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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans
Current Line: Titans -5 o/u 36.5
John J. Raspanti
This is football...this is a rivalry. Its time for another battle of the north versus the south, not the Civil War mind you, but an intense hard hitting professional football game. Both teams enter the contest at 1-0. The Steelers nipped the Falcons in overtime, while the Titans crushed the Raiders 38-13. With starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sidelined another three games, backup Dennis Dixon took over the reins against the Falcons and did well, completing 18 of 26 passes for 236 yards. In overtime Running back Rashard Mendenhall broke out of the pile for a 50 yard run to win the game, and ended up rushing for 122 yards against the Falcons. Hines Ward caught six balls for over 100 yards and played well as usual.
The Titans looked very impressive in manhandling the Raiders who came into the game thinking upset. The Titan offense broke the game wide open with some big plays. Quarterback Vince Young hit Nate Washington for a 56 yard TD and Chris Johnson ran wild gaining 142 yards on the ground including a 76 yard gallop in the second quarter. Young ended the day completing 13 out of 17 passes for 154 yards and running for 30 more. It was just the kind of performance coach Jeff Fisher was looking for. The Titan defense forced Raider quarterback Jason Campbell to rush his passes all day though the Raiders did move the ball. But the Titans "bend and don't break defense" played very well.
The Steelers D was solid intercepting Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan once and
holding outstanding running back Michael Turner to 42 yards. The Falcons wide
receiver Roddy White did catch 13 passes but his average catch was for only a
little over eight yards, as the Steelers tackled well. Titan's safety Michael
Griffin lead the team with ten tackles against the Raiders, while linebacker
Will Weatherspoon chipped in with six.
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The last time these two teams met the Steelers edged the Titans 13-10, since then the Titans have began to play very well winning (counting last year) nine of their last eleven games. As I said the Steelers looked good in starting the season on a winning note but will have to be able to stop Johnson if they expect to win.
The Steelers were lucky to come away with a win at home this week. We don't think they'll be so lucky this week. Look for the Titans to take this one and cover the number in the process.