Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Steelers vs. Titans
October 12, 2012 9:45 AM
Ben Roethlisberger looks to pass against the Titans, with Heath Miller in the foreground.
By Gerry Dulac Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
GAME BALL goes to: Isaac Redman
On a night when the Steelers couldn't run the ball with any of the same efficiency they showed against the Eagles, Redman managed to make a big contribution in another area. He finished as the team's only 100-yard receiver after catching four passes for 105 yards. Three of those came in the first half, including a twisting, determined 33-yard gain on which he picked up 12 more yards after it appeared he was down. He also had a 55-yard catch and run when he was put into the game because Baron Batch was winded. "I ran a corner route, and they just left me alone," Redman said.
THE COUNTDOWN -- A quick look at the top performances from Thursday's game:
1.OVER-COOKED: On third-and-5 from the 50, the Titans caught the Steelers in a fire zone blitz, allowing tight end Jared Cook to come free across the middle in front of James Harrison. Cook caught the pass and beat Harrison down the sideline for a 25-yard gain with 32 seconds remaining, The Titans ran one more play before Rob Bironas kicked the winning 40-yard field goal -- his fourth of the game -- as time expired.
2.GOOD REVIEW: Ben Roethlisberger had a strip sack and Titans fumble recovery overturned by replay, allowing the Steelers to continue a 15-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in Baron Batch's 1-yard touchdown run for a 20-16 lead.
3.MOMENTUM SWITCH: One series after the Titans cut the lead to 10-6, rookie Drew Butler had a punt from his own 23 blocked by linebacker Tim Shaw. Titans cornerback Jason McCourty recovered at the 1, setting up a touchdown that suddenly gave them a 13-10 lead.
4.IT LOOKED BIG: It appeared the Steelers made the defensive play they had been seeking when Lawrence Timmons intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass and ran it 4 yards to the Titans 48-yard line, setting up Shaun Suisham's 52-yard field goal that gave the Steelers a 23-16 lead with 8:18 remaining.
5.DROPPED PICK: Right after the Steelers extended the lead to 23-16, cornerback Keenan Lewis dropped an interception near the Titans 45 on first down. Three plays later, Kendall Wright's 35-yard catch-and-run set up the tying touchdown.
OVERHEARD: "We got to find a way to stop this. It's starting to become a habit. It seems every time we play on the road we get in this dogfight and we need someone to make a play for us, to get us out of it, and we don't do it."
-- Ryan Clark, Steelers safety
WHAT WAS HE THINKING?: With 54 seconds remaining and the score tied, Mike Tomlin elected to have Shaun Suisham, who had not missed in 11 attempts this season, attempt a 54-yard field goal. Earlier in the quarter, Suisham tied his career long with a 52-yarder into the same end zone, a kick that had enough to spare. But, when Suisham was short, that gave the Titans possession at their own 45 with 48 seconds remaining. And they used the short field to set up Rob Bironas' winning 40-yard field goal as time expired. "He banged the other one pretty good," Tomlin said. "We decided to give him a shot."
X's AND O's: The Titans kept picking on cornerback Ike Taylor most of the game, usually with great success. He was called for two pass interference penalties in the first half (one was declined) and had a costly holding penalty on third down on the 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that allowed the Titans to tie the score, 23-23. Even when he had a chance to help atone for his gaffes, Taylor let a pass go through his arms that wide receiver Kenny Britt caught for the tying 5-yard touchdown with 4:19 remaining.
NEXT OPPONENT -- vs. CINCINNATI BENGALS, 8:20 P.M. OCT. 21: The Steelers (2-3) will play Oct. 21 in Cincinnati (3-2) against the Bengals. The Steelers lead the overall series, 52-32, and have won nine of the past 11 meetings.