Cheat Sheet: Steelers vs. Titans


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The Steelers host the Titans at Acrisure Stadium.
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This rivalry goes back to 1970 against the Houston Oilers. The Steelers and the Tennessee Oilers faced off four times (3-1 in Tennessee's favor) during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. The 1999 season was the first time Pittsburgh faced this franchise as the Tennessee Titans. These franchises were divisional rivals from when the Oilers entered the league through the 2001 season. The Houston Texans entered the NFL in 2002 and there was divisional realignment. Overall, the Steelers lead this series 48-32. There have been four playoff matchups between these organizations, with the Steelers only losing one of those. Through the 1986 season, Pittsburgh and Houston met 35 times, with the Steelers winning 26 of 35. The Steelers also are on a four-game winning streak against Tennessee, the most recent being a 19-13 victory in 2021 in Pittsburgh.


  • The Titans are winless on the road this season while the Steelers are 2-2 at Acrisure Stadium.
  • The Titans have been outscored by eight points in 2023. Pittsburgh has been outscored by 34.
  • Pittsburgh is plus-7 in turnover differential. Only the Buccaneers are better. Tennessee sits at minus-2. Jacksonville is the only team with more takeaways than the Steelers, while Tennessee has only taken the ball away six times all season and the Titans' two interceptions are easily the fewest in the league. No team has recovered more fumbles than the Steelers. Pittsburgh does have five more giveaways than the Titans, who have lost just two fumbles through seven games.
  • Tennessee possessed the ball for 32:59 against Atlanta, but for the season (excluding overtime), the Titans average 29:27 while Pittsburgh comes in at 26:54 per game.
  • The Steelers run ust 59.3 plays per game. Only four offenses run fewer, but one of those is Tennessee. The Titans run just 57.1 plays per game. Denver is the only one that is less. In turn, the Steelers defense is on the field 68.1 plays per game. That is the fourth most. But Tennessee's defense only averages 63.4, which is 16th.
  • Tennessee games have the fewest total snaps per game (120.6).
  • Tennessee's 28 points last week was a season-high.
  • Mike Tomlin is 22-5 against rookie quarterbacks.
  • Every team in the AFC has between two and six wins and between two and six losses. Meanwhile, the AFC North is the only division in the NFL that doesn't have a team with a losing record.
  • The Titans opponents are passing for 51.3 more yards per game than Tennessee this season and overall, 40.7 more total yards per game.
  • Opponents have produced 39 more first downs than the Steelers.


  • Pittsburgh's offense averages 4.6 yards per play. Tennessee's defense allows 5.4 yards per snap.
  • The Steelers offense is in 11 Personnel 74.6% of their snaps. Only five offenses use a personnel grouping at a higher rate. Opposing offenses are attacking Tennessee out of 12 Personnel 23% of the time, which is the seventh-highest rate out of 12 Personnel.
  • The Steelers offense has produced just seven first quarter points in 2023.
  • Over the past two games, Pittsburgh's offense is 7 of 24 on third downs.
  • The Titans had six sacks last week. Only one defense blitzes at a lower rate than Tennessee.
  • Tennessee is 27th in completion percentage allowed as well as yards per attempt per allowed. Only three defenses are being targeted deeper downfield than Tennessee, who face an average depth of target of 8.7.
  • Diontae Johnson received a 30% target share against Jacksonville, while George Pickens had a season-low 12.5% share in that game. In the first half of last week's game, Johnson was targeted 11 times. Every other Steelers receiver combined for six first half targets. In the second half with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback, Johnson was targeted three times while Pickens, Warren, Harris, and Heyward each had four targets.
  • Johnson leads the Steelers with a 2.26 yards per route run directly followed by Pickens at 2.19. Calvin Austin comes in at 1.09 and Allen Robinson at .73.
  • Against Jacksonville, Robinson played 46 snaps compared to 12 for Austin. Austin was targeted twice and carried the ball twice. Robinson was targeted once.
  • Pickens has produced 36 or fewer receiving yards in two of the three games this year he has played alongside Johnson, but 75+ in three of the four games without Johnson.
  • The Titans are allowing fourth-most receptions per game (10.7) and seventh-most yards (136.0) to receivers aligned on the perimeter. Pickens has aligned on the outside for 87.8% of his snaps and Johnson for 83%.
  • Rodney Williams out snapped Darnell Washington 12 to 10 last week, while Conner Heyward paced the tight ends with 49 snaps played. Washington was not targeted and ran just six routes. Heyward has run a route on 96.4% and 81.6% of the team's dropbacks the past two weeks. Last week was Heyward's career-high in targets and receptions. Tennessee has yet to allow a touchdown reception to a tight end this season.
  • Najee Harris played 35 snaps compared to 33 for Jaylen Warren. Harris carried the ball seven times. Warren carried it five. But Warren ran 24 routes compared to 18 for Harris. Both running backs were targeted five times.
  • Harris caught five passes for 42 yards. He had three games during the first six contests of his rookie season with at least 42 receiving yards but hasn't topped 42 since.
  • Pickett is the Steelers third-leading rusher, but only has 22 yards on the ground.
  • The Steelers average 3.4 yards per carry.
  • The Titans allow just 34.4% of the scoring plays to come via touchdown, the lowest percentage in the league.


