National Football League preseason action on Sunday evening and the AFC North will duke it out with the AFC South as the Pittsburgh Steelers square off with the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium, in Nashville, Tennessee. These teams last met back in 2017 and the Steelers won that game at home by a score of 40-17.
Pittsburgh comes in off a 17-7 win over the Chiefs to move to 2-0 in the preseason, while the Titans are now 1-1 after a 22-17 home loss to New England.
Defense Stands Tall In Win Over Chiefs
The Pittsburgh Steelers had some lapses on defense in their opening win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, especially their pass defense which allowed 390 yards passing. Well, the defense got whatever message was given to them during the week as they allowed the Kansas City Chiefs to put up just 205 yards passing in the 17-7. The Steelers also sacked KC three times and forced four fumbles, while snatching up three of them. It was a bit shocking for them to struggle on defense in their first game as Pittsburgh was 6th in the league in yards allowed last year and the defense is expected to be better this year. It showed just how good it can be in the win over the Chiefs, who were one of the best offensive teams in the league last year. Granted they did not play KC’s starters all game, but Patrick Mahomes was just 2-for-5 for 11 yards in his lone series in there. Pittsburgh will look to keep improving on defense in this one.
Coach Tomlin talks about being back at practice, preparing for our game against the Titans, team development and more. pic.twitter.com/fAzHIrBMm4
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 19, 2019
The Pittsburgh offense had a decent showing as that racked up 329 yards in the contest, including 124 yards on the ground. The running game will be under scrutiny this year, especially since they don’t have Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. They do have James “The Terminator” Conner back there and he led the team with 28 yards in the win over the Chiefs. Last year, he had 973 yards rushing and another 497 yards receiving, while combining for 13 TDs. Pittsburgh was 31st in rushing last year at 90.3 ypg and they have averaged 116.0 ypg through their first two preseason games, which is 9th in the league.
Big Ben did not play in the game and it is unclear if he will play in this one, but we do note that this is the dress rehearsal and the starters do play more. The battle for the backup spot will continue and Mason Rudolph may have the upper hand so far. He was 10/15 for 77 yards last week, while Joshua Dobbs was 6/11 for 95 yards with an INT. The Steelers want Rudolph to win the backup job and I feel he is on pace to do so. Their battle will be fun to watch over the final two preseason games. Last year James Washington had just 217 yards receiving, but he had 78 yards in the win over the Chiefs and the Steelers are looking for someone other than JuJu Smith-Schuster to step up, especially after losing Antonio Brown to the Raiders. Overall, we will see more of the starters in this one for the Steelers.