Titans Offense Succeed Against the Steelers Defense

3 Offensive Keys to The Game For The Titans As They Battle The Steelers

  • Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tennessee Titans
By TreJeanWatkins October 22, 2020 1 Comment
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What 3 things should the Titans’ offense do to consistently find success against a dominating Steelers defense?

The Tennessee Titans’ offense has been flying high all season long. But they’ll face their toughest test yet this Sunday, as the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers come to town. How will the Titans offense succeed against Steelers defense?

Mike Tomlin’s team has seen itself rack up the points on the offensive end through the first 6 weeks of the season. However, the main story has been how lights out the defense has been. As of now, the Steelers rank highly in a number of team defensive categories.

2nd in total yards allowed per game, 8th in passing yards allowed per game, 2nd in rushing yards allowed per game,  3rd in points allowed per game, and 1st in total sacks per game. Not only that, their 2 star edge rushers in Bud Dupree and TJ Watt, both rank inside the top 10 for the most sacks for an individual player this season.

You can never forget about the underrated dominance of Cam Heyward either.

It’s a physical, elite, suffocating