What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. the Titans

The highs and lows of the Steelers third preseason game of 2019 vs. the Tennessee Titans.

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It’s tails. Steelers take the football.

8:18 – What Went Right: After a couple of 5-yard penalties on Tennessee’s first two offensive plays – Mark Barron was offside, and Stephon Tuitt was flagged for illegal hands to the face on a running play where Devin Bush dumped Dion Lewis for no gain – the Steelers defense got itself together and didn’t allow another yard. After two incomplete passes, Lewis lost 1 yard on a draw play, Brett Kern’s punt was a touchback.

8:26 p.m. – What Went Right: It started with a 49-yard punt by Jordan Berry that was downed by Justin Layne on the Tennessee 4-yard line. On first down, Terrell Edmunds came up to break up a pass intended for A.J. Brown, and then on second down, Stephon Tuitt defeated a block by Ben Jones to sack Marcus Mariota in the end zone for a safety. The Steelers led, 2-0, with 9:12 left in the first quarter.

8:34 p.m. – What Went Right: After Ryan Switzer returned the free kick following the safety to the Steelers 42-yard line, Ben Roethlisberger directed a nine-play, 58-yard drive that was capped by his 17-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. James Conner gained 5 yards to convert a third-and-1; then Trey Edmunds gained three yards to convert another third-and-1. On the next play, Roethlisberger his Smith-Schuster on a post pattern to give the Steelers an 8-0 lead. An attempted two-point conversion failed when Jaylen Samuels lost his footing after catching a short pass.

8:48 p.m. – What Went Right: After the touchdown, the Steelers defense forced Tennessee into a three-and-out, with Stephon Tuitt’s sack on third down forcing a Brett Kern punt. On the re-kick following a penalty, the Steelers took possession on their own 48-yard line. With Mason Rudolph at quarterback, the Steelers needed only two plays to up their lead to 15-0. Jaylen Samuels rushed for 11 yards, and then Rudolph hit James Washington deep down the middle for a 41-yard touchdown.

8:58 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Titans cut into the Steelers lead with a seven-play, 43-yard drive that was capped by a 24-yard field goal by Ryan Succop. The drive was set up by a 46-yard kickoff return by Darrius Jennings, and it was extended when Ryan Tannehill hit Corey Davis for a 25-yard gain on a third-and-1. The Steelers still led, 15-3, with 13:27 left in the second quarter.

9:12 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It was a third-and-9 from the Steelers 41-yard line, and Mason Rudolph anticipated James Washington breaking his route toward the sideline, but Washington hooked up at the numbers. Rudolph’s pass was intercepted by Amani Hooker at the Titans 44-yard line.

9:29 p.m. – What Went Right: The Titans Looked to be threatening to cut into the Steelers’ lead again, with Tennessee’s big play coming on a 30-yard run by Jeremy McNichols. But on a third-and-6, Cam Heyward blew by guard Aaron Stinnie to sack Ryan Tannehill for an 8-yard loss to force a punt. The first half ended with the Steelers holding a 15-3 lead.

9:51 p.m. – What Went Right: The Titans took the second half kickoff, and ripped off three first downs only to face a second-and-9. Outside linebacker Tuzar Skipper then came off the edge to sack Logan Woodside and strip the ball loose, which was recovered by Tyson Alualu on the Steelers 40-yard line.

10:03 – What Went Right: On a third-and-1 from the Titans 17-yard line, Logan Woodside tried to pick up the first down with a pass to running back Alex Barnes. But Marcus Allen came up quickly and stopped Barnes for no gain to force a punt.

10:11 p.m. – What Went Right: On the possession following the punt that was forced by Marcus Allen’s tackle on Alex Barnes, the Steelers drove 55 yards in seven plays to extend their lead to 18-3 on a 31-yard field goal by Matthew Wright. The big plays on the drive were a 29-yard run by Diontae Spencer on a reverse, and then Josh Dobbs scrambled away from pressure before finding Trey Griffey for a 23-yard gain. The play initially was ruled an incomplete pass but was overturned on review. The Steelers led, 18-3, with 4:02 remaining in the third quarter.

10:37 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Titans cut into the Steelers lead following a nine-play, 77-yard drive, but the Pittsburgh defense did stiffen sufficiently to force Tennessee into settling for a red zone field goal. The big plays on the drive were a 24-yard pass to Papi White, and a 23-yard completion to Kalif Raymond. The Titans could have cut into their deficit even more, but Casey Sayles dragged down QB Logan Woodside for a 2-yard gain on a third-and-7 from the Steelers 10-yard line. Following the field goal, the Steelers lead was 18-6 with 6:33 remaining in the fourth quarter.

10:45 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It was both unnecessary and costly. With the Steelers having a first-and-10 at the Titans 20-yard line and with fewer than five minutes remaining, the Steelers decided to throw the ball instead of simply running more time off the clock. Josh Dobbs’ pass was intercepted by Mike Jordan to give Tennessee the ball at their own 3-yard line.

10:52 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense overcame the turnover by Josh Dobbs and got the ball back for the offense after sacks by Tegray Scales and then by Robert Spillane on fourth down to set up the offense with a first down at the Titans 23-yard line.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 18, Titans 6

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