These two teams are very physical with solid defenses and punishing ground games.
The Steelers are surprisingly showing their age this season and are just 2-2 with some very tight games played so far.
Tennessee is having a surprise year, currently sitting at 3-1. Chris Johnson had not been a factor up until last week and I think he finally regained his form after playing subpar football for the first three games.
Look for this to be a heavy-hitting, low-scoring affair that won’t be pretty, but very exciting. Keep reading on to find out more.
Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Sunday, Oct. 9 at 1:00 p.m. ET
These games are always low-scoring affairs and have gone under 37 and 36, respectively, the previous two times these teams have met.
I would definitely take the under because these are two tough defenses and neither team has a particularly prolific passing attack so far this season.
Spread: Steelers -3
I like the Steelers here. They seem to have the Titans' number and covered a six-point spread last year.
I think the worst thing that happens if you take lay the points is a push.
Key Titans Injuries (via CBSSports.com)
S Michael Griffin: QST (Illness)
This guy had a career year last season and the Titans count on him to stop the big plays and help in the rush defense. If he cannot go due to illness it will certainly hurt them.
S Chris Hope: OUT (forearm)
The other starting safety on this team will definitely be out. Hope will miss four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on his injury.
Key Steelers Injuries
QB Ben Roethlisberger: PRB (Foot)
Roethlisberger was limited in practice but was moving well and should continue to get better for Sunday.
RB Rashard Mendenhall: QST (Hamstring)
The Steelers’ starting RB did not practice but the team has yet to rule him out for the game Sunday. Keep monitoring his status for wagering and fantasy purposes.
Fantasy Big Plays
The Steelers looked susceptible to the run against the Texans and they now have to face another elite back this week.
Johnson finally returned to form last week and had his first 100-plus-yard rushing game of the season. He has yet to score a TD, but I feel this is the week he reaches pay dirt.
If Mendenhall can’t play, Redman should start and get the snaps in his place.
I expect him to have a good game as he is a solid RB just dying to get a chance to make an impact in the league and prove to the Steelers he deserves more time even if Mendenhall is healthy.
Keys to Titans Win
Balance on offense. The Texans proved that the Steelers are beatable by using a solid mix of run and pass plays and then protecting that lead with solid, chain-moving rushes.
If the Titans follow that same game plan they should be able to grind out a win.
Keys to Steelers Win
Offensive line play. If these guys can give Big Ben time to throw and open lanes for Mendenhall or Redman, they will win this game.
The team still has a ridiculously tough defense but they are aging and can’t afford to stay on the field for extended periods of time.
Pittsburgh’s offensive woes stem from their inability to give Ben time in the pocket and he has been getting crushed. If they keep him safe and give him a few seconds, he will lead them to victory.
Prediction: Steelers over Titans, 17-10
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