Pittsburgh’s Solid Defense Enough to Beat Tennessee

The Steelers got their chance to play in front of their home crowd at Heinz Field against the Tennessee Titans in the third week of preseason. Ben Roethlisberger got the start in this one and chipped away at Tennessee defense on a lot of short yardage plays. James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster looked excellent in the opportunities given to them. Big Ben found Justin Hunter on a beautifully thrown 32-yard pass, and after further review by the officials, the play was called in favor of Pittsburgh to give them a lead over the Titans. Justin Hunter taking a page out of Antonio Brown’s book with the nice toe-tap, Steelers lead 7 to 0.

Pittsburgh’s defense would continue to look solid and pressure Marcus Mariota, this is the kind of play that was lacking in last week’s game against Green Bay. Stephon Tuitt looks to be everything the team needs in a pass rusher, staking his claim early on in this game.

Vince Williams got to celebrate his well-deserved contract extension, with a nice sack on Marcus Mariota, adding to the nice day by the defense so far in this game, forcing a 3 and out on Tennessee.

Landry Jones got his chance to take over the quarterback position, relieving Big Ben after his solid performance. After a bobbled snap, Jones and the offense couldn’t get anything going, and Jordan Berry punts again.

Rookie Terrell Edmunds got his first NFL interception, as Bud Dupree applied pressure to Mariota, forcing an errant throw on a pass intended for Taywan Taylor. Edmunds continues to display his ball-hawk abilities this preseason, great to see from the first round pick.

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh offense would return the ball to Tennessee’s offense almost immediately, as a ball intended for and bobbled by Justin Hunter was intercepted by Robert Spillane.

On the Steelers next offensive drive, Chris Boswell helped put some points on the board for Pittsburgh. He has been unbelievably automatic and very well-deserving of his new 5-year deal. Steelers head into the second half leading 10 to 0 over the Titans.

The Steelers defense did not skip a beat from the first half, Cameron Heyward sacked Blaine Gabbert to force a 3 and out. The defense looks to be amped up and rejuvenated after the embarrassing performance last week.

Mason Rudolph and Jaylen Samuels got their shot against Tennessee, moving the ball down field with ease. Samuels was efficient in both running the ball, as well as catching the ball out of the backfield from Rudolph. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh got called for three consecutive flags, making it four penalties on five plays. Pittsburgh looked to Boswell again to add to their lead, now hitting from 33 yards. Steelers lead 13 to 0.

After some more solid play by the defense, Samuels looked to pick up where he left off on the previous offensive drive. The Steelers had to settle for another Boswell field goal, with a successful strike from 45 yards, Pittsburgh leads 16 to 0.

Heading into the 4th quarter, the Titans finally able to make it across midfield as Pittsburgh’s defense was unbelievably stingy for three quarters. Tennessee was finally able to get some points on the board, when Gabbert found Anthony Firkser for a 3-yard touchdown. Tennessee failed on the two-point conversion attempt, Pittsburgh leads 16 to 6.

L.J. Fort had what seemed to be a pick 6 on Blaine Gabbert, but the play was called back. Fort helped Pittsburgh get the ball back on offense, as he continued his relentless play, providing big-time pressure on Gabbert to force an incomplete pass.

Marcus Allen got his first NFL interception at the end of the game, as Tennessee goes for a long ball in hopes of keeping their chances in this game.

The defense of Pittsburgh proved to be the deciding factor in this game, Stephon Tuitt and Vince Williams applied non-stop pressure when they were in the game. After last week’s lackluster performance by the defense, this week gave Pittsburgh a lot to look forward to, as potential from this unit has never been in question. Pittsburgh cruises to a 16 to 6 victory, and they head into next week’s matchup against Carolina at Heinz Field.

Game Leaders for Pittsburgh

Ben Roethlisberger
11 for 18 114 yards and 1 touchdown

Jaylen Samuels 11 rushing attempts for 41 yards

James Conner 6 receptions 52 yards

Matthew Thomas 9 tackles

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  1. Pingback: John B. Steele @SteeleJohnb | Tennessee-Titans

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