Steelers and Titans Clash in the Slop, Steelers Win 18-6.

Harry Kwon, Sports Writer

The Titans and Steelers battled in a defensive showdown, with the Steelers defense limiting the Titans to just 233 total yards of offense. The Steelers defense also showed improvement in penalties, as they were penalized significantly less in this preseason week 3 than the previous two weeks. However some of this success may be attributed to the fact that Titans starting QB Marcus Mariota only attempted three passes, none of which he completed, and only was in for one drive. Mariota was pulled out after being sacked by Stephon Tuitt for a safety. After the resulting free kick, Ben Roethlisberger methodically marched the offense down field, and capped of the drive with a 17 yard touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. This would be Roethlisberger’s third and final drive. 

The Titans offense would proceed to take the field and fail to make anything meaningful happen. Throughout the game a combination of good play from the Steelers secondary and a lack of skill in the Titans second and third string Quarterbacks would create a lackluster passing attack for the Titans. Second string QB Ryan Tannehill would be 6/9 on passing completions with 62 yards and no interceptions or touchdowns. However, on his first drive, Tannehill did move the offense enough to set up a 24 yard field goal, which Ryan Succop drove through the uprights easily. The rest of the half would continue as a defensive battle, with every drive ending in a punt except for one Amari Hooker interception. That interception occurred during the Steelers very first set of downs that drive, with Steelers second string QB Mason Rudolph throwing a wildly inaccurate pass that was an easy pick for Hooker. Rudolph would play fairly well the rest of the game, going 6/9 on attempts for 75 yards, including a 41 yard touchdown to James Washington.

The second half would start with the Titans receiving the kick off, and mounting an almost successful drive. Almost, because even though it was an efficient it ended with LB Tuzar Skipper stripping the ball from Titans QB Landry Woodside. However, excluding this ending, Woodside played well with two passes for a total of 21 yards. The Titans rushing attack also found rhythm this drive, totalling 4 rushes for twenty yards. However after Steelers DE Tyson Alualu was able to recover the fumble, neither team would find offensive success and each would punt on their ensuing drives. Poor offensive play would define a great amount of this game, and those two drives were certainly no exception. However Pittsburgh’s next drive would be, as they were able to march 55 yards in 7 plays, ending the drive with a 31 yard field goal. The following two possessions would be defined by great run defense, resulting in each team punting once. After this the final successful offensive drive of the game  would be put together by the Titans. They found success running the ball early in the drive, which set up three play-action passes that put the Titans on the Steelers 10 yard line. However, the Steelers defense would put up an excellent red zone defense, stuffing the Titans run game and therefore eliminating their play-action passes. This drive would give the Titans three points after Succop would nail home a 22 yard chip-shot field goal. On the next drive, Steelers QB Josh Dobbs would begin the drive well, moving the offense 37 yards in just two plays, however after a face mask penalty on Tennessee put the Steelers on the Titan’s 20 yard line, Dobbs would throw an interception on a touchdown attempt, resulting in Tennessee having the ball on their own 3 yard line. The Titans would attempt to make a drive happen, but would turn the ball over on downs on their own 32 yard line. The Steelers would then proceed to kneel the game away, resulting in a defencive victory for the Steelers. Overall the conclusions that can be drawn from this game are relatively meaningless due to the fact that it was the preseason, however it did show growth in the Steelers front seven, and the Titans secondary, both areas that were already good but now have the potential to be very lethal.