Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
The Steelers are coming off a 16-14 win against the Philadelphia Eagles that saw Rashard Mendenhall return to the lineup to rush for 81 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Meanwhile, the Titans were blown out on the road by Christian Ponder and the Minnesota Vikings.
A win for Pittsburgh would put it in the thick of an AFC North battle, while a loss for Tennessee would put it further in the cellar of the AFC South.
Here's a look at everything you need to know for Thursday Night Football's edition of the Steelers vs. Titans.
Where: LP Field, Tennessee
When: Thursday, Oct. 11 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Do you like the Steelers to cover the spread on the road at Tennessee?
Spread: Steelers (-6) (Bovada)
I like Pittsburgh to cover the spread despite being on the road.
The fact is that the Titans are just not a good football team right now, with Matt Hasselbeck taking over at QB due to Jake Locker's shoulder injury. Hasselbeck has come on to throw three interceptions since taking over for Locker, and Chris Johnson has been dismal on the ground this season.
With Mendenhall back, the Steelers' offense is only getting better.
It's not a lot of points, but I'd still take the under on Thursday night.
The total has gone under in eight of Pittsburgh's last 11 games, and neither of these teams is filling the scoreboard this season.
The Steelers are averaging 23.3 PPG and the Titans 17.6. Add those two together, and you get 40.9 points.
Take the under.
Key Injuries: via CBS Sports
PIT LB James Harrison—KNEE—QST
PIT RB Rashard Mendenhall—KNEE—QST
PIT S Troy Polamalu—CALF—OUT
PIT LB LaMarr Woodley—HAMSTRING—QST
TEN QB Jake Locker—SHOULDER—OUT
TEN S Jordan Babineaux—KNEE—QST
TEN CB Alterraun Verner—THIGH—QST
TEN WR Kenny Britt—ANKLE—PRB
Big Fantasy Players
Mike Wallace has been a solid fantasy starter this season, scoring a touchdown in three out of four games.
He had a down week last Sunday against a solid Eagles secondary, but against a Titans 25th-ranked pass defense on Thursday night, Wallace looks to be in for a big night. He caught six passes for 82 yards and a TD against Tennessee last year and is always a big-play threat for your lineup.
Wallace has more fantasy points in standard leagues than teammate Antonio Brown, making him a nice option in Week 6.
Jared Cook owners must start him this weekend.
Cook has emerged as a receiving threat for the Titans' offense and has good chemistry with Hasselbeck, who found Cook for five catches and a touchdown last week.
The Steelers' defense has allowed a touchdown to a TE in three of four weeks this season. Need I say more?
Keys to a Steelers Win: Take Advantage of Weak Pass D
As I said earlier, the Titans' defense has been horrendous against the pass. They've surrendered an average of 280 YPG and a total of 12 passing touchdowns this season, while the Steelers' offense ranks No. 11 in passing yards and has found the end zone eight times through the air.
With deep threats like Wallace and Brown, Pittsburgh has a chance to exploit the Titans' secondary for a big night.
Keys to a Titans Win: Don't Turn the Ball Over
The Titans' offense has given the ball up 10 times this season, with Hasselbeck's three interceptions in two games not helping the cause.
Tennessee's defense can't sustain long periods of time on the field against Ben Roethlisberger, so the Titans will need their offense to hold onto the football and keep the Steelers' offense off the field if they're going to win at home on Thursday night.
Prediction: Steelers 27, Titans 13
With Mendenhall back, Pittsburgh's offense takes another step in the right direction. They'll run the ball just enough to open up the pass for Roethlisberger and his receivers to dominate the Titans' secondary.
Tennessee's reeling offense won't have an answer for a hungry Pittsburgh D as it easily conceits to the Black and Yellow.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer
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