Steelers rally, then hold off the Titans!

December 19th, 2021
by admin

The Steelers fell behind early, came back, then held off a Titan’s comeback! It was a familiar script, this time with a happy ending as the Steelers rallied back from a slow start and beat the Tennessee Titans 19-13. 

The defense was run over once again, and the Titans were able to control the clock and the line of scrimmage. Tennessee banged out 201 yards on the ground, led by D’Onta Foreman’s 108 yards. But they never broke and oddly enough pitched a second half shutout led by four turnovers, despite the atrocious run defense. 

T.J. Watt, playing with an injury and being held all game, managed to break the Steelers sack record. Cam Heyward also registered a sack while being doubled and tripled team. Taco Charlton had a huge play with a tip that was intercepted by Joe Schobert. Derek Tuszka chipped in with his first sack of the season, a game changing 8-yard sack late in the fourth quarter. For two weeks now, Devin Bush looks like he is finally coming around and chipped in with five tackles and a near interception.

It was a very big day for the secondary led by the return of Joe Haden and the excellent play of Minkah Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds. Haden made the biggest tackle of the day ending the Titans’ final drive and recovered a fumble. Minkah Fitzpatrick continues his reemergence with a monstrous 14 tackles and a fumble recovery. In what is likely his swan song with the Steelers, Terrell Edmunds had 10 tackles two for a loss on the day. Ryan Tannehill was held to 153 yards in the air.

The first half offense is non-existent, and the Steelers managed just three points in the first half and only 12 points off turnovers. The stats weren’t there in any aspect and it was pure grit that they were able to eek out the victory. Ben Roethlisberger had a gutsy and tough performance. He finished with a paltry 148 yards but he QB sneaked the Steelers only touchdown. Diontae Johnson led the team in catches with only five and he was nearly invisible all day. Pat Friermuth made a terrific catch while being knocked unconscious and was forced to leave the game with a concussion. Zack Gentry made a great catch and steam rolled the Titans for 17-yards, something the Steelers should employ again. The Steelers were only able to grab 35 yards on the ground.  

The special teams descent is horrific to watch. Pressley Harvin III is running out of runway here. He had a horrendous day including a 27 yarder and was never able to flip the field on the Titans. Chester Rogers ran back a punt back for 55 yards and the Steelers coverage unit was called for holding on the play. It was a debacle. Chris Boswell is still the lone bright spot as he hammered home four field goals and he nearly hit a bomb at the end of the first half with one second left.

As for coaching, the first half of the last slate of games has been dreadful, but something is happening at halftime that has helped Pittsburgh to second-half surges. That is a testament to strong coaching. The defensive staff made big adjustments and were able to shut out the Titans in the second half. The clock management is still lousy, and it cost the Steelers a first half score, as the Titans chewed the clock for almost the entire second quarter. A victory is a victory. 

Beer We Go Steelers, Beer We Go!

My “GAME BEER” goes to: Ben Roethlisberger and T.J. Watt, both had historic days. Also Considered; Joe Haden, who made the game saving play, Taco Charlton who helped create a turnover, Chris Boswell who drilled four field goals, Derrek Tuszka who had a huge timely sack.

Beer of the Game: Went with Music City Light, which is the Nashville version of IC Light. Will explain later the choice. KGB went with Peroni which is a standby in our beer refrigerator. 

“Steel the Snacks”: We are swamped with the holidays “Steel the Snacks” was supposed to be Nashville Hot Chicken, one of KGB’s best and historically great snacks. We went with White Castle Hamburgers and pigs in the blanket with three kinds of mustard. Instead of stealing the snack, we stole their beer!  

My Stat of the week: Have to go with two this week… 63,562 for Ben Roethlisberger who passed Philip Rivers into 5th place on the all-time list. He will finish his career nestled comfortably there. The other is a Steelers record 17.5 sacks, the new Steelers record now held by T.J. Watt, eclipsing BWG all-time favorite James Harrison. Harrison posted a classy video congratulating Watt. 

My Thoughts on next week: Very tall order against Patrick Mahomes and the resurgent Chiefs. This is a very tough game on the road. The good news, the Steelers match up well and have had success against the division leaders. Every game is now a playoff game, and this is going to take a much bigger effort than the Steelers have shown so far.  

This week’s Jersey: Jerome Bettie, 36, Home Black, hoping to get the running game going. It didn’t work again, but we will take the win!


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