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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans Preview and Predictions

The Pittsburgh Steelers will have something to prove this season; that they can win the AFC North and make an impact in the post-season without the likes of Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. 

The Tennessee Titans finished 9-7 last season, and that was with a sub-standard season out of quarterback Marcus Mariota (11 TD's, 8 INT's). How well can they do if he really explodes this year? 

The Steelers and Titans will meet up on Sunday night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. 

TV: 8 PM ET, NBC.  LINE: Titans -2.5.  O/U:  40

ABOUT THE STEELERS: Pittsburgh put forth an inspired defensive effort last week to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 17-7, in the wake of the death of wide receivers coach Darryl Drake. The battle for the backup quarterback job continues, as Mason Rudolph played "clean" (10 of 15, 77 yards), while Joshua Dobbs threw an interception. Dobbs is the guy who can make things happen with his feet, while Rudolph is more of a dropback type. Top receiver Juju Smith-Schuster (111 catches last year) is comfortable with either guy. "They’re always competing and doing the right things," he says. The competition will be decided in these next two games. But meanwhile, Ben Roethlisberger should play vs. the Titans, albeit briefly. Former star linebacker Ryan Shazier, whose career was cut short by a spinal injury, is among a growing legion of Devin Bush fans. And he's going to do whatever he can to help the first-round draft pick out of Michigan get to the top. "I think he's going to make a lot of splash for us. He's going to be a big-time player for us," says Shazier, who has occasionally conducted one-on-one film sessions with the youngster. Christian Kuntz, on Jacksonville's practice squad last season, is trying to make the team as a linebacker and long snapper. Kuntz played at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, which has had only one NFL player (Leigh Bodden) since 1974. But it's the alma mater of former Steelers' co-owner Dan Rooney, and the team's ballpark is named after his father, Steelers founder Art Rooney. 



ABOUT THE TITANS: Tennessee is getting some "love" from the guys at NFL.com. Gil Brandt, the personnel guru, and Hall of Famer calls the Titans' quarterback situation the "most enviable in the NFL" because he believes Ryan Tannehill to be the best backup QB in the league. Writer Chris Wesseling praised defensive tackle Isaiah Mack, an undrafted free agent, as the team's most promising rookie, off two strong efforts in the pre-season. DT Jeffery Simmons, taken in the first round out of Mississippi State, is unavailable to the team after having ACL surgery several months ago. During his rehab, which includes some light workouts, Simmons is being tutored by veteran Jurrell Casey. And head coach Mike Vrabel likes that. "I think it’s really positive that Jurrell’s with them to be able to explain the technique when [Simmons] hears a coach says it, and also show him the technique," says Vrabel. Tight end Jonnu Smith and kicker Ryan Succop have been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Former Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, who hasn't practiced in more than three weeks because of a calf injury, finally got back onto the field this week, although Vrabel hasn't decided if he'll play Saturday night. Henry rushed for 1059 yards and a dozen touchdowns last season. Regardless of what happens there, Jeremy McNichols, the second-year running back, will get to showcase himself again. He caught a TD pass in spectacular fashion in the 22-17 loss to New England last week and also had a 33-yard TD run called back. 

EXTRA POINTS

1. In 2018, no team was as successful turning red-zone trips into touchdowns than the Steelers, who converted 73.5% of the time. 

2. Tennessee's offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith, is the son of FedEx founder Fred Smith, who also is part-owner of the Washington Redskins. 

3. Ray Sherman, has been named the Steelers’ interim wide receivers coach for the 2019 season. He has not been a coach in the league since 2015. 


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Prediction

Free Daily Lock Pick: NCAAB: Arkansas vs. Florida - February 18th - (100% Confidence Release)

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Key Players to Watch

Stadium

LP Field
Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Capacity: 68,798

Buy Tickets

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Last Injuries

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Ryan Shazier

    Spine
    out for season | out

    Shazier is expected to sit out the entire 2020 season while he recuperates from spinal stabilization surgery.

