Skip to main content

What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Tennessee

The highs and lows of the Steelers preseason matchup vs. the Tennessee Titans.

4:05 p.m. ET - Kickoff

4:26 p.m. ET - What went wrong: If you play for Mike Tomlin and you're looking to win the punt return job, ball security is a primary consideration. Brett Kern's first punt traveled 39 yards and was fielded by Cam Sutton. After a 9-yard return, Sutton was hit and fumbled, but Rosie Nix saved the day by recovering at the Pittsburgh 20-yard line.

4:30 p.m. ET - What went right: It was a third-and-5 from the Titans 37-yard line, and Ben Roethlisberger used a hard count to draw Sharif Finch offside. But the Steelers missed a chance for a big play when JuJu Smith-Schuster dropped a pass as he was streaking across the middle of the field. The penalty was enough to give the Steelers a first down, though.

4:35 p.m. ET - What went right: Two plays after Ben Roethlisberger got the Steelers a first down with a hard count that drew Sharif Finch offside, Roethlisberger connected with Justin Hunter deep down the right side for a 32-yard touchdown. Hunter beat cornerback Adoree' Jackson and did a nice job of getting his second foot down inbounds to complete the play that originally was ruled an incomplete pass. But Mike Tomlin challenged the play and the call on the field was overturned. The Steelers took a 7-0 lead with 1:28 left in the first quarter.

4:38 p.m. ET - End of 1st Quarter: Steelers 7, Titans 0

4:49 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Early in the second quarter, the Steelers had a third-and-short from the Tennessee 43-yard line. On second down, a run by James Conner came up short after cornerback Logan Ryan got good penetration and sabotaged the play. Then on fourth down, Roethlisberger's pass for Smith-Schuster was broken up by Adoree' Jackson.

5:01 p.m. ET - What went right: After taking over on downs early in the second quarter, the Titans offense was stymied by a Steelers defense that authored a quick three-and-out. Vince Williams sacked Marcus Mariota for a 7-yard loss on first down, and then pressure by Stephon Tuitt forced Mariota to get rid of the ball quickly on second down. On third down, the Steelers protected the down marker and tackled the catch to force Tennessee to punt.

5:06 p.m. ET - What went right: On the Titans' next offensive possession, the ball was at the Tennessee 38-yard line, and it was a third-and-2. Pressure by Bud Dupree forced Mariota to roll to his left, and his attempted pass for Taywan Taylor was intercepted by Terrell Edmunds, and the Steelers' No. 1 pick returned it 30 yards to the Tennessee 24-yard line.

5:13 p.m. ET - What went wrong: On the second play after Terrell Edmunds' interception, Landry Jones hit Justin Hunter with a pass over the middle but it appeared linebacker Robert Spillane got his hands in there and stole the ball. The play was ruled an interception, and the Titans took over at their own 17-yard line.

5:20 p.m. ET - What went right: After another three-and-out by the Steelers defense, the Titans punted and Pittsburgh's offense took over at the Tennessee 47-yard line. Two passes from Landry Jones to James Conner netted 17 yards, and then a 6-yard completion to Smith-Schuster was sandwiched around a couple of incompletions. Chris Boswell kicked a 42-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead at halftime.

5:21 p.m. ET - Halftime: Steelers 10, Titans 0

Game action photos from the Steelers' third preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field.

5:39 p.m. ET - What went right: On the first series of the second half, the Steelers defense picked up right where it left off in the first half. On third-and-4, Cam Heyward broke through to sack Blaine Gabbert to complete another three-and-out, and the Steelers offense took over at their own 34-yard line.

5:53 p.m. ET - What went wrong: Back-to-back holding penalties cost the Steelers a touchdown and then a shot at a touchdown, respectively. On a third-and-11 from the Tennessee 17-yard line, Mason Rudolph completed a short pass to Jaylen Samuels, who found a seam and got into the end zone, but the touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty on Marcus Tucker at the 3-yard line. On the next play, a third-and-7 from the 13-yard line, Rudolph scrambled for a first down, but that play was nullified by a holding penalty on R.J. Prince. On third-and-17 from the 23-yard line, a pass to Samuels gained 8 yards, and Chris Boswell came on to kick a 33-yard field goal for a 13-0 lead with 5:23 left in the third quarter.

6:12 p.m. ET - End of 3rd Quarter: Steelers 16, Titans 0

6:27 p.m. ET - What went wrong: With the Steelers first-team defense on the bench, the Titans put together an 11-play, 82-yard touchdown drive capped by a 3-yard pass from Blaine Gabbert to tight end Anthony Firkser. The Titans converted two third downs on the drive – a 9-yard pass to Firkser on a third-and-8, and then a 2-yard run by David Fluellen on a third-and-1. The touchdown cut the Steelers lead to 16-6 with 10:30 left in the fourth quarter. Gabbert threw incomplete on the attempted two-point conversion.

6:39 p.m. ET - What went right: L.J. Fort made what initially appeared to be a game-clinching interception and 57-yard return for a touchdown with slightly more than five minutes left in the game. Blaine Gabbert completed a 3-yard pass to running back Dalyn Dawkins, and Fort was right there trying to rip the ball loose. He did and then ran it into the end zone, but the play was whistled dead because it was judged that Dawkins' forward progress was stopped. 

6:58 p.m. ET - Final Score: Steelers 16, Titans 6