Home > Steeler Articles > Week 5 Steelers-Titans Recap

Week 5 Steelers-Titans Recap

The Steelers cruise to a fairly easy win over the Titans, 38-17. You know it’s a good day when Tomlin actually wins a coaching challenge!!

QB – Ben had his most efficient game of the season. This kind of game shows why passing yardage can be extremely misleading. Ben finished with just 228 yards but had 5 TD passes (ties team record) and efficiently moved the offense with shorter passes all game long. Hopefully this kind of smart play continues from Ben and isn’t just because of the foot/ankle injury.

RB- Redman stepped in and also put in a very efficient game, pushing piles and breaking tackles en route to 50 yards rushing. His number are similar to Mendy’s this year but the difference is the consistency of  Redman’s runs vs. Mendy’s. Redman is always moving forward. You know you’re probably going to get at least 2 or 3 yards a carry, that’s something that hasn’t been happening with Mendy. Jonathon Dwyer impressed when he ripped off a 76 yard run in which he ran through a gigantic hole in the line. He looked impressive, which is always nice to see.

WR/TE – The reports of Hines Ward’s demise have been greatly exaggerated it seems, as Ward finished the game with 7 grabs and 2 TD’s, all the while taking some punishing hits and showing off some nimble moves (like on his jump into the endzone on 1 TD grab). Wallace had another strong game, including a deep TD grab at the end of the game and a great 3rd down grab early in the 1st quarter. Brown was fairly quiet with just two grabs and a drop, while Miller had 3 grabs, including a TD and a great run after catch on another play. Sanders was hardly thrown to but did slip and fall on the Steelers final drive in the 1st half on a pass that he’s gotta come down with.

OL – The O-line played their best game of the day. The quicker passing obviously helped in pass protection. Foster did allow a Titan to get to Ben almost unblocked on one play, luckily and somehow, Ben held onto the ball when it looked like there would be a fumble on the play. The run blocking was good for the most part, with some holes being opened here and there (like the gigantic hole on Dwyer’s 76 yard run). There were a couple injuries again, which is obviously a concern. Both Gilbert and Pouncey left the game, although Pouncey came back in. Max Starks was a welcome addition to the offense and there was a noticeable difference with him in there. Hopefully this current lineup stays intact here on out and Gilbert is back next week.

DL – The D-line started off playing poorly on the Titans opening drive but tightened up considerably after that. They did a good job of maintaining gaps and moving the Titans O-line back. They were also active with a decent pass rush and had some batted passes as well. Hoke is a great run stopper when filling in for Hampton and today was no different. Hood was active and I really liked what I saw from Heyward. He gets credit for half a sack and got good pressure on Hasselbleck. He seems like a nasty player, which is needed.

LB – Lamar Woodley, welcome to the 2011 season!! Woodley got more pressure on the QB today than he has in the previous 4 games combined and ended the game with a sack and a nice INT. Old man Farrior was pretty active today racking up an impressive 9 solo tackles. He was called for PI in the endzone but the call was iffy at best. Timmons had pretty good pass coverage throughout although he ended with just 3 solo tackles. I guess Larry Foote played today but I sure didn’t see him out there and he isn’t listed on the stat sheet.

CB/S – Troy played another great game, splicing through blocks to make tackles, disrupting plays, being a force in pass coverage. All CB’s had terrific games. Gay had good coverage and made a number of impressive open field tackles. Lewis is making strides at CB, showing some great man coverage, he did get burnt at the end of the game on a TD pass when he looked back to the QB, although the safety help over top was simply not there. Clark had another fairly invisible day in pass coverage, just another day at the office for Clark, I guess. He did chip in on 5 tackles, though. Mundy played a decent bit, but wasn’t too impressive, he missed the coverage over top on the previously mentioned TD pass.

ST – Brown continues to impress mightily with his returns. The man can move, he doesn’t hesitate, which is key for returns, just picks a seam and goes. The coverage teams did another job. There was a punt block, which is always bad, luckily the game was pretty much over by then.

Arians – What do you know, a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while I guess. Offensively, the Steelers implemented more short passing (due to Ben’s foot injury) into the gameplan and unsurprisingly (unless you’re Bruce Arians, maybe) the offense was much, much more efficient, as the Steelers scored more points today (38) than the team has in 3 games combined this season. There were still some questionable formations like the 5 wide and moving the RB out of the backfield on some plays, but it all worked today. It was just that kind of day. The key is to continue to implement this overall gameplan going forward and not just today because of Ben’s injury. The running game is still one of the most unimaginative in the NFL, with most runs today being nearly identical as in previous games (Between tackle, between tackle, etc.) but it worked better today and there was some variety with some of the runs. Still too many long-developing run plays on 1st, though.

Lebeau – The defense started out slow on the Titans opening drive, but tightened up. Lebeau didn’t add too many wrinkles today, Troy and the boys just made some plays and stymied the Titans run game after the initial drive. I’m really not a big fan of some of Lebeau’s blitze schemes where the CB’s are blitzing the QB from about 10 yards off the LOS. It gives way too much time to the QB to find an open WR, which is what happened in the 2nd half.

Tomlin – Tomlin won a challenge. Stop the presses, Tomlin won a challenge today!!! YEEAHHHAHAHHAHHHH!!!! Overall, Tomlin had his team sort of ready to go after the Titans initial drive. The team was caught unaware in the 2nd half when the Titans kicked an onsides kick and later the ST’s allowed a punt block, luckily the game was out of reach at that point. The effort overall was much better than it’s better all year. Good job, Tomlin, 4 games late, but good job.

Overall, this game actually has me a little more excited for the Steeler’s prospects this year. The defense looked tough (the CB’s are looking good) and the offense actually showed the ability to adjust and change, which is a first in a long time. Not sure how much this has to do with the Titans perhaps lack of effort or the Steelers execution and gameplanning, but nonetheless, can’t wait to see how things unfold next week.

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