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Titans-Steelers Postgame Notes

Posted Sep 8, 2013

Tennessee snapped Pittsburgh's 10-game win streak in home openers. Click here for the slideshow.

TITANS ON KICKOFF WEEKEND: The victory over the Steelers improved the franchise’s all-time Kickoff Weekend record to 28-26, including an 8-7 Kickoff Weekend record in the Titans era (since 1999).  

STEELERS TOUGH TO BEAT EARLY:The Titans ended the Steelers’ 10-game winning streak in home openers.  Pittsburgh had not lost in their first home game of the season since 2002.   

DEFENSE BUCKLES DOWN ON THIRD DOWN: The Steelers converted their first three attempts on third down.  After that, however, the Titans defense allowed only one conversion on 10 third downs, giving the Steelers a game total of four-of-13 (31 percent) on third down.  Meanwhile, the Titans offense was six-of-15 on third down (40 percent).

TIME OF POSSESSION WIN: The Titans’ defensive effort and effectiveness on offense gave them a time of possession of 34:01.  It was their highest time of possession in nearly two years.  The last time they had the ball for more than 34 minutes was Sept. 18, 2011, when they controlled the ball for 35:52 against the Baltimore Ravens.

TURNOVER BATTLE: The Titans did not commit a turnover and had a pair of takeaways on defense — a fumble recovery by Moise Fokou and an interception by Alterraun Verner.  It extended their winning streak to 42 games in which they are plus-two or better in turnover ratio.

TITANS SACK ROETHLISBERGER FIVE TIMES: The Titans recorded five total sacks against the Steelers.  Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey and linebacker Zach Brown each notched a pair of sacks, while defensive end Derrick Morgan had one. 

BIRONAS CONNECTS: Rob Bironas opened his ninth NFL season by making all three field goal attempts.  He made his first attempt of the season from 26 yards to give the Titans a 10-2 lead in the third quarter.  He added field goals from 44 and 27 yards in the fourth quarter, giving him 217 career field goals in 253 attempts.  He now has 32 career games with three or more field goals.

RUSHING DEFENSE: The Titans defense limited the Steelers to 32 rushing yards on 15 carries.  It was the lowest rushing total by a Titans opponent since the Houston Texans had 30 yards on the ground (17 carries) in a Titans win on Dec. 19, 2010.

TITANS GRIND OUT RUSHING YARDS: The Titans rushed for 112 yards against the Steelers on 42 carries.  No rushing attempt went for more than 11 yards, but the Titans picked up 10 first downs on the ground against a defense that finished second in the NFL against the run in 2012.  Chris Johnson led all rushers in the game with 25 carries for 70 yards.  The 42 total attempts were the most by the Titans since a 42-carry total on Nov. 23, 2009 against the Houston Texans.  

WALKER’S TITANS DEBUT: Tight end Delanie Walker made his first regular-season appearance in a Titans uniform.  The free agent pickup, who spent the first seven NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, provided a crucial play in the third quarter with a diving 25-yard reception on third-and-15.  Many other Titans players who were signed in free agency during the offseason made their debuts as well, including running back Shonn Greene, guard Andy Levitre, center Rob Turner, linebacker Moise Fokou, defensive tackle Sammie Hill, defensive tackle Antonio Johnson, defensive end Ropati Pitoitua, safety Bernard Pollard and safety George Wilson.

WASHINGTON EXTENDS STREAK: With a big 14-yard catch on a third-and-13 in the third quarter, Nate Washington extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 79 games, including all 65 games he has spent with the Titans.  Washington led the team for the day with four receptions for 46 yards.

BROWN TIES CAREER HIGH WITH SECOND SACK OF GAME: In the third quarter, linebacker Zach Brown recorded his second sack of the game, taking down Ben Roethlisberger for an eight-yard loss.  Brown earlier picked up a one-yard sack in the first quarter.  The two sacks tied Brown’s career high he set against the Jets on Dec. 17, 2012.  He recorded 5.5 sacks as a rookie in 2012.

CASEY SETS CAREER HIGH WITH TWO SACKS: Late in the first quarter, Jurrell Casey recorded the team’s first sack of the season, dropping Ben Roethlisberger for a six-yard loss.  In the fourth quarter, the defensive tackle added an eight-yard sack to give him a new single-game career high (previously 1.5 sacks at the Houston Texans on Jan. 1, 2012) and 7.5 sacks in his three-year career.

TITANS SCORE ON RUN-DOMINATED DRIVE: The Titans went up 7-2 in the second quarter after scoring on a 12-play, 49-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes.  Eleven of the 12 plays on the series were runs, including a three-yard touchdown run by Jackie Battle

BATTLE PUTS TOUCHDOWN ON THE BOARD: Jackie Battle gave the Titans the lead in the second quarter with a three-yard touchdown run.  It was his eighth career touchdown and first as a member of the Titans.  The sixth-year running back was signed as a free agent on the first day of training camp, and his role against the Steelers increased when Shonn Greene exited with a knee injury.

MORGAN RECORDS TEAM’S THIRD SACK OF FIRST HALF: On the last play of the first half, Coatesville, Pa., native Derrick Morgan recorded a sack, the team’s third of the first half.  It gave the fourth-year defensive end 11.5 career sacks. 

VERNER NOTCHES INTERCEPTION: In the second quarter, cornerback Alterraun Verner picked off a Ben Roethlisberger pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders, marking Verner’s seventh career interception.   

WARMACK MAKES DEBUT: Rookie Chance Warmack, the 10th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, made his NFL debut at Pittsburgh, starting at right guard.  He became the first rookie offensive lineman to start Week 1 for the Titans since Michael Roos in 2005.  Other rookies in action for the Titans included third-round cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and seventh-round safety Daimion Stafford, both of whom appeared on special teams.

FIRST CAREER START FOR MOONEY: First-year fullback Collin Mooney recorded his first career start.  He was signed by the Titans off the practice squad the day before the game after veteran Quinn Johnson was placed on injured reserve.  Mooney, originally signed as a rookie free agent in 2012 after fulfilling his commitment to the Army, was instrumental in the team’s 112 rushing yards against the Steelers.

FOKOU PROVIDES BIG TAKEAWAY: With the Steelers driving and facing a third-and-one at the Tennessee six-yard line, Ben Roethlisberger and Isaac Redman mishandled the exchange.  The ball bounced into the end zone, where linebacker Moise Fokou was there to record his first career fumble recovery.  The fifth-year veteran was signed by the Titans during the offseason as an unrestricted free agent. 

INACTIVES: The Titans’ seven inactive players at Pittsburgh were linebacker Zaviar Gooden; center Brian Schwenke; tackle Byron Stingily; defensive ends Keyunta Dawson and Lavar Edwards; and wide receivers Michael Preston and Justin Hunter.

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