At the post-game press conference, Tomlin stated “regardless of our demise being reported, we expect to win….We are a little annoyed because of our premature reporting of our death.”
What did he mean by that? Its well documented that the media have been projecting that of the four games without Roethlisberger, the Steelers may win one or two.
Most analysts believe the Titans are the team to beat in the AFC Conference.
It’s possible they could have base their projections from last season when the Titans managed a strong finish to their season at 8-8 after a disastrous 0-6 start?
They even have the 2009 NFL rushing leader Chris Johnson in their backfield. T
The Titans can also boast having a staunch defense even without DE Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch and the Steelers hadn’t won in Nashville since Nov. 25, 2001.
In their season opener on the road, the Titans defeated the Oakland Raiders with Johnson rushing for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
The Steelers won their first test defeating the Atlanta Falcons 15-9 in overtime against a proven veteran quarterback Matt Ryan and a staunch running back in Michael Turner. Turner was held to under 100 yards rushing, Ryan with zero touchdowns.
With a shaky offense and a suffocating defense, the 1-0 Steelers faced off against the 1-0 Tennessee Titans.
Special teams opens the game with a 89-yard kickoff return by rookie reciever Antonio Brown.
The Steeler offense did not play well, generating 127 yards of total offenseei21 yards passing with two quarterbacks in Dixon and Batch.
Dixon left the game in the first half with an injured knee,leaving Batch as the only healthy quarterback. If Batch had been injured, wide receiver Randle El would have been the emergency quarterback.
Tomlin joked in his press conference that it would not be him at the helm, "he's not that good."
The Steeler offensive line had their hands full trying to keep the quarterback protected and creating running lanes for Mendenhall. They failed on both counts. The line allowed 4 sacks and 106 yards rushing on 33 attempts.
Lack of offense has to be a concern with linesmen dropping off like flies and left tackle position continuing to be a problem. Jonathan Scott or Tony Hills have not met the challenge and it doesn’t seem it will get any better when Roethlisberger is back at the helm because both will have to get use to protect a different style of quarterback.
The good news is it has been reported that OT Max Starks may be back sooner than later.
Defensively, this game had to be one of the most physical and emotional game played on both sides of the ball. Both defenses although stingy in allowing points and rushing yards, the Steeler defense took the edge by creating seven turnovers holding running back Chris Johnson to 34 yards rushing breaking the streak of twelve one-hundred yard rushing games.
The defense has been playing with reckless abandon especially at the linebacker position. Timmons has especially been playing lights out in rush defense.
Apparently,Coach Tomlin's disposition has made an impression on the defense.
LB James “Potsie” Farrior stated in his post-game interview Sunday, “Tomlin is pissed and he is taking it out on us (defense) and we are taking it out on them (the opponents).”
The Steelers are weathering the storm of without suspended Roethlisberger with two wins under their belt.
Next Sunday, the Steelers will face another undefeated team, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.