Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5, 45.5) at Tennessee Titans
In what we (and probably no one else) are dubbing the “Berger Bowl”, Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4, 2-3 away) travel to Nashville to face rookie QB Zach Mettenberger and the Tennessee Titans (2-7, 1-3 home) tonight on Monday Night Football.
Over the last decade, most versions of the Pittsburgh Steelers would be licking their chops going into a game against a 2-7 opponent led by a rookie quarterback. However, this is a different Steelers team. At times, they have overpowered top teams in the AFC; in other weeks, they have also played very pedestrian football. The bad was on display last week, as the Steelers lost 20-13 to the one-win (now tw0-win) New York Jets.
Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward expressed his frustration about the team’s up and down season.
“The ability is there, it’s just about going out and doing it,” he said. “We have to have our focus and mindset on the Titans this week. We can’t forget what happened, but we have to move past it. We have to move in the right direction and clean up the stuff that put us in trouble this past week.”
Added wide receiver Lance Moore, “It’s the NFL, if you don’t show up ready to play your type of game, you’re going to lose. Our last game was a perfect example of that. We’re hot. We came in high and mighty and a team came in and played better than us.””
As for the Titans, Mettenberger struggled last week in a loss at Baltimore, going 16/27 for 179 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
He said, “Early in the first half we did a lot of good things to kind of counteract their guys. We just got to continue to play like that for 60 minutes.”
While the LSU rookie is completing 63.2 percent of his passes, with three touchdowns and two picks, he’s been sacked five times.
“You try to have an internal clock, that lets you know when it’s time, but with the defensive linemen that they have, the clock goes a lot faster,” Mettenberger said. “I know I need to play a lot smarter. This is a quarterback driven league, and I have to play better.” It’s not secret that the Titans running game needs to be better in order to take some pressure off Mettenberger; last weekend, RB Bishop Sankey and company mustered only 67 yards on the ground. During a 30-16 loss the week before, they were even worse, rushing for 36.
Even though Pittsburgh has struggled on the road of late, take the Steelers and lay the points (-5.5) against a rebuilding Titans squad.
(Photo credit: “the copyright holder” (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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