Steelers-Titans: The Keyboard Guru's Predictions
Alongside the "Five Keys to Victory" column I will be writing before Steelers games, I'm going to write another column entitled "The Keyboard Guru," in which I will try to predict the flow and endgame statistics.
I feel like starting this thing off with a bang, so how do you feel about returner Stefan Logan taking the opening kickoff the whole way for six? He goes 97 yards for the game's opening points. Jeff Reeds extra point is good. Steelers up seven to nothing.
The Steelers kickoff and stop the returner at the 27 yard line. Kerry Collins comes out with a quick play-action pass to Gage for 20 yards to the Titans 27.
Next play is a hand-off to Chris Johnson, who gets three yards. Titans continue their drive by mixing up passes and runs. They seem to have a good game plan coming out of the gates to attack the Steelers' 3-4 defense.
The Titans' opening series gets them down to the red zone, but then the Steelers defense stiffens up to stop LenDale White on a 3rd-and-1 at the four, forcing the Titans to kick a field goal.
But wait, Jeff Fisher calls for the fake field goal and comes away with a touchdown, taking the Steelers by complete surprise. Alge Crumpler is wide open for the easy six.
The game continues, with each team's defense playing hard and forcing the offenses to punt regularly.
After a few successful series by each team, the Steelers are up 21-17.
The time in the fourth quarter is ticking off the clock getting closer to zeroes and is a closer game than Steelers fans and Titans fans hoped it would be.
This is where the Steelers really shine.
Except for this day.
For some boneheaded reason, Bruce Arians calls for a pass on second down and Ben is intercepted by Cortland Finnegan, who returns the ball 43 yards for a Titans defensive touchdown. It is at the two-minute warning after the proceeding kickoff.
With the score 24-21 Titans, the Steelers are forced to throw to work their way down the field. They come out on first down and complete a pass to Holmes for six yards. Second down is a quick out that Limas Sweed drops. It's his only drop of the game.
Third down and four yards to go.
Ben audibles to a new play and throws to Mewelde Moore in the flat, who jukes a Titan for the first down.
The Steelers continue to march down the field with time ticking down. Sweed makes up for his previous drop with a big catch on a 3rd-and-10 with a 14-yard reception. The Steelers are in the red zone with 24 seconds left and a new set of downs. Steelers call their second timeout to calm everyone down and plan what they want to do over the next four plays.
Ben completes a pass to Ward at the Titans seven for another first down.
Time out Steelers.
Fifteen seconds left.
Next play is a fade to either Ward or Holmes, but it falls incomplete.
Eight seconds left.
Ben breaks the huddle with four wide and Miller motions out to the slot. Ben hikes the ball, drops back.
No one is open and the time is ticking down, he sees a lane and runs for it.
Ben Roethlisberger pushing through two Titans for the go-ahead touchdown! Steelers win with no time left!
Steelers' Statistics for the Game
Ben Roethlisberger—17/28 for 215 yards, 1TD, 1 INT, 1 Rushing TD
Willie Parker—21 rushes for 102 yards, 1TD
Mewelde Moore—1 reception for 18 yards
Hines Ward—5 receptions for 71 yards
Santonio Holmes—6 receptions for 83 yards, 1 TD
Limas Sweed—2 receptions for 28 yards
Heath Miller—3 receptions for 15 yards
Jeff Reed—extra points 4/4
James Harrison—6 tackles, 1 sack
LaMarr Woodley—4 tackles, 2 sacks
James Farrior—8 tackles
Troy Polamalu—3 tackles, 1 INT
Ike Taylor—4 tackles, 2 pass defended
Ryan Clark—"Welkers" LenDale White
Note: To find out what to "Welker" someone means, check out the hit Ryan Clark laid on Wes Welker last season in the Pittsburgh vs. New England game.
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