The Titans came up short on Sunday, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24. In their first loss of the season, the team showed that some weaknesses still remain, and the offense was unable to overcome the differential put up by Big Ben and the Steelers.
Overall the team did a good job coming back in the second half to make the game close, and they did have an opportunity to tie the game with a Gostkowski 45 yarder but unfortunately he wasn’t able to put that one through the uprights. Miscues and miscommunication seemed to be the overall theme for the defense for most of the night. The defense still struggles to stop opposing teams on third downs and some special teams mistakes gave the Steelers better field position that eventually ended up giving them the advantage.
The offense wasn’t as sharp as we have seen in the last few weeks, but they still did a good job against a tough Steelers front. Ryan Tannehill finished the game with 220 passing yards and two passing touchdowns and did not turn the ball over. It seemed that all of Tannehill’s yardage came from A.J. Brown and that was pretty much the case as Brown totaled 153 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown in the game. Brown has differentiated himself from the rest of the receiving options in Tennessee and will continue to get the lion’s share of the targets moving forward. Corey Davis also saw a handful of targets and was able to rack up 35 yards and one score. Sadly TE Jonnu Smith was quiet in this game bringing in only one catch for nine yards. He was hampered earlier in the week with an ankle injury but had no questionable designation for Sunday’s game so we will need to wait and see how he does in the next few weeks.
The biggest shock I think for the offense was the lack of production for Derrick Henry. Coming off of one of the biggest rushing games of all time last week where he ran for 212 yards and two touchdowns and an additional 52 receiving yards, Henry was held to just 75 yards and one score. If you play fantasy football, you will be extremely happy that Henry’s “poor game” is 75 yards and a score, but for actual football, the Titans need him to be more productive if they are going to continue with Vrabel’s tough minded game script of a strong defensive front and a ground and pound attack on offense with Henry.
I think I know one way to bring the spirits of the team up, that is by reminding everyone that their matchup next week is against the Cincinnati Bengals. While no game is a given, I think the Titans will run wild next week in Cincinnati. The Bengals currently sit at 1-5 and have not shown anything spectacular on offense or defense. If the Titans are able to contain a few key offensive pieces, Tannehill and the offense should have no problem putting up big numbers next week.