No different than the other Titan games this year, this game was a wild ride. After threatening to be blown out at the half, the Titans rallied. That being said, there were more negatives than positives.
The third down defense: After the first drive, here was a little nugget from our own John Glennon.
The stats did not get much better, as the Titans allowed the Steelers to go 13 for 18 on 3rd down throughout the game. This has been a recurring issue for the Titans, and one they have to get fixed ASAP.
The first half defense: The start could not have been much worse, with the defense giving up a touchdown drive to the Steelers of over nine minutes in length. They followed it up on the second drive by allowing another touchdown. Missing several opportunities for sacks and for turnovers seemed to foreshadow what would happen the rest of the afternoon. 228 yards of offense allowed in the first half in easily the worst first half performance of the year.
The first half offense: Despite the nice touchdown drive, the offense was mostly hapless in the first half. Going into the locker room, down 24-7 is about as bad as it gets with only 88 yards of offense. They picked it up in the 2nd half, but it turned out to be too late.
Stephen Gostkowski: Gost giveth and taketh away. Against the Steelers, he taketh, missing the game tying FG late in the 4th quarter. I don’t know what the solution is, but the Titans HAVE to get a dependable kicker.
A.J. Brown: What. A. Monster. A.J. had 6 receptions for 153 yards and a TD. He provided the explosive play to drag the Titans back into the game and reminded us all that he is a special player. More A.J. going forward, please.
Opportunistic Second Half Defense: After failing to capitalize on all but one of the Steelers’ miscues in the first half, the defense “tightened up” in the second half. Completely engaged in a bend-don’t-break defense, the Titans intercepted Big Ben twice after halftime. You like to see the turnovers, but the Titans need to do a better job of getting non-turnover stops as well.
Ryan Clark: The ESPN analyst said that Henry doesn’t want to play against the big boys of the Steeler’s front seven. On Sunday, Henry ran for 75 yards on 20 carries. There were a couple points where it appeared he was starting to break loose, but nothing came of it.
Overall this game leaves a bad taste in the mouth as the Titans could have won this game despite a terrible first half performance and came up just short. Losing to the Steelers is never fun, but I am optimistic that the Titans will get another shot at them later this year.