Steelers-Titans: In the Battle for No. 1, Steelers Fall to Titans

Vincent DeFazioContributor IDecember 21, 2008

The Titans defeated the Steelers on Sunday after a bashing day of offense by both teams. With this, the Titans take the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Don't fret, Steelers fans, this was not that big of a deal.

While it may have been a very frustrating loss overall, the Steelers played a tough team. Not only were the Titans probably the best team the Steelers saw all year, they were also a team the Steelers almost certainly know they'll see again in a few weeks' time. 

So is home-field advantage really that important?

No, it certainly is not. As a matter of fact, the Steelers seem to play better on the road. So was Sunday really such a bad thing after all? Relax and breathe in, this is gonna be a long ride.

There had been talk all week long in Pittsburgh from various persons that Mike Tomlin might not even play all of his starters to begin with, but after throwing in the regulars, it was clearly seen the Steelers were masking what they really wanted to do. Patience is a virtue in times like this, but there must be smarts used in situations like this. 


Be patient. While Pittsburgh may have looked pretty bad today, they are only mentally and physically preparing themselves for the tough road ahead. The Titans were the first team to rack up over 300 yards against the stingy D of Pittsburgh, along with only the fourth team to defeat the Steelers this year. 

What's to happen now?

Next week, the Titans can sit their starters while Mike Tomlin of the Steelers says that he will go ahead and allow his starters to compete in the heated rivalry game against the Browns.

The Titans have on hell of a team, that's for sure. Causing four turnovers for 21 total points (on top of the 10 that came from the offense) was one of their biggest reasons for winning.

Being a very perspective spectator, I saw that the linebackers weren't covering their flats like they should, along with Willie Parker seeming to simply follow a play and not look elsewhere for holes. 

It seemed as if the Steelers had come to just play a scrimmage, saving what they have for what really matters, an AFC championship game on Jan. 18.

Too many people will criticize Ben Roethlisberger for his play today, but let's look a bit closer. Out of the four turnovers, it's easy to say that three of those weren't his fault.  The two fumbles were caused by a lack of blocking (one behind the line of scrimmage, and another farther down field), and one of the interceptions was a route that was elongated by the receiver.

On the last pick of the game, I believe that Ben could have been a bit smarter about where he threw the ball, but he did what he thought he should do—go for it all.

Offensive line woes woke me last night. Yeah, they were in my nightmares again. They allowed five sacks on Ben Roethlisberger, who seemed to be elusive at times then injured at others.

Something MUST be done to improve that front five on offense or else fans can just say goodbye to hopes of hoisting that Lombardi trophy in February. Another part of the team that scared me were the outside linebackers. Where were these guys all game? 

Come on, all of the Titans' success came via outside flats and there was never anybody there!

As of right now, the Steelers need to focus on right now. They cannot let this loss haunt them, as it was not something that is truly that bad. Yes, it doesn't allow the Steelers to be at home throughout the playoffs, but that truly doesn't matter. Since when did venue determine the winner of a game? Plus, they seem to play better when on the road. 

So if you're a Steeler fan, relax and hope they take down the always hard-hitting Browns on the 28th, this will only help their cause come the 12th or 13th of January.  Beat them Brownies and keep your head up, Black and Gold, good will come in due time, au revoir.

Quick Hits

Welcome one, welcome all back to my Quick Hits. It's been a couple weeks because of the hectic schedule college brings. What am I thinking of this week? Good question.

How about Santonio Holmes. This guy has been on fire the past few weeks and he has really matured since last year. He has been there when Ben needs him to be not only down the field, but I've also seen him throw some blocks in every once in a while. We will need this guy come playoff time.

Heath Miller is obviously a great player for our team, but in this game he really made his presence felt. With his eight receptions and 69 yards, he really made an impact today. Not to mention he plays great as a part-time guard up front for Roethlisberger.

Ryan Clark has really grabbed my attention the last few weeks. His awesome hits, speed, and great versatility has made him a scary player and an effective one at that.

The last guy I want to talk about is none other than Ben Roethlisberger himself. Though four turnovers did loose us the game, I'd like to think that this was not really his fault because of lack of blocking by our offensive front five and poorly run routes.

This guy has led our team this entire season and done it with good heart.  His leadership skills have helped the Steelers snatch wins upon wins and have made his voice heard everywhere on the field. 

Without Roethlisberger, the Steelers might as well say good-bye to at least half of the games they won this year. Thank you for your patronage as a great player this season, Ben, we really do appreciate it.

Well, that about sums up this week.

While it would have been good to see the Steelers clinch home-field advantage, they will get the Titans back come playoff time. Keep your heads up and celebrate; we don't play until the divisional weekend, that's a great time for everybody to rest up and get prepared for whatever opponent is brought to us that week.

Oh yeah, by the way, if we do happen to see the Titans in the AFC championship game, Michael Griffin should watch his head. Nobody disrespects the Terrible Towel and gets away with it.

Really, Michael, watch your back; Hines Ward doesn't take kindly to those kinds of actions. Sleep tight, buddy!