NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ The Steelers won their third preseason game, and their first on the road, defeating the Tennessee Titans, 18-6, at Nissan Stadium on a rainy and humid night.
“It was a good night for us. Good on a lot of fronts,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “Good to get Ben (Roethlisberger) in a stadium along with some others and see that group work together. Although it wasn’t a complete body of work, we were able to get him some situational ball. Good night in that regard. I like the energy the guys played with. It’s good to watch them function in a foreign environment. Be prepared to deal with some things that come with playing outside of Heinz Field.”
The Steelers’ defense opened the scoring on the Titans’ second possession.
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt blasted into the Titans’ backfield on second-and-10 from the Tennessee 4-yard line and dropped quarterback Marcus Mariota for a safety.
The subsequent free kick set the Steelers up at their 42 with 9:06 left in the first quarter.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took advantage of the good field position and directed a nine-play, 58-yard drive in 4:41 that ended with a 17-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. Running backs James Conner and Trey Edmunds each converted third-and-1 rushes into first downs on the march.
The Steelers’ attempt at a two-point conversion failed when Roethlisberger hit running back Jaylen Samuels in the flat and Samuels fell down.
Roethlisberger finished 8-for-13 passing for 63 yards and a touchdown in his three series, his first work of the preseason.
The starting offensive line of (left-to-right) tackle Alejandro Villanueva, guard Ramon Foster, center Maurkice Pouncey, guard David DeCastro and tackle Matt Feiler was together for the first time in the preseason and also played three series as a unit.
The Steelers featured heavy doses of the no-huddle offense and three-wide receivers formations with Roethlisberger in the game.
Conner rushed for 41 yards on five carries (an 8.2 average) and also caught two passes for 15 yards.
His long gain of the night went for 21 yards and included a juke of cornerback Adoree’ Jackson in the open field at the outset of the run.
Smith-Schuster’s four catches for 37 yards were his first of the preseason.
Mason Rudolph followed Roethlisberger at quarterback and hit wide receiver James Washington for a 41-yard touchdown with 1:52 left in the opening quarter. It was Rudolph’s second snap and first passing attempt of the game.
Chris Boswell’s conversion increased the Steelers’ lead to 15-0.
Washington has had a reception of at least 40 yards in each of the Steelers’ three preseason games.
Rudolph was intercepted midway through the second quarter after an apparent miscommunication on a route with Washington.
Rudolph finished 6-for-9 passing for 75 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
Kicker Matthew Wright made a 31-yard field goal with 4:02 left in the third quarter that upped the Steelers’ lead to 18-3 (linebacker Christian Kuntz snapped and punter Ian Berryman held). The drive was led by quarterback Josh Dobbs and covered 55 yards on seven plays in 2:35.
Ryan Succop hit his second field goal of the night late in the fourth quarter to close the lead to 18-6.
Outside linebacker Bud Dupree was the first member of the first-team defense to leave the game in the first half.
Dupree was on the sideline at the outset of the second half, out of uniform, with a wrap on his right hand/thumb.
Safety Sean Davis limped off the field with 3:01 left in the second quarter.
He was replaced by first-year safety Kameron Kelly, who also saw significant snaps in a three-safeties “nickel” and in a “dime” package as a deep safety with Terrell Edmunds and Davis playing a linebacker/safety hybrid position.
Sixth-round outside linebacker Sutton Smith made his preseason debut and played left and right outside linebacker with the first-team defense, as well as on the kickoff return, punt return and kickoff teams in the first half.
Tuitt (two), defensive tackle Cam Heyward and inside linebacker Vince Williams had sacks in the first half.
Third-round wide receiver Diontae Johnson, cornerback Joe Haden, fourth-round running back Benny Snell Jr. and outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo didn’t dress for the Steelers.
The Steelers conclude the preseason Thursday night at Carolina.
Game action photos from the Steelers' third preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium