View Full Version : Gerry Dulac breaks down the Thursday night season opener

09-10-2009, 01:56 AM
Gerry Dulac breaks down the Thursday night season opener

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What the Steelers will do: The Titans play a soft, two-deep zone which should allow QB Ben Roethlisberger, who passed for 329 yards and two touchdowns in a meeting Dec. 21 in Nashville, to make plays down the field. But the Titans also had three of their secondary members make the Pro Bowl -- CB Cortland Finnegan, S Michael Griffin and S Chris Hope -- because they make plays on the ball and intercept passes. Griffin intercepted Roethlisberger twice last year, returning one for an 83-yard touchdown.

What the Titans will do: They do more than just run the ball with the AFC's No. 1 rushing tandem -- Chris Johnson and LenDale White -- who combined for 2,001 yards last season. QB Kerry Collins made the Pro Bowl in '08 because he rarely made mistakes, passing for 2,676 yards and throwing only seven interceptions, tied for fewest in the AFC. The Titans tried to bolster their receiving corps in the offseason by drafting Kenny Britt from Rutgers and adding former Steelers WR Nate Washington in free agency, but Washington might not play because of injury. He will be a game-time decision.
Keep an eye on ...

Titans DT Jason Jones: Keep your eye on: DT Jason Jones. He had 3 1/2 sacks against the Steelers last year. Jones was a situational player last season, but he has elevated to the starting unit as one of the replacements for departed Albert Haynesworth. He usually lines up on the left side of the defense, which means he will begin against G Trai Essex. But the Titans will move him around as part of a seven-man rotation they use along the defensive line.

The Titans have won four of the past five meetings against the Steelers (including playoffs). They were the last team to beat the Steelers in 2008. But they have lost their past two games in Pittsburgh by an average score of 34-7. The Steelers have won 38 home openers, most among AFC teams, and have won their past seven season openers.
Keys to victory

To win, the Titans must ...

1. Find a Fix for Six-burgh. It is never easy playing against the Steelers at home, especially when they are celebrating a Super Bowl title.

2. Have a ruse to stop Harrison. Pro Bowl LT Michael Roos gets the big assignment vs. defensive player of the year James Harrison.

3. En-Gage the corners. WR Justin Gage averaged more than 20 yards a catch against the Steelers last season.

To win, the Steelers must ...

1. Harry Kerry. Get pressure on Collins and not give him time in the pocket, which is what happened last year when he had the only 100-plus passer rating against them (102.1).

2. Smash Dash. That is the nickname for Johnson, who hurt the Steelers with 69 yards rushing, including a 21-yard touchdown run.

3. Don't give them Hope. The former Steelers safety is one of three Pro Bowlers in the secondary who combined for 16 interceptions.

First published on September 10, 2009 at 12:39 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09253/99 ... z0QgFjb9KG (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09253/997001-66.stm#ixzz0QgFjb9KG)

09-10-2009, 08:14 AM
If the Steelers can shutdown the Titans running ga,me and make them one dimensional they will win. If not it is going to be a long night.

I think the biggest loss is going to be Timmons being out. Collins is not a threat deep so he relies on his RBs and TEs. Covering these guys is what Timmons excels at. Without him it will be tough.