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Steelers 13 Titans 10: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Last night was a tough way to open the season, no doubt, but it is important to remember that it was only one game.   Here is what I take away as the good, bad and ugly from last night.

The Good

The run defense.  The Steelers had 23 carries for 36 yards.  We will take that. 

Kenny Britt.  Britt had 4 catches for 85 yards last night.  I think that already makes him the best rookie receiver the Titans have ever had.

The Bad

The defensive play calling.  I still can't understand how they don't either blitz, press the receivers, or both in overtime.  And don't come at me with the crap excuse that blitzing Ben Roethlisberger doesn't work. How did giving him all day to do that stupid pump fake work out for you?  Combine that with giving his receivers a 10 yard cushion, and you have the recipe for not seeing the ball in overtime.

Dropped passes.  Alge Crumpler let a ball hit him in gut.  Justin Gage dropped a catchable ball in the end zone (now in fairness, he may have had that ball knocked loose when he got popped afterwards).  Gage also had the final third down of the game go off his finger tips.  They never gave us a replay that showed us how catchable that ball really was, but an NFL receiver needs to make that play.

Offensive play calling.  Chris Johnson and LenDale White combined for 23 carries in the game.  That simply isn't enough, and it wasn't like the run wasn't successful.  They averaged 3.7 yards per carry.  Now that isn't setting the world on fire, but it is more than serviceable against the Steelers' vaunted defense.

The Ugly

Special teams.  All facets of special teams were bad last night.  Stefan Logan averaged 29 yards per kick return while Javon Ringer averaged 19.7. 

Cortland Finnegan looked lost on punt returns, but you can't blame that on him.  The blame for that falls squarely on the shoulders of Jeff Fisher.  Cort had only returned 4 punts in the NFL before last night.  He looked lost because it is something he has never really done, and it killed the Titans last night.  Signing a guy that can help in the return game should be the #1 priority before the game against the Texans.  Heck, I don't care if you bring Mark Jones back with only one hamsting.  At least he catches the ball when it is punted.

Craig Hentrich shanked a punt at the most inoportune time. 

And then there was the field goal team.  It really doesn't matter if you blame Rob Bironas, Ken Amato, or the line.  In the end all that matters is both of those kicks have to be made.