Titans vs Steelers: Recap, Updates, Open Thread

You’ve heard it all by now. Undefeated showdown. AFC powerhouses clash. A rivalry dating back to the days of the AFC Central division…

Dubbed the “game of the week” by football fans around the world, this should be an exciting matchup between two playoff contenders.

Throughout the season, you can count on us to have threads like this one, which will be updated frequently during each and every game.

Follow along with us here if you’re unable to watch the contest, and use the comments below to discuss the action with the Broadway Community.

Let’s get ready for some football!

Live Updates

The Titans are on the field warming up now.

Kickoff —

The Steelers won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Ben Roethlisberger got things started for Pittsburgh, moving the ball through the air on short quick passes into Tennessee territory. Diontae Johnson shook Tye Smith out of his shoes on 3rd and 11 to keep the drive going. A James Conner fumble wasn’t enough to stop the Steelers, as they were able to jump on the loose ball and set up inside the 15-yard line.

Finally, after a penalty made things more difficult, Roethlisberger his Johnson right at the goal line, with the ball slipping just under the cornerback Smith’s swat attempt. The Steelers capped off their 16-play, 75-yard drive over 9:18 to open the contest with a touchdown, taking a 7-0 lead.

The Titans shot themselves in the foot on back to back plays, first with a hold by Darren Bates on the kick return followed immediately by a hold on Jonnu Smith, negating a five-yard run by Henry on first down. The offense didn’t recover, with Brett Kern forced to punt it away from his own end zone. Pittsburgh took over at their own 39.

The Titans benefitted from a bizarre play by Roethlisberger, who tried to flip the ball backwards to Conner, resulting in a 10-yard loss for Pittsburgh on 2nd down. However, the Titans’ 3rd-down woes continued with a big catch by Eric Ebron over the middle to move the chains. The first quarter wound down as the Steelers converted another 3rd down, this time only 1 yard to go, to put the ball at the Tennessee 31.

End 1Q — Titans 0, Steelers 7

The second quarter opened with a couple of near takeaways for the Titans defense, with an errant deflected pass and a forced fumble by Clowney that Chase Claypool scooped up, but then on 3rd and 12, the Steelers converted again. Two runs by Conner put the ball at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Benny Snell found the left edge for the touchdown. Steelers went up 14-0.

Finally, on their ensuing possession, Derrick Henry finally broke through for a big run of 15 yards. Another Henry run led to a play-action strike to A.J. Brown, moving the ball across midfield. A miracle catch by Adam Humphries off a double deflection kept the chains moving on 3rd down. Tannehill got Pittsburgh to jump on 3rd and short, setting up a 1st and goal from the 8. After a scary moment when Vince Williams clobbered Tannehill on a scramble up the middle, the quarterback bounced right back to hit Corey Davis for a 5-yard touchdown. Titans cut the lead in half, 14-7 Steelers with 5:26 left in the half.

The Steelers continued to drive methodically down the field and convert impossible third down situations. A pair of tipped passes — one at the line of scrimmage and one downfield — both fell harmlessly to the turf for Pittsburgh. Finally, with the ball at the Titans’ 20, the defense achieved the impossible: they got a stop on 3rd down, holding Pittsburgh to a field goal. Steelers took at 17-7 lead with 2:54 in the half.

After a fumbled kick return by Kalif Raymond put the Titans inside their own 10, T.J. Watt made his second big tackle for loss on first down for Tennessee. The result was a quick 3-and-out on the drive. Kern booted a booming punt away, but Ray Ray McCloud returned the punt inside the Titans’ 20. Three plays later, Diontae Johnson was dancing in the end zone for the second time today. Steelers extended their lead to 24-7, looking to run away with the game. The Titans would have one more chance this half with 52 seconds to play and all three timeouts still remaining.

The Titans went three and out yet again, and then a low snap to Kern put the Steelers in Titans’ territory again with 14 seconds to play. On a throw to the end zone, Dane Cruikshank went up for the ball and intercepted it, ending the half.

End 1H — Titans 7, Steelers 24

The Titans received the second half kickoff looking to jumpstart their offense, but it was Watt getting to Tannehill for his second sack on the first play of the third quarter. An incompletion on 3rd and 16 led to another Titans punt, with the Steelers taking over at their own 34.

After allowing Pittsburgh to move the ball a bit, Malcolm Butler was flagged for a questionable pass interference downfield against Claypool. A few plays later, the Titans managed a 3rd down, red-zone stop — a true rarity — and held the Steelers to a field goal, 27-7.

Moments later, Tannehill hit Brown off play action over the middle, and the budding superstar receiver took it all the way to the house, 73 yards for the score. Titans kicked it back to Pittsburgh now trailing 27-14 in desperate need of a defensive stop.

And the Titans defense came through. A sniffed out screen was stopped on first down, a second down carry was stuffed at the line, and on third down, the Titans forced a checkdown pass and actually made the tackle to get off the field.

The Titans momentum was stuffed along with Henry on their very next play, and the offense would go three and out. A punt back to Pittsburgh pinned them inside their own 20, their worst starting field position of the contest.

After allowing another 3rd down conversion, Jeffery Simmons got his big mitts on a pass over the middle, popping the ball straight into the air. At long last, the Titans converted a chance to take the ball away, with Jayon Brown leaping to corral the ball for the Titans at the Pittsburgh 30 yard line.

Yet again, the Titans offensive line was beaten on the next play, this time Williams getting to Tannehill in the backfield for a sack. Two incomplete passes later brought Stephen Gostkowski onto the field for his first attempt of the day, a 51-yard try. The veteran kicker split the uprights to cut the Steelers lead down, 27-17 with 2:55 left in the third.

After allowing one first down, the Titans defense stiffened up and managed to get another stop, this time Brown in zone coverage popping the ball up for another chance at a takeaway on 3rd and 10. This one fell to the ground and Pittsburgh punted with 38 seconds left in the quarter. A late hit against the Steelers gave the Titans good field position at the their own 30 yard line.

End 3Q — Titans 17, Steelers 27

To open the final frame of play, Tennessee handed to Henry, again and again and again. Six carries, mixed in with a quick pass to Davis and a play-action connection to Brown (plus one third-down Tannehill sneak) put the Titans at the one-yard line. A missed pass to Smith followed by a stuffed run up the middle brought up 4th and goal from the one. Minkah Fitzpatrick grabbed and held Smith on a route and gave the Titans a free set of downs at the half yard line. It only took one more play, as Henry leapt over the line for the score. The “game of the week” everyone expected had finally come to fruition with Pittsburgh’s lead cut to just three, 27-24, with 10:08 to go.

The Titans defense nearly forced a quick stop, but a couple of conversions to Smith-Schuster kept the ball moving. Another deeper shot to him moved Pittsburgh into Titans territory. The Steelers converted another 3rd down hitting Johnson at the sticks to continue their drive with the clock winding inside five minutes. Yet another 3rd down conversion to Johnson made it 1st and 10 at the Titans 25 with under four minutes remaining.

On 3rd and 2, the Titans got the stop right at the line but elected to take an offensive pass interference penalty to make it 3rd and 12. Roethlisberger took a shot to the end zone, and Brown got his hand between Smith-Schuster’s popping the ball in the air again, and Amani Hooker snatched it in the end zone, ending the Steelers’ 16-play drive with no points. Titans took over with 2:34 trailing by a field goal.

Tannehill hit A.J. Brown a couple of times to get the drive going, and a short completion to Smith took the game to the two-minute warning with a 2nd and 1 facing the Titans on the other side of the break.

A big completion to A.J. Brown put the Titans in good position. After an intentional grounding penalty to avoid a sack, Tannehill hit Davis over the middle to put the ball in field goal range. A failed 3rd-and-13 shot to the end zone brought out Gostkowski to try a game-tying field goal.

The kick looked good at first, but it was drifting right… and it kept drifting, narrowly missing the target. Pittsburgh would take a knee to end the game, holding on for the 27-24 victory.

Final: Titans 24, Steelers 27

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Author: Justin GraverPerhaps best known as @titansfilmroom on Twitter, Justin Graver has been writing and creating content about the NFL and the Tennessee Titans for nearly a decade as a longtime staff writer (and social media manager) for the SB Nation site Music City Miracles. Although JG no longer writes for Broadway Sports, his Music City Audible podcast with co-host Justin Melo continues.


  1. This is a playoff game. This game will have ramifications at the end of the regular season for how playoff teams all through the AFC will be seeded. We need to win this game, even by just a point. Let go win this thing, Titans, and no injuries!

      1. The Steelers are deliberately taking time off the clock. They know our strength and are trying to take it away, and our defense is letting them. We are trying to play bend-don’t break, and they are breaking us with it. This is a crucial point or we are gonna end up trading licks at best.

        1. I agree with you here. But I also see where we’ve nearly created 4 turnovers to this point. Eventually, ball disruption will turn into a game-changing turnover. They can’t get lucky all game. If we disrupt the ball 10 or more times today, they will be at least two turnovers emerge. I’m okay to swap licks until that happens. But we gotta hold the ball some ourselves and be sure to get points when we can.

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