Titans – Steelers Preview

kickoffblog

The NFL season kicks off tonight from Heinz Field as the defending Super Bowl champion Steelers host the Titans. The previous meeting between these teams was in Nashville last December with the number one seed throughout the playoffs at stake. The Steelers held a 14-10 advantage early in the third quarter. But Tennessee scored 21 unanswered points, capped by a Michael Griffin 83 yard interception return for a touchdown. What ensued has started a massive controversy. A Terrible Towel was thrown from the stands towards the Titans sideline. A few Titans, most notably LenDale White, started stomping on the towel. This pretty much declared war between these two franchises, which were destined to meet in the AFC Championship as the respective 1 and 2 seeds. But the Ravens knocked off the Titans in the divisional round and Steelers never needed redemption, they got something better instead, a Super Bowl victory. As you can imagine, the Titans feel as though they beat the best, so they should be the best. “If we would’ve had a chance to play them again in the AFC championship and those guys would’ve beat us, it would’ve been a little easier to swallow,” Pro Bowl safety Chris Hope said. “Being we beat the Super Bowl champions and never had a chance to compete and go play for the Super Bowl, that left a bad taste in our mouth.” So fast forward almost nine months, it’s time for the rematch.

Tennessee is a different defense without Albert Haynesworth, who signed with the Redskins this offseason. It will be a little tougher stopping the run without his presence. But they still have the majority of their defense intact from last season, a defense that trailed only the Steelers in points allowed with 14.6 PPG. Keith Bulluck, Javon Kearse, and Kyle Vanden Bosch are the leaders of unit. On offense the M.O. for Tennessee is simple: Heavy doses of Chris Johnson and LenDale White. White lost 30 pounds this offseason and is the slimmest he’s been since high school. This has got to be one of, if not the best two back tandem in the league. Alge Crumpler is a reliable tight end who is always a threat to score inside the redzone. Former Steeler Nate Washington is solid vertical threat and a nice addition to Tennessee’s less than stellar receiving corps, but he is questionable for tonight’s game with a hamstring injury.

They go up against a tremendous Steelers defense, which gave up the fewest yards and points per game last season. It is such a tough task  for the offense to account for so many good players on one side of the ball. Players such as Troy Polamalu, Casey Hampton, James Farrior, Lamar Woodley, Ryan Clark, and reigning defensive player of the year James Harrison. This defense against the Titans running game will definitely be something to keep your eye on. On the offensive side of the ball the Steelers are just as dangerous. Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, Health Miller, Hines Ward, Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, and Ben Roethlisberger can all make plays. Roethlisberger’s instincts are amazing. His ability to make plays on the move and always get the ball out just before the pressure gets to him makes him a pain for any defense.

Both of these teams are built on physical defenses that force uncomfortable 3rd and long situations. This could be a low scoring affair with average field position being the most important stat of the night. I am picking the Steelers to win this one. You have heard it before and your will hear it again a million times this season. It is hard to win on the road in the NFL. The Steelers have won 6 straight season openers dating back to ’03, which is the longest active streak in NFL. I’m not going against that trend. STEELERS 27 – TITANS 13.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Titans – Steelers Preview”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




What I’m Tweeting


%d bloggers like this: