Today’s game started auspiciously for the Titans, as Ahmard Hall got a good block and Chris Johnson picked up 21 yards on the first play from scrimmage. The drive continued, and then the Titans got to the red zone. Where they failed to score on three plays, picked up a penalty, then failed to score on three more before settling for a field goal. A long kickoff return, a successful challenge, a third-and-one conversion, and a few more plays later, the Steelers took a 7-3 lead.
A three and out by the Titans followed. A successful fake punt and a few more plays later, the Steelers were up 14-3. Another three and out later, the Steelers were backed up to their own 10. No matter, as some excellent blocking and a poor tackle attempt by Jordan Babineaux later, the Steelers were in the red zone and a few plays after that they had a 21-3 lead.
At that point, the game felt over. The Steelers would extend their lead to 28-3 in the second half, and the Titans would cut that to 31-17 late before the capstone score went on, but it never got real interesting after that.
As to how things happened: the Steelers didn’t try to throw downfield like I expected, but instead concentrated on getting the ball out quickly and completing passes. It wasn’t fancy, and even with a 40-yard gain on the final score Roethlisberger finished under 10 yards per completion, but it was effective against the theretofore difficult to attack Titans secondary. Jason McCourty was picked on some, but it was really the Titans as a team that got beat, and beat decisively.
That’s certainly not the most encouraging way to head into the bye week, but the Titans are still 3-2 at the bye week, even with or ahead of where most of the preseason predictions had them. More on today’s loss to come later this week.