The Tennessee Titans are coming off 21-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Now, they host another AFC North team in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are coming off a 20-13 defeat to the New York Jets. Things were looking good for the Steelers, who just won three in a row and Ben Roethlisberger tossed a dozen touchdowns in the previous two games. Then they ran into a prideful Rex Ryan defense, that brought them back to reality a little bit.
The Steelers have had defenders shuffled in and out of the lineup all season long. This week, they’ll be missing key playmakers in veteran safety Troy Polomalu, and rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier. Still waiting the return of injured corner, Ike Taylor, all three are expected back the following week to play the New Orleans Saints. This is a game that defensive coordinator, Dick LaBeau, can single-handedly win. LaBeau has been around this game as long as anyone, and no one has feasted on young quarterbacks more than the defensive guru. LaBeau draws up plays that confuse inexperienced signal callers, with unpredictable combinations of zone coverages and blitzes. Titans head coach and offensive specialist, Ken Whisenhunt, is known as a quarterback whisperer but can’t work miracles with the guys on his roster. They have moved on from Jake Locker to rookie Zach Mettenberger.
The writing is on the wall, even undermanned, and the Pittsburgh offense is salivating at this matchup to bounce back. Even though theJets earned their second win of the season last week, records mean very little in some matchups. The Jets and Steelers aren’t necesarily a rivalry, but they are a pair of AFC teams that pride themselves in defense and have been successful for years. This week the Steelers will bounce back. A Big Ben offense isn’t always pretty, but they should have their way on both sides of the ball. Big Ben was hot, and is always better in the second half of the season. Antonio Brown is one of the best receivers in the game, and rookie Martavis Bryant has six touchdowns in four games that he’s played in. Le’Veon Bell has instantly ran his way into the upper echelon of running backs. This offense, even if offensive coordinator Todd Haley is considered a liability, still overmatches the Tennessee’s bottom-third defense.
Most of the prime time games this season have resulted in blowouts, as we saw this past Sunday Night and Monday Night. This should be another game that isn’t very competitive on Monday Night Football.