Sunday December 21, 2008
1:00 PM EST
The last meeting between these two teams was at Heinz Field in September of 2005. Willie Parker made his debut that day and was probably the #1 search item on google that afternoon after the performance he put in. That game wasn't much of a game as Big Ben only threw the ball 11 times and completed 9 for 218 yards and 2 TD's, but that was when Ben was efficient and managed the game. Times have changed since that last game, for example, Steve McNair has already put in two years for another team and finally called it quits! The Titans had hoped to rely on Vince Young but he's had nothing but issues the past couple of years although he has shown signs that he could be great. Today the Titans rely on Kerry Collins! Yes, the Kerry Collins who use to lead the Giants which seemed like was many many years ago. Can't really knock Collins though because he has done what the Titans have asked of him while Young works on getting his back into a football frame of mind.
This game is a battle for the AFC's #1 seed for the playoffs and home field advantage throughout the playoffs thanks to the Houston Texans last week who knocked off the Titans. It's fairly simple, if Steelers win their last two games, or beat the Titans this week and the Titans lose the final week, then the Steelers get the #1 seed. If the Titans win this week they clinch the #1 seed with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. At this point in the season the Steelers actually have a better record on the road then at home. The Steelers have lost two at home (Giants and Colts) and one on the road (Eagles). Tennessee has lost once at home this year.
Tennessee is really a mirror image of the Ravens, whom the Steelers played last week. They rely on the run, 142.8 yard per game, and a stout defense. Statistically the Titans number are practically identical on both sides of the ball to the Ravens, which again as last week, favors the Steelers defense who specialize in stopping the run... stopping the pass... preventing touchdowns... getting sacks. I think you get the picture! The Titans have a running back by committee system in place. Not quite sure who the starter really is but Chris Johnson has 1100 yards on the season and Lendale White is right behind him with 700 yards. The duo is better known as flash and dash, not sure who is what but White is a pretty big boy and don't really see him as being a flash or dash. White is the TD specialist though with 14 on the year and Johnson is close with 8 of his own. Stopping these two guys will be key for the Steelers because this puts the game in Collins hands and most teams haven't been able to force him to win games. The teams that have stopped the Titans running game didn't have the secondary to stop the past. Should be a good match-up between the Titans Offense and the Steelers defense.
Let's jump to when the Steelers have the ball, although it's nauseating and boring to watch! They ought to come out have Ben take a knee for 'three and outs' all game and just wait until late in the 4th quarter to turn it on and win the game. Taking the knee early in the game avoids the turnovers in the Steelers territory that leads to FG's and put the team behind. That is a little far fetched but something has to give and soon! The playoffs are right around the corner and there would be nothing better than watching the Steelers Offense hit their stride and start lighting up the scoreboard because we all know what the D can do! Bottom line, the offense needs to come alive or the payoffs won't last long at all for the Steelers!
- Stop the run and put the ball in Collins hands.
- Offense needs to step up and do their part rather than riding the coat-tails of the defense.
- Eliminate the turnovers deep on their own end of the field.
Join us this Sunday as we talk about the game and cheer our Steelers to a victory!