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Inside the Steelers: Steelers-Titans Preview

The maddening trend of losing to sub-par teams in the Mike Tomlin Era continued last week, as the Pittsburgh Steelers were tripped up by the New York Jets 20-13. In their last nine games on the road against sub .200 teams, the Steelers are an astounding 1-8. Tomlin and the Steelers are hoping to end this jinx on Monday Night against the Tennessee Titans who are 2-7 on the season.

After shredding the Colts and Ravens for 12 touchdown passes, Ben Roethlisberger was only able to manage one score against a beatable Jets secondary. For some strange reason, the offense reverted to short, horizontal passes against New York, instead of the successful vertical attack they employed in their victories over Indianapolis and Baltimore.

Roethlisberger is 2nd in the NFL only to Andrew Luck with 3,063 yards passing and 4th with 26 touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell is 3rd in the NFL in rushing with 747 yards. Antonio Brown leads the league in both catches with 79 and receiving yards with 1070.

The Steelers boast the 4th ranked offense and are 8th in scoring with 26.1 points per game.

Defensively, the Steelers are ranked 13th and are 20th in scoring defense, allowing 23.9 points per game. Defensive Lineman Daniel McCullers will become the third Steelers rookie to start a game this season on Dick LeBeau’s complicated defense, replacing an injured Steve McClendon. SS Troy Polamalu remains out, as well as CB Ike Taylor and LB Ryan Shazier.

Zach Mettenberger is now the Titans starting quarterback. He has thrown for 495 yards and three scores. His main target, tight end Delanie Walker, is questionable for the game due to a concussion. Walker has 38 catches for 512 yards and four scores. Kendall Wright (39-403), Justin Hunter (21-368), Nate Washington (19-267), and Dexter McCluster (16-136) provide a variety of options for Mettenberger to throw to.

On the round, rookie Bishop Sankey has taken the lead role and leads the team with 357 yards rushing. Shonn Greene has 199 yards for the season.

The Titans are 31st both offensively and in scoring, averaging just 16 points per game.

On the flip-side of the ball, Tennessee is 22nd defensively, and 21st in scoring defense, allowing 24.8 points per game.

 

Prediction: The Steelers are on a bye next week, and they certainly don’t want the sting of two straight defeats to the dregs of the league hanging over their heads. With a victory, Pittsburgh will improve to 7-4 and will be primed for a run at the AFC North division title when they return to action against the New Orleans Saints on November 30th. Expect a bounce back game for Roethlisberger and the Steeler offense. Steelers 27  Titans 14

 

Game Information

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Tennessee Titans (2-7)

Venue: LP Field, Nashville, TN.

Game-time: Monday, November 17 at 8:30 PM

TV: ESPN

Weather: Mostly Cloudy & Cold with a 26 degree temperature at kickoff.

Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-6)

 

Game Notes

* Steelers lead the overall series against the Oilers/Titans 41-31. Steelers trail series 17-19 on the road.

* Steelers are 3-1 against the Oilers/Titans in the Postseason.

* Last Regular-Season Meeting: Sept. 8, 2013 in Pittsburgh   Tennessee 16  Pittsburgh 9

* James Harrison will record his 70th sack as a Steeler with his second.

* Le’Veon Bell With 147 rushing yards, will pass Franco Harris (1972-73 – 1,753) for the most rushing yards by a Steeler in their first two seasons in the NFL (rookie to second year).

* Antonio Brown with his next catch, will record 80 on the season and for the second consecutive year to join Hines Ward (2008-09 and 2001-04) to be the second Steeler to accomplish the feat.

 

Injury Report (11/15/2014)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Out: DT Steve McLendon (shoulder), S Troy Polamalu (knee), LB Ryan Shazier (ankle), CB Ivan Taylor (forearm), S Shamarko Thomas (hamstring)

Doubtful:

Questionable:

Probable: CB Cortez Allen (thumb), DE Brett Keisel (not injury related), LB Arthur Moats (not injury related), S Ross Ventrone (hamstring)

 

Tennessee Titans

Out: 

Doubtful:

Questionable: DT Sammie Lee Hill (hamstring), RB Dexter McCluster (knee), TE Delanie Walker (concussion), RB Leon Washington (hamstring), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (back)

Probable: 

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Mike DrakulichYour source for Pittsburgh sports!

From Midland, “The Basketball Capital of Pennsylvania”, located 35 miles NW of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. This former steel town was home to storied athletes such as Dave Alston, Norm Van Lier, Simmie Hill, and the legendary 1965 Midland High School Basketball Team.


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