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Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans : 5 Keys to Victory

1. Protect. The. Football. The Steelers are one ballhawking defense, especially with Troy Polamalu back there lurking. As long as we keep control of the ball and take care of our own business, we should win. Without giving the Steelers unnecessary breaks, the Titans clearly have a better offense than the Steelers this year, with Ben Roethlisberger, Santonio Holmes, and Willie Parker all missing from the lineup the Titans have become accustomed to over the past few years. 

2. Get to Dennis Dixon early and often. Though Dennis Dixon is an athletic quarterback, he is very inexperienced, with just two career starts in his brief NFL career. He was sacked three times against the Falcons in Week 1, second in the league only to our d-line's four sacks on Jason Campbell. Getting to Dixon early will overwhelm him and force him to throw out of the pocket earlier, which is always a good thing for the defense. The key is to force Dennis Dixon into third and long situations that he will probably not get, as he does not do well on deep throws.

3. Get more receivers involved. Nate Washington was the only Titan wideout with a catch against the Raiders, and one of only two receivers who even had a ball thrown his way, with Justin Gage getting one. The Titans should probably try to get Kenny Britt involved this week. We know he's had his problems recently, but we're not getting anything out of him if he's not being thrown to. The running game cannot be taken for granted this week, so the receivers may have to take a major role against the Steelers.

4. Stop the run. In the absence of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers have been going back to the run-first smash mouth style that Pittsburgh Steelers football is all about. Rashard Mendenhall had 120 yards last week against the Falcons, including a 50 yard game winner in overtime. The Titans have a better shot of winning if they shut down Mendenhall and the rest of the running game, and force Dennis Dixon to throw. 

5. Win the special teams battle. Steelers-Titans games are always smash mouth, low scoring games. As a result, every point matters. Field goals may turn out to be extremely important in this game, and Rob Bironas must be on the mark, unlike the last time we met the Steelers. Field position also matters a lot in games like these, so good returns would be great, and limiting the Steelers' returns will also be crucial.