  • Ben Roethlisberger

    Elbow
    Prob Week 1 | probable

    Roethlisberger is on the mend form surgery to reattach three tendons in his elbow, but he is expected to be available during Week 1.

tennessee-titans Stats 2019-2020

Passing
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Marcus Mariota 3 3 99.275 75 92 56 0 17 122 4 706
Russing
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
Derrick Henry 3 3 210 18 51 3
Marcus Mariota 3 3 90 15 14 0
Dion Lewis 3 0 29 6 9 0
Jonnu Smith 3 3 10 10 1 0
Adam Humphries 3 1 1 1 1 0
Receiving
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
Delanie Walker 3 2 158 29 16 21 2
A.J. Brown 3 3 129 51 7 14 0
Adam Humphries 3 1 97 30 9 12 0
Tajae Sharpe 3 0 94 47 4 7 0
Derrick Henry 3 3 89 75 4 7 1
Defense
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Jayon Brown 3 3 14 7 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0
Kenny Vaccaro 3 3 13 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Malcolm Butler 3 3 11 2 0 0 1 38 3 0 0 0
Kevin Byard 3 3 10 3 0 0 1 28 1 0 0 1
Rashaan Evans 3 3 10 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Kicking
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Kick Returning
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Darius Jennings 3 0 4 0 26 78
Adoree' Jackson 3 2 1 0 23 23
Taywan Taylor 2 1 1 0 23 23
Fumbles
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Marcus Mariota 3 3 2 0 0 0 1 0
Adoree' Jackson 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
Corey Davis 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
Derrick Henry 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0
Dennis Kelly 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 0
Punting
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Derrick Henry 3 3 24 0 0 0 0 0 4
Delanie Walker 3 2 12 0 0 0 0 0 2
David Quessenberry 3 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 1
Malcolm Butler 3 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 1
Brett Kern 3 0 0 937 9 70 20 2 0
Punt Returning
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Adoree' Jackson 3 2 3 1 17 26
Adam Humphries 3 1 0 5 0 0

pittsburgh-steelers Stats 2019-2020

Passing
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Player GP GS PR PLY PPA PPC PPI PPS PSY PT PY
Mason Rudolph 2 1 85.960 76 46 26 2 2 14 4 286
Ben Roethlisberger 2 2 65.995 45 62 35 1 2 7 0 351
Russing
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
Player GP GS RNY RLY RP RT
James Conner 3 3 97 14 34 1
Benny Snell Jr. 3 1 29 23 4 0
Jaylen Samuels 3 0 22 7 5 0
Mason Rudolph 2 1 22 7 5 0
Johnny Holton 3 1 9 9 1 0
Receiving
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
Player GP GS RY RLY RR RT RT
JuJu Smith-Schuster 3 3 243 76 14 23 1
Diontae Johnson 3 1 94 39 7 15 1
James Washington 3 2 88 45 6 14 0
Vance McDonald 3 3 88 21 10 13 2
James Conner 3 3 70 23 11 12 0
Defense
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Player GP GS DST DAT DFF DFR DI DIY DFD DS DSY DTFL
Terrell Edmunds 3 3 20 8 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Devin Bush 3 2 17 11 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Joe Haden 3 3 16 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
Mike Hilton 3 1 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Stephon Tuitt 3 3 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 24 5
Kicking
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Player GP GS FGS FGA FGSLY EPKA EPKS
Chris Boswell 3 0 5 5 46 4 4
Kick Returning
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Player GP GS KR KRF KRLY KRY
Johnny Holton 3 1 2 0 21 42
Ryan Switzer 3 1 2 0 26 43
Diontae Spencer 3 0 1 0 60 60
Fumbles
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Player GP GS F FL FRLBO FRT OFR OFRT
Ben Roethlisberger 2 2 1 0 0 0 1 0
James Conner 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 0
Mason Rudolph 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Maurkice Pouncey 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0
Ryan Switzer 3 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
Punting
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Player GP GS P PGY PIT PLY PP PT TT
Chris Boswell 3 0 19 0 0 0 0 0 0
Vance McDonald 3 3 12 0 0 0 0 0 2
Diontae Johnson 3 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 1
James Conner 3 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 1
JuJu Smith-Schuster 3 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 1
Punt Returning
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Player GP GS PR PRF PRLY PRY
Diontae Spencer 3 0 5 4 17 38
Ryan Switzer 3 1 2 3 1 1
Diontae Johnson 3 1 1 0 11 11