical Steeler fashion, the game came down to the wire, even with the Steelers leading 19-3 with less than 5 minutes in the game. The defense was ferocious and played one of it’s best games in years and that is saying something. And it’s a good thing they were so good because the Steeler offense did absolutely nothing all game.

– Troy Polamalu continues to show why he’s not only the best safety in the league but maybe the best overall defensive player in the NFL. In the 1st quarter Troy snagged a big INT in the endzone as the Titans were driving. On another play he tackled Chris Johnson for a 2 yard loss. He seemed to be, in typical Troy fashion, any and everywhere on the field. A truly unique disruptive defensive player.

– The Steelers front seven played a great game overall and were the main reason the Steelers won today, these guys were making plays all game long. The D-line constantly clogged up running lanes and the pass rush on both Vince Young and Kerry Collins was unrelenting throughout the game. James Harrison was all over the QB throughout the game and made his presence felt in the run game as well with some big hits. Harrison snagged two sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Lawrence Timmons continues to show signs of having his breakout year leading the team in tackles with 12 and forcing a big fumble on a hit on Chris Johnson early in the game. Woodley was fairly quiet for part of the game but did have a huge INT and sack.

— The defense actually forced 7 turovers in this game, that’s how good they were. And as good a victory as this is for the Steelers, even with 7 turnovers the Steeler offense only managed 12 points all game. That is inexcusable. Keep in mind that the most of these turnovers were around mid-field or in Titans territory. What did the offense do when given these turnovers on a silver platter over and over throughout the game? How about these numbers –

Total yards – 127
First downs – 7
Third down conversions – 2/15 (6/29 for the season so far)
Punts – 8

– In the second half there were literally no passes on 1st or 2nd down by the Steeler offense, even though the score to start the half was only a 10 point lead. It was pretty obvious the Steelers weren’t interested in scoring any points in the 2nd half but was the team even interested in getting a 1st down to give the defense a rest? Hard to say, it sure didn’t look like it. Tomlin took the conservative route to an all new level in this game. It could be argued that being this conservative in this type of game where your defense is playing great is the way to go. But there comes a point where being as conservative as the Steelers were in this game can be flat out dangerous. A fumble, a long run by Chris Johnson (there was an 85 yard TD run by Johnson called back on holding in the 1st half), a slip up by someone in the secondary, on special teams, etc. and all the sudden it’s a 3 point lead and the momentum is with the home team. That didn’t happen but that doesn’t mean Tomlin took the best approach in this game. Keep in mind that the Titans had the ball with a minute left and only down 8 points (TD + 2-point conversion, we’re headed to overtime). It could be argued that the Steelers with a 7-1 turnover edge should’ve been leading by much more at the point.

– Bruce Arians called a dud of a game. Even in the 1st half when the Steelers were actually trying to score points, the playcalling was suspect. Too many bubble screens (it seems like the Steelers have already called like 20 of those in just 2 games this year), too many predictable run plays and too many deep outs and button hooks in obvious passing situations (ie, third down). Has Arians ever heard of a nice safe pass out into the flat? How about a short slant pattern?

– Rashard Mendenhall had a good, solid game, churning out 69 tough yards against a stout Titans defense that knew the run was probably coming. When Ben gets back and defense’s actually have to honor the pass, Mendenhall could explode in some games.

– The O-line had a subpar game in pass protection, looked pretty decent in the run game. That’ll probably be the story in most games this year. Tony Hills and Jonathan Scott both got playing time at OT and made some mistakes and slip ups. Hills did not look particularly good in pass protection. Scott had a crucial holding penalty on what would’ve been the Steelers lone offensive TD of the game.

– In the past two weeks, both Dixon and Batch have shown that they shouldn’t be starting anymore games this year if it can be helped. The Steelers today had a combined 43 yards passing! That’s not a typo, 43 yards passing. Bring on Leftwich, I don’t care if the Steelers have to wheel him out on a wheelchair. Maybe this will wake up the FO and coaching staff and make them realize how important it is to have a competent backup QB.

– Antonio Brown had a huge TD return on the opening kickoff on a little razzle dazzle play where the Steelers ran a reverse. With Brown doing a little trash talking and showboating at the 10 yard line, it’s no surprise this kid didn’t play last week. After that, it was a mixed bag affair for the special teams. Right after that TD, the Steelers allowed a long kickoff return to almost mid-field, which seems to be a recurring theme with this team. Score on a big play, then allow a big return on the ensuing kickoff. Luckily, impressive rookie LB Stevenson Sylvester stripped the ball and the Steelers got the ball right back. There was also a 38 yard punt return later in the game by the Titans. Sepulveda seemed to be either punting too deep or too short on a number of punts, his coverage guys didn’t help on a number of punts, though, where they looked around clueless as the ball bounced into the endzone for a touchback.

– Overall, great win for the Steelers. Tomlin and Lebeau should be pretty happy with what they saw today on the defensive side of things. I’m not sure if Arians should get paid this week, though. At 2-0, the Steelers are sitting pretty. This team is talented and overlooked, it could be a good sign of things to come. There are still areas where improvement is sorely needed. The season is young so there is plenty of time for that.

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