This is your ultimate gameday guide to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans. Our Three-Point Stance is sponsored by ‘Nail the Number’ which could return in the final few weeks of the season!
What: Tennessee Titans (6-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2)
Where: Heinz Field Pittsburgh, PA
When: 825pm Eastern on Thursday, November 16th, 2017
TV Coverage: National TV audience and on Amazon.com.
Weather: Cloudy and 38 degrees at kickoff.
Line: Steelers -7
Last Week: The Titans defeated the Bengals 24-20 at home while the Steelers knocked off the Colts 20-17 in Indianapolis.
TV: NBC Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth and Heather Cox on the sidelines.
Radio: Steelers Nation Radio/WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley on the sidelines.
Head Official: Ron Torbert
Key Injuries: PIT: OUT: Joe Haden (fibula) DOUBTFUL: NONE, QUEST: James Harrison (back), Vance McDonald (ankle), Mike Mitchell (ankle) TEN: Clean Sheet/No Injuries. Game-Time Decisions will be updated when available.
2017 NFL Ranks:
Total Offense: PIT 12th TEN 22nd Passing Offense: PIT 10th TEN 28th Rushing Offense: PIT 20th TEN 8th
Total Defense: PIT 1st , TEN 16th Passing Defense: PIT 2nd TEN 18th Rushing Defense: PIT 11th, TEN 6th
AFC North Rankings: Pittsburgh 7-2, Baltimore 4-5, Cincinnati 3-6, Cleveland 0-9
What You Need to Know: The Steelers are 6-0 this season when they score 20 or more points… They are 6-0 when they outrush the opponent… Jordan Berry had his best week of punting dropping three inside the 20 yard line… Mike Tomlin is 25-17 in the month of November… The Steelers are have a three-game lead in the AFC North… Le’Veon Bell is now ninth all-time in receptions by a Steeler with 264. He passed Plaxico Burress last week… The Steelers have not allowed a touchdown on a team’s opening possession in 26 straight games. That’s the longest streak in the NFL… Big Ben has 130 regular season wins. Seventh-most in NFL history.
What’s at Stake: For the Titans, they are tied atop the AFC South with Jacksonville at 6-3. The two teams will not face each other until the final game of the season. The Steelers have a solid lead in the AFC North but New England is hot on their heels with a mid-December showdown looming large for home-field advantage.
All-Time Series: Steelers lead 42-31, Pittsburgh leads at home 24-12
Last Meeting: Nov. 17, 2014, at Tennessee. Steelers 27, Titans 24
Series Highs: PASSING: Steelers Ben Roethlisberger 363yards Oct. 11th, 2012 Ben Roethlisberger 363yards Sep. 10th, 2009
Titans Gifford Nielsen 377yards Dec. 20th, 1981… RUSHING: Steelers Le’Veon Bell 204yards Nov. 17th, 2014, Titans Eddie George 153yards Nov. 1st, 1998… RECEIVING: Steelers Jeff Graham 192yards Dec. 19th, 1993, Titans Ernest Givins 156yards Nov. 16th, 1986.
Three Things We Need to See for a Steelers’ Victory:
Stop. The. Run. The formula for success this season for Keith Butler’s unit has been stopping the run. When they do, the team wins. When they don’t (CHI and JAX) the team loses. The Titans enter with a top 10 rushing attack. DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry are each averaging 4 yards per carry and both are over 400 yards rushing for the season. This two-headed monster has to be slowed down. With both Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward having played so well on Sunday, I expect that to help against the run. Outside Backers T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree have to set the edge and force the Titans’ running game back inside.
The Offense Has to Get Going. At some point in the 2017 season, the Steelers’ defense is going to have a bad day. If that day never comes, great! But it’s bound to occur. With the pressure it has felt in the last couple of games a burst of offensive firepower would be nice. Todd Haley has to get playmakers involved early and not worry about who gets touches and who doesn’t. This does not mean that Ben Roethlisberger should force the ball to Antonio Brown but it does suggest that getting him going early and getting Le’Veon Bell some touches as well will go a long way towards putting some points on the board. Mixing runs and passes on first down would be a nice thing as well.
I’m Watching You Danny Smith. The Steelers’ Special Teams got off to a strong start in 2017 but there are some dents in the armor especially when it comes to blocking for extra points and field goals. The team cannot afford to give away points because guys can’t lock down the wings and can’t hold blocks. Jordan Berry had his best day of punting this season on Sunday and that needs to continue as well. What really matters when it comes to the third phase of the game is that Pittsburgh is in no position to give anything up. Smith’s units are not going to scare anyone in the return game either so therefore he has to make sure everyone does their job.
Prediction: Steelers 22 Titans 16