Cleat Geeks

Titans @ Steelers on Thursday Night Football

There’s nothing quite like a win at home in the final minute to energize a team. The Titans once again defended their home field by defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 24 to 20. Marcus Mariota threw for 264 yards and a touchdown and added another 51 yards with his legs but he was not the star this day. Led by Demarco Murray’s 3 trips to the end zone, including the game-winner with 36 seconds left, Tennessee ran their record to 6-3 with their 4th win in a row.

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Brandon LaFell and AJ Green each gashed the Titans for touchdown receptions and a combined 210 yards but the offense but it wasn’t enough as Andy Dalton lost two fumbles on the day, both recovered by Titans Linebacker Derrick Morgan.

Mariota has looked more comfortable in the pocket and running out of the pocket with each game. He’ll need to continue to progress against a Steelers defense that is second in the NFL in both sacks and points allowed to opponents. Pittsburgh is solid against every position so keeping drives going will be both difficult and a key to the game. The Titans do compare favorably with the two teams that have beaten the Steelers. Pittsburgh gave up big plays and big numbers on the ground in both their losses. Jordan Howard ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago and Leonard Fournette rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns for Jacksonville. The Titans will again need to do serious work with their rushing attack.

In a battle of Division leaders Thursday night in Pittsburgh, Tennessee will look to keep its momentum going. It won’t be easy to do that at Heinz field against a Steelers team that has their own 4 game winning streak going. They are 3 games up in the AFC North and are looking to run away and hide from the rest of the division. Pittsburgh will put an impressive array of weapons on the field with two of the best players in football in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Add in rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster the physically talented if a little troubled Martavis Bryant, all quarterbacked by Big Ben Roethlisberger and the Titans defense better bring their A game.

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If there is one Defensive Co-Ordinator that knows the Steelers offense it’s Titans Dick LeBeau. LeBeau was the DC for the Steelers for 13 years. While under LeBeau the Steelers 3-4 defense earned the nickname “Blitzburgh”. Putting pressure on Roethlisberger is certainly a goal if not a necessity this week.

Feature Photo by Justin K. Aller

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