  • Tennessee averages 5.2 yards per play. The Steelers defense is giving up 5.6 yards per play.
  • The Titans offense utilize 11 Personnel at just the 27th-highest rate in the NFL, but only the Falcons use 12 Personnel a higher percentage of their offensive snaps. Only seven offenses use 21 Personnel at a higher rate than Tennessee. The Steelers defense has only faced 11 Personnel on 55.2% of its snaps.
  • The Titans offense is 27th in completion percentage, but no team, on average, throws the ball further downfield. Tennessee's passing game has an average depth of target of 9.72. Meanwhile, only the Bengals defense is being targeted further downfield than Pittsburgh's, who face an average depth of target of 9.34.
  • In Will Levis' first-career start last week against Atlanta, he completed 19 of 29 passes for 238 yards while throwing four touchdowns (three to DeAndre Hopkins) against zero interceptions while averaging 8.2 yards per attempt. A whopping 29% of Levis' targets were 20 yards or deeper, the highest rate of any passer in Week 8.
  • Malik Willis came in for two snaps against Atlanta and ran the ball on both plays.
  • Hopkins finished last week's game with 128 yards and three touchdowns. But that was just his second time this season he eclipsed 65 receiving yards. Hopkins now averages 2.80 yards per route run, seventh-best of all wide receivers with at least 50 targets.
  • Of a possible 68 offensive snaps last week, Tennessee had five wide receivers, Hopkins (43), Treylon Burks (35), Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (34), Chris Moore (28) and Kyle Philips (18) play between 18 and 43 snaps. Burks hadn't played since Week 3.
  • Tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo has yet to clear 35 yards in a game this season. He played 49 snaps last week compared to 40 for Trevon Wesco and 16 for former Steelers Kevin Rader.
  • Of the seven Titans receiving touchdowns, six belong to Hopkins (3) and Westbrook-Ikhine (3).
  • Levis was pressured on 44% of his snaps against Atlanta. Only one offense in the league is getting blitzed and pressured at a higher rate than Tennessee. The Steelers are eighth in pressure rate. Eleven different Steelers have recorded a sack in 2023. Titans quarterbacks are getting sacked on 11% of their dropbacks. Only the Giants are worse.
  • Including the postseason, over the 2020-2022 seasons, running back Derrick Henry had 15 or fewer carries just three times in 42 games. Henry has gotten 15 or fewer carries four times this season. Henry ran for 101 yards on 22 carries last week-his second straight 100-yard game. Last week with Levis was also Henry's season high in receptions with four.
  • Henry is the current active career rushing leader although he only entered the league in 2016. Over the past two seasons when Ryan Tannehill is out of the lineup, Henry averages 24.8 carries per game.
  • Henry (526) and Tyjae Spears (198) have accounted for 724 of the Titans' 811 rushing yards, which is 89%.


  • Chris Boswell had a field goal streak of 17-straight makes before missing the 61-yard kick at the end of the half last week. Boswell also had a streak of seven-straight made kicks from 50-plus yards.
  • There have been 37 field goal attempts in Titans games this year. Every single attempt has been good.
  • Through seven games, the Steelers special teams snaps leaders are as follows: Nick Herbig (146), Miles Boykin and Miles Killebrew (134), James Pierre, Mark Robinson and Elijah Riley (133), and Connor Heyward (117).


Dec. 31, 1989: Steelers 26, Ravens 23, Overtime, Houston Astrodome AFC Wild Card Game

Tim Worley's 9-yard touchdown run at the 12:07 mark in the first quarter was the first score of this game. The next six scores were all field goals in what was shaping up to be a defensive struggle. In overtime, Rod Woodson recovered a fumble to set up Gary Anderson's game winning 50-yard field goal in overtime. Bubby Brister threw for 127 yards compared to 315 by Warren Moon, but Pittsburgh outrushed the Oilers 176-65 with Merril Hoge leading the way with 99 yards on the ground. The Steelers were eliminated in Denver the following week. Pittsburgh began the 1989 season by losing to the Browns and Bengals by a combined score of 92-10.


Titans RB Tyjae Spears vs. Steelers Linebackers - Spears is a dynamic rookie running back Tennessee employs in a number of ways, and he will play alongside Derrick Henry. Spears is an excellent receiver who will align all over the formation. He is a quick-twitch athlete with excellent elusiveness and long speed. Pittsburgh's defense, particularly its off-ball linebackers, will have to be very aware of Spears' alignment and especially sound with their tackling when he has the ball.

Steelers Interior Offensive Line vs. Titans DT Jeffery Simmons - Simmons is the Titans' best defensive player by a wide margin. In fact, he is one of the NFL's premier interior defensive linemen. He has great size and rare power to go along with supreme quickness and movement skills. Simmons is very capable of wrecking an interior run game, as well as consistently pushing the Steelers pocket into Kenny Pickett's lap time and time again. Simmons had two sacks last week.