Week 5....everybody feelin' good? 3-1 makes me feel good. 4-1 would be better!
The classiest of commenters starts us off today. Let's do work:
I really did not want to pick this game, but here goes nothing. I would like our chances much better if this game were at LP; as is, I think this is going to be a classic Titans-Steelers game that is very physical as they will be mad coming off the Texans loss. Fortunately for us, Ben Roethlisberger and the Mystical Towels of Three Mile Island are banged up on both sides, meaning the defensive line can get after Roethlisberger and the offense should be able to find some holes, especially if Dick LeBeau uses some of his patented crazy blitzes. It'll be a low-scoring slugfest but with the hot-handed QB and an almost top-flight defense (though you won't hear about that Sunday, it'll be all about the vaunted Steelers D), I'm sticking with our boys in Columbia blue in a nail-biter.
Titans 20 - Steelers 17
This is a huge statement game for the Titans. This is a wounded Steelers team that isn't really that good this year to begin with. More important than this opponent is where they fall in the schedule. The Titans really need to keep up their momentum heading into the bye week, as one of the two most important games of the season sits waiting for them on the other side.
We all know the blueprint for beating the Steelers, and this year it should be easier than in years past. Don't let their defense make big plays, hit Big Ben early and often, and score touchdowns and not field goals. The absence of James Harrison should really help that first goal, and Pittsburgh's shoddy o-line will hopefully allow the D-Line to take care of the second. The third point falls squarely on the shoulders of Matt Hasselbeck, so you have to feel pretty good about that one given the way he has played so far.
I think a close game favors the home team, but this one really shouldn't be close if Tennessee comes out with the same fire we saw against Baltimore and Cleveland. However, if the Jags/Broncos iteration of the Titans shows up, they will get beaten. I'm betting on a big Titans win though.
Titans 27- Steelers 17
Much of this game is going to hinge on the health: if Ben Roethlisberger and the Pitt offensive line are healthy then this one will be a slugfest. If the Steelers are forced to field the tattered bunch at O-line that Houston abused last week, then look out. I predict that the Steelers win an ugly first half, but we come back strong in the third and fourth quarters (think Baltimore). CJ has historically struggled against Pittsburgh, but I get the feeling that this Pitt defense is a step slower than they have been over the past few years. If CJ has his jets back, he could explode this weekend. I have full faith in our defense to keep the Steelers' attack in check, and if Pitt can't get Big Ben and the O-line healthy, we could absolutely dominate on defense.
Titans 24 - Steelers 10
This game scares me to death. The Steelers got embarrassed last week and will be looking to take that out on the Titans at home.
The Titans will need a big day from CJ here, and he doesn't have a good history against Pittsburgh. I hate to do this, but I think the Steelers win.
Steelers 24 - Titans 13
I love beating the Steelers. Only 2nd to beating the Ratbirds. I love that my team is gonna make me really happy in the span of 4 weeks. The rapist won't make it out of the 1st quarter as Klug, Jones, Smith & Morgan (The DLine lawfirm) spend the afternoon in the Steelers backfield. (Do the Steelers even have a running back?) I don't think CJ is gonna find any room this week, but Hasselbeck will have all day to throw. We just hope he can find someone who can catch the ball. For real though, is there anything more exciting then getting to watch Finnegan line up across from Hines Ward? Titans bring home the W.
Titans 16 - Steelers 6
Playing Pittsburgh at Heinz Field is not something to be taken lightly. If there were an optimal situation, though, it's presented itself this week. Big Ben is beat up. James Harrison is out. And, the Steelers offensive line that's been battling injuries continues to struggle. Even with all those issues, this is still a solid football team, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Our defense should be able to keep this game low scoring, but the offense needs to keep up their end of the bargain. I expect they'll do just enough to eek out a win.
Titans 17- Steelers 9
The Titans are due for a bad performance. In Week 1 the Titans played badly, the next week they played well, the next week badly, and the next week well. That trend will continue, as the Titans manage to make yet another average quarterback, an injured Big Ben, look like an All-Pro.
Titans 14- Steelers 17
While I agree that the team is due for a bad performance, I don't know that this is the week they'll do it. Besides, even if they are, the great teams find ways to make it happen week in and week out. Hopefully the Titans are cut from that same tree. The locker room has just got to be fired up about this one. It's not every day you get to kick the defending conference champions while they're down in their house. It doesn't matter that Pittsburgh hasn't appeared to be the same team they were last year, this is absolutely a statement game. A little towel stompin' wouldn't hurt either. You know Munchak has them prepared for whatever the Steelers have in store, they've looked very well prepared in all of their games this year. I don't expect a cake walk, but I definitely expect Pittsburgh's depleted squad to be much less formidable than, say, last year. Giving Hasselbeck time and CJ lanes will win this game, they aren't moving the ball with a severely injury plagued line and a banged up quarterback.
Titans 23 - Steelers 13