STEELERS 27, TITANS 24
Steelers' record: 7-4
One year ago: 5-6
Series record (including playoffs): Steelers lead, 45-31
Start fast. Every week the Steelers have a road game and Mike Tomlin is asked what he wants from his team, he says the same thing: Start fast. He rarely got what he wanted, and this weekend's assignment was a trip to Nashville for a game against the 2-7 Titans. In only one of their five previous road games had the Steelers scored first, and in two of the other four they had fallen behind by multiple scores. In a Week 2 loss in Baltimore, the Steelers trailed, 10-0; last weekend against the Jets, it was 17-0 before the end of the first quarter.
Against the Titans, the Steelers jumped out to a 10-0 lead – their largest on the road this season – but they gave it back almost as quickly as they built it.
The game's opening drive included six straight runs by Le'Veon Bell followed by a 49-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham, and then on the first play after the ensuing kickoff William Gay intercepted a Zach Mettenberger pass and returned it 28 yards for the touchdown that created the lead.
But instead of building on it, or at least maintaining it, the Steelers started giving it back, and by halftime Tennessee was leading by 17-13.
The Steelers this time were able to overcome a lead by the home team to post their seventh win of the season and close to within percentage points of the Cincinnati Bengals for first place in the AFC North Division.
Holding a three-point lead, the Steelers took the ball after a Titans punt at their own 19-yard line with 6:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Steelers offense bled the rest of the clock by gaining five first downs and running 12 plays. On that possession, Bell carried eight straight times, before turning it over to Ben Roethlisberger, who handled things from there in victory formation.
STAT THAT STANDS OUT I
The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to face the Titans at LP Field.
Listing the all-time series record as a 45-31 edge for the Steelers is accurate but it doesn't reflect Tennessee's dominance since the franchise was moved from Houston after the 1996 season. Since the start of 1997, the Steelers are 8-12 vs. the Titans, and 3-8 against them on the road. Bill Cowher was 1-6 in Tennessee; Mike Tomlin now is 2-2.
STAT THAT STANDS OUT II
After his 28-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter, William Gay became the first Steelers player to record two of these in a season since Chad Scott did it in 2001. It also was the 100th pick-six in franchise history.