The game started exactly how it was supposed to. Rather, it started exactly how everyone expected it to. The Steelers marched down the field on their opening drive, with the reliable (let’s forget the missed 23-yarder for a moment) Suisham punching it in.
The Titans’ opening drive was…well, it was certainly less than desirable for Tennessee fans. On their first offensive play, Titans rookie quarterback, Zach Mettenberger, threw a pick-six, the end result of Justin Hunter tripping on the out route and a blitzing Steeler that wasn’t picked up by first year running back Bishop Sankey.
The score stood at 10-0. Like I said, exactly what we thought this Monday Night Football game be like. What we didn’t expect is the then 2-7 Tennessee Titans driving down the field on their next two ensuing drives, capped by first a redemption run by Sankey, and then a chip-shot field goal.
Another thing that onlookers likely didn’t see coming was the steady dose of blitzes dialed up against Big Ben and the Steelers offense. The Titans sacked Ben Roethlisberger three times in the first half, adding consistent pressure to keep Pittsburgh on its heels. Now, blitzing Ben Roethlisberger is nothing new. But the Titans made it work, something they’ve done well this season. It’s helped them achieve an 11th ranked pass defense, despite their record. Pressure, pressure, and more pressure.
Following an interception before halftime by Tennessee, Mettenberger completed a perfect strike to former-Steeler Nate Washington, who used a fantastic double-move to help the Titans take their first lead of the night, which they took with them into the locker room.
Of course it was the second half where the Steelers showed up in the way we expected. Following a Titans score, Big Ben found Antonio Brown for a touchdown, and then a monster night by Le’Veon Bell was capped with a score to go along with his 204 yards. Roethlisberger ended with 207 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Most importantly for Pittsburgh, the Steelers keep pace in the tightly-contested AFC North.
Final score, Steelers 27, Titans 24