According to most of the TV sports announcers, the Steelers had no chance of beating the Tennessee Titans. “Chris Johnson is too fast”. “The Titans are too tough”. “The Steelers never win in Tennessee”. “The Steelers can’t win without Ben Roethlisberger”. Blah, blah, blah.
Fortunately, the Steelers didn’t listen to the sports announcers. Rather than laying down and submitting to the “unbeatable Titans”, the Steelers decided to punch them in the face instead.
If you only looked at the statistics from the game, you might think that the Steelers actually lost this game. After all, the Titans held the Steelers to only 127 net yards of offense. No, I didn’t say 127 rushing yards. I said 127 net yards of TOTAL OFFENSE.
The Steelers ended up with only 21 net passing yards, and 106 net yards rushing. Starting quarterback Dennis Dixon ended the game with a passer rating of only 70.1, and replacement Charlie Batch finished with an even more dismal 52.5 passer rating.
But despite the woeful offensive statistics, the Steelers actually kicked the Titans’ @#$. Seriously.
The Steelers defense held the Titans’ star running back Chris Johnson to just 34 rushing yards. Prior to facing the Steelers, Johnson had run for over 100 yards in 12 consecutive games. But the Steelers weren’t having any of that.
Not only did the Steelers stop Chris Johnson, but they also slammed Titans quarterback Vince Young. Both literally and figuratively.
The Steelers caused 7 Titans turnovers, including a diving interception by Bryant McFadden, an interception by Troy Polamalu in the endzone, and two forced fumbles by James Harrison.
The Titans were visibly frustrated. But the frustration became evident when Titans coach Jeff Fisher pulled Vince Young out of the game and replaced him with Kerry Collins.
Troy Polamalu was obviously anxious to welcome Collins into the game, because he did this:
That had to be one of the most outstanding plays that I’ve seen. No other player would even attempt that play except Troy Polamalu.
The Steelers did suffer a few more injuries in the game. Dennis Dixon left the game at the beginning of the second quarter and was replaced by Charlie Batch. Dixon had a knee injury, but no announcement has been made about how serious the injury is.
Chris Hoke was also shaken up during the game, but it didn’t look serious. And quite a few players suffered from dehydration, battling the Tennessee heat. Temperatures during the game were in the 90′s, and the heat index was over 100 degrees. To make matters worse, the Titans forced the Steelers to wear their black home jerseys to make the heat even more unbearable.
Despite heat, injuries, and a poor offensive showing, the Steelers still leave Nashville with a 2-0 record. And with the Cincinnati Bengals’ win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers stand alone atop the AFC North.
They face Tampa Bay next week, and a 3-0 record is very possible. If the defense continues to play the way they’ve been playing, a win over Baltimore in week 4 may even be a distinct possibility.
Not a bad start for a team that nobody thought had a chance of winning without Ben Roethlisberger.
(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment by clicking on the square at the top right of this article. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. You can also follow us on Twitter by clicking the bird doohicky below. Also consider following us on Facebook. Thanks.)