NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans Preview
Welcome to the NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans Preview! This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about the Steelers and their upcoming opponent! Mike Drakulich of Pittsburgh SportsNation brings you inside the huddle for both teams, providing all fans with a Game Preview, the Steeler’s Keys to Victory, Score Prediction, a detailed breakdown of each team, Fantasy Football Impact, Game Information, Individual Stats, Team Stats, the latest Injury Report, down to the weather at kickoff. The only thing you’re missing is a game uniform!
When Ben Roethlisberger and the Steeler offense takes the field on Thursday Night at Heinz Field, they will see a familiar face across the opposing sidelines in Dick LeBeau, who is the Titan’s Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator.
“It’s not just a defense,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday about playing the Titans on short rest. “It’s a Dick LeBeau defense.”
Roethlisberger knows first hand how great a challenge facing a LeBeau defense is, considering he faced him hundreds of times at practice.
“That’s what makes him so special,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s probably one of the best defensive coordinators and even better person that I’ve ever been around. It was so much fun to be on his team to see what he did to other quarterbacks. Hopefully, it won’t be as much fun (for LeBeau) going against him.”
Big Ben would like to utilize more of the no-huddle attack this week, considering it’s a short week for both teams to prepare and rest up for.
You have the no-huddle and it’s been in (the playbook) since Day 1, so rather than try to install a bunch of new plays, you go with what you know and have been doing for a long time,” he said.
Cody Sensabaugh feels he is up to the task of filling in for Joe Haden till be returns from his leg injury suffered against the Colts. The Steelers expect Haden to miss anywhere from 3-6 weeks.
Sensabaugh would’ve had the 2nd CB slot as his had Haden not been picked up by the Steelers after the Browns released him at the end of Training Camp.
“Happy to have Joe here,” Sensabaugh said. “I am sure it was unexpected for a lot of people. It probably affected me probably more than anybody else on this team.
“But I know as soon as we got him, I hit up my guy (Browns defensive back) Jason McCourty that I was in Tennessee with and asked him for Joe’s number and welcomed him. So I am happy he is here. Everybody is happy he is here, and we want him to get back well and get back to us as soon as possible. But until then, everybody else has to pick up their game and hold it down for him.”
Sensabaugh stepped in and elevated his game when Haden went down.
“Coty came out and did his thing,” safety Sean Davis said. “He had a big play for us.”
Artie Burns, the starter opposite of Sensabaugh, has all the confidence in the world in him.
“Most definitely,” Burns said. “He’s been at practice with us. We have been seeing him do the work. I have confidence in him, and I think everybody else has confidence in him to do his job.”
Steelers Keys To Victory
- Find the Deep Ball! A weapon that is sorely missed in this offense.
- Release the Hounds! What’s with this dink and dunk trash? The Steelers have built a downfield attack! Do it!
- More James Conner! The Steelers are running Le’Veon Bell into the ground. It’s time to lighten the load. Conner can handle it.
- Keep Marcus Mariotta in the Pocket! Mariotta can beat you with his legs. Someone will have to shadow him.
- Limit the Running Game! Mariotta isn’t Joe Montana. Make the Titans beat you through the air.
It’s Prime Time, a place where the Pittsburgh Steelers usually are at the top of their game. The defense continues to play outstanding but the Titans will test them without the likes of Joe Haden and Mike Mitchell. That said, it’s time for Todd Haley to take the safety off of the weapons and let Ben Roethlisberger loose to do what he does best… attacking!
The Titans and Marcus Mariotta will no doubt test the Steeler secondary with Haden out. Cody Sensabaugh and the rest of the corners that will fill in during Haden’s absence need to elevate their games.
Le’Veon Bell will need to get the running game going against a tough front seven that the Titans possess. If Bell can get some running room, that should open Tennessee’s secondary for Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game to exploit.
Steelers 27 Titans 17
NFL Week 11
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2) vs Tennessee Titans (6-3)
Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA.
Game-time: Thursday, November 16th, 8:25 pm
TV: NBC (Local WPXI) | Announcers: Mike Tirico (play-by-play) Cris Collinsworth (analyst) | Heather Cox (sideline)
Local Radio: Pittsburgh- 102.5 WDVE-FM | Announcers: Bill Hillgrove (play-by-play) Tunch Ilkin (analyst) | Craig Wolfley (sideline)
National Radio: Westwood One | Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play) Tony Boselli (analyst) |
Weather at Kickoff: 38 and cloudy.
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh -7.5
- Series History: Series began in 1970.
- The Steelers are 42-31 in the overall Regular Season series against the Oilers/Titans.
- Steelers are 24-12 playing at home vs Houston/Tennessee
- Streak: Steelers won the previous meeting.
- Last Regular Season Meeting: Nov. 17, 2014, at Tennessee – Pittsburgh 27 Tennessee 24
- Steelers are 3-1 in the Post-Season vs the Oilers/Titans.
- Last Post-Season Meeting: Jan. 11, 2003, at Tennessee – Tennessee 34 Pittsburgh 31 (OT) – AFC Divisional
- Titans AHC/DC Dick LeBeau was the Steelers’ secondary coach from 1992-94 and served as DC from 1995-96 and 2004-14
- The Steelers aim to improve to 9-9 on Thursday Night Football (7-2 at home).
- Pittsburgh looks to improve to 23-7 in primetime games at Heinz Field since the stadium opened in 2001.
- Antonio Brown will surpass Marvin Harrison (563) for the most receptions in any five-year span in NFL history with 83 in 2017.
- Brown, with 100 catches in 2017, will become the first player in NFL history to record 100 or more receptions in five consecutive years.
- Le’Veon Bell needs one rushing score to tie Terry Bradshaw (32) for the fourth-most in franchise history.
- James Harrison is 2.5 sacks from 85 in his career with the Steelers.
- William Gay will break a tie with Rod Woodson to set the record for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns in team history with his next pick six of si
A look at the Pittsburgh Steelers!
Overall Record: 7-2
Head Coach: Mike Tomlin (11th Season with Steelers)
Overall Regular Season Record: 110-59 (.651)
Playoff Record: 8-6 (Qualified for playoffs 7 times)
Last Game: Steelers 20 Colts 17
Scouting the Steelers
Quarterback – Ben Roethlisberger leads a vastly underperforming offense that has the ability to beat you via the ground or the air. Big Ben has normally been outstanding at home, but has struggled to put up the same numbers on the road the past few seasons.
Running Backs – Le’Veon Bell is one of the best all-around backs in the NFL, if not thee best. Bell can kill you on the ground with his speed and elusiveness. He is patient, often delaying a second to find the hole to burst through. Bell is also dangerous out of the backfield as a pass catcher. James Conner will spell Bell from time to time.
Wide Receivers – Antonio Brown is the best receiver in the game. You can count on five catches for at least 50 yards every week at a minimum. This wideout group is extremely deep and talented. Martavis Bryant is a deep threat on every play with his size and speed. Eli Rogers is excellent from the slot. Justin Hunter has superior speed and is also a deep threat. Rookie Juju Smith-Schuster is looking to make his mark in the NFL in his first season and is already becoming a reliable Roethlisberger target. Darrius Heyward-Bey is mainly used on special teams but is a dependable player when called upon in the passing game.
Tight Ends – Jesse James is the starter and becoming one of Roethlisberger’s favorite targets around the end zone. Vance McDonald is a big target that can make splash plays for Roethlisberger across the middle and inside the red zone. Xavier Grimble is also a nice option for Ben inside the 10-yard line.
Defense – The Steeler defense is prime for an awakening in 2017. On the 3-4 defensive line, it’s Cam Heyward, Javon Hargrave, and Stephon Tuitt. Daniel McCullers will rotate with Hargrave. Should Tuitt or Heyward go down, Tyson Alualu or L.T. Walton would step in.
At linebacker, rookie TJ Watt starts at OLB, with Ryan Shazier and Vince Williams in the middle. Bud Dupree stands opposite of Watt. Both can get at the quarterback and disrupt the opposing team’s passing game. Shazier is a stud in the middle and his speed makes him a nightmare for any QB who makes a mistake across the middle. Don’t count out James Harrison, who will rotate in to spell Watt or Dupree. Anthony Chickillo will also step in for injuries to Watt or Dupree on the outside and is making a name for himself every time he steps on the field.
The secondary has been revamped with the addition of Joe Haden at corner. He won’t have to guard the opposing team’s #1 wide receiver on every down, as that job falls to Artie Burns. Mike Mitchell lines up at free safety, with JJ Wilcox backing him up if injured. Sean Davis is getting better by the game at strong safety. Mike Hilton and Will Gay will be in at slot corner positions when called upon.
Ben Roethlisberger (2,298 yards passing | 12 TD passes | 10 interceptions | 11 sacks)
Le’Veon Bell (840 yards rushing | 5 rushing TD’s | 40 receptions | 251 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)
James Conner (101 yards rushing | 0 rushing TD’s | 0 receptions | 0 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)
Antonio Brown (60 receptions | 882 receiving yards | 3 receiving TD’s)
Juju Smith-Schuster (29 receptions | 521 receiving yards | 5 receiving TD’s)
Martavis Bryant (21 receptions | 276 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)
Eli Rogers (8 receptions | 66 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Justin Hunter (3 receptions | 18 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Darrius Heyward-Bey (1 receptions | 44 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Jesse James (20 receptions | 193 receiving yards | 2 receiving TD’s)
Vance McDonald (5 receptions | 679 receiving yards | 2 receiving TD’s)
Xavier Grimble (1 receptions | 12 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Chris Boswell (Extra Point: 15-15 | FG: 18-20 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 7-7 | 30-39: 6-7 | 40-49: 5-6 | 50+: 0-0 | Long: 49)
A look at the Tennessee Titans!
Overall Record: 6-3
Head Coach: Mike Mularkey (3rd Season with Titans)
Overall Regular Season Record: 33-49 (.402) | 17-17 (.500) with Titans
Playoff Record: 0-0 (Qualified for playoffs 0 times)
Last Week: Titans 24 Bengals 20
Scouting the Titans
Quarterback- Marcus Mariotta has a nice arm and can run when needed.
Running Backs – DeMarco Murray is the lead back, but Derrick Henry is just as good. Murray is a threat out of the backfield.
Wide Receivers – Young with the exception of Eric Decker. Rishard Matthews, Corey Davis, and Taywan Taylor are a nice young trio of receivers. Matthews is Mariotta’s 2nd favorite target.
Tight Ends – Delaney Walker is the top guy in the Titan’s passing attack… at least in receptions.
Defense – Tough against the run, but can be torched in the secondary… if Pittsburgh’s passing attack ever awakens.
Marcus Mariotta (1,783 yards passing | 7 TD passes | 6 interceptions | 12 sacks | 181 yards rushing | 3 TD’s)
DeMarco Murray (433 yards rushing | 4 rushing TD’s | 23 receptions | 155 yards receiving | 1 receiving TD’s)
Derrick Henry (409 yards rushing | 3 rushing TD’s | 6 receptions | 45 yards receiving | 0 receiving TD’s)
Rishard Matthews (36 receptions | 513 receiving yards | 2 receiving TD’s)
Eric Decker (28 receptions | 266 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)
Taywan Taylor (13 receptions | 208 receiving yards | 1 receiving TD’s)
Corey Davis (13 receptions | 149 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Delaney Walker (43 receptions | 458 receiving yards | 0 receiving TD’s)
Ryan Succop (Extra Point: 19-20 | FG: 22-25 | 0-19: 0-0 | 20-29: 6-6 | 30-39: 3-3 | 40-49: 12-13 | 50+: 1-3 | Long: 52)
Fantasy Football Impact
Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, WR Antonio Brown, RB Le’Veon Bell, Steelers D
Sleeper: JuJu Smith-Schuster
Brown and Bell are always going to be in your starting line-up if you are lucky enough to have them.
Steelers – Titans: Offensive vs Defensive Comparison
Steelers Offense: Steelers average 366.8 | Titans allow 328.3 YPG
Rushing: Steelers average 106.6 YPG | Titans allow 91.9 YPG
Passing: Steelers average 260.2 YPG | Titans allow 236.4 YPG
Scoring: Steelers average 20.8 PPG | Titans allow 23.7 PPG
Steelers Defense: Steelers allow 284.4 YPG | Titans average 340.9 YPG
Rushing: Steelers allow 102.7 YPG | Titans average 124.8 YPG
Passing: Steelers allow 181.8 YPG | Titans average 216.1 YPG
Scoring: Steelers allow 16.4 PPG | Titans average 22.8 PPG
Injury Report (11/14/2017)
Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Schedule
Friday, Aug. 11 @ New York Giants W, 20-12 (KDKA)
Sunday, Aug. 20 ATLANTA W, 17-13 (KDKA)
Saturday, Aug. 26 INDIANAPOLIS L, 19-15 (KDKA)
Thursday, Aug. 31 @ Carolina W, 17-14 (KDKA)
REGULAR SEASON (7-2)
Sunday, Sept. 10 @ Cleveland 1 p.m. (CBS), W – 21-18
Sunday, Sept. 17 MINNESOTA 1 p.m. (FOX), W – 26-9
Sunday, Sept. 24 @ Chicago 1 p.m. (CBS), L – 17-23
Sunday, Oct. 1 @ Baltimore 1 p.m. (CBS), W – 26-9
Sunday, Oct. 8 JACKSONVILLE 1 p.m. (CBS), L – 9-30
Sunday, Oct. 15 @ Kansas City 4:25 p.m. (CBS), W – 19-13
Sunday, Oct. 22 CINCINNATI 4:25 p.m. (CBS), W – 29-14
Sunday, Oct. 29 @ Detroit* 8:30 p.m. (NBC), W – 20-15
Sunday, Nov. 5 BYE WEEK
Sunday, Nov. 12 @ Indianapolis* 1 p.m. (CBS), W – 20-17
Thursday, Nov. 16 TENNESSEE 8:25 p.m. (NBC/ NFL Network/Amazon)
Sunday, Nov. 26 GREEN BAY* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Monday, Dec. 4 @ Cincinnati 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, Dec. 10 BALTIMORE* 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sunday, Dec. 17 NEW ENGLAND* 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Monday, Dec. 25 @ Houston 4:30 p.m. (NBC/ NFL Network/Amazon)
Sunday, Dec. 31 CLEVELAND* 1 p.m. (CBS)
* – Times may change due to ﬂexible scheduling
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 6-7 Wild Card Weekend
Sat.-Sun., Jan. 13-14 Divisional Playoﬀ Games
Sunday, Jan. 21 Conference Championships
Sunday, Jan. 28 Pro Bowl (Orlando, Fla.)
Sunday, Feb. 4 Super Bowl LII (Minneapolis, Minn.)