Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans
Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014 Time: 8:30 pm EST TV: ESPN
Game Line: Pittsburgh -6.5 (from JustBet) Over/Under: 46
Monday Night NFL analysis: The Tennessee Titans host the Pittsburgh Steelers for the week 11 edition of Monday night football from LP field in Nashville, Tennessee.
Before last Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the toast of the town, and Ben Roethlisberger had fantasy owners jumping for joy as they has reeled off 3 straight impressive wins over Houston, Indianapolis, and Baltimore. Ben Roethlisberger became the second quarterback in NFL history to have 6 touchdown passes in 2 consecutive games. All the high praises suddenly stopped last weekend when they looked like the Steelers we saw at the beginning of the season, losing to the now 2-8 New York Jets 20-13. The Steelers committed 4 turnovers (2 fumbles, 2 int’s) and looked sloppy in what some were saying was a big letdown spot for Pittsburgh. Roethlisberger has a plethora of weapons at his disposal, with running back Le’Veon Bell, and wide receivers Antonio Brown, Marcus Wheaton, and talented rookie Martavius Bryant. The defense has been inconsistent, but they’ve played better as of late. They are ranked 23rd in the league in total defense, and have dealt with their fair share of injuries throughout the season.
There hasn’t been much to celebrate in Tennessee this season, as they sit at 2-7 and are 3rd in the AFC South. Their season started out on a good note, with a 26-10 victory at Kansas City. Since then they’ve lost 7 out of their last 8, and 3 in a row. They are coming off a 21-7 loss at Baltimore, a game that might have been a lot closer if it wasn’t for two turnovers, one being at the Baltimore 1 yard line. The Titans have had their fair share of close losses this season, losing at Washington by 2, and losing to Cleveland by 1. Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenburger will be making his third NFL start after taking over the starting position in late October. He’s had his struggles, completing 61% of his passes for 495 yards and 3 touchdowns with 3 interceptions. His decision making has been somewhat slow, as he’s been sacked 7 times in his two starts. He definitely has some talent around him, with tight end Delanie Walker, and wide receivers Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, and Nate Washington. The Titans actually have one of the better secondaries in the league, with veterans Michael Griffin and Jason McCourty. They have the league’s 11th ranked pass defense allowing just 232 passing yards per game, but are struggling to stop the run, surrendering almost 137 yards per game.
The Steelers will look across the sideline tonight and see a familiar face. Tennessee head coach Ken Wisenhunt was the former offensive coordinator a while back and was passed up for the head coaching position. Wisenhunt knows Ben Roethlisberger’s tendencies very well, and also is familiar with Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau. The Steelers had an impressive 3 game run, but they were all at home. Now they are playing their second straight road game against a former assistant that knows their personnel very well. I give the Titans a fighting chance in this one, and I think they can keep this within the number. You might look at the matchup for Mettenburger against Lebeau and have your doubts, yet Pittsburgh will be without nose tackle Steve McClendon, safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker Ryan Shazier, so Pittsburgh isn’t the healthiest right now, and might be looking forward to their bye week. I’ll take the points here, ultimately I think the Steelers win, but the Titans will be sure to put forth a max effort in their first primetime appearance this season to keep this within the number.
Free Week 11 Monday NFL Pick: Tennessee +6.5, Over 46
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans Score Prediction: Steelers 27 – Titans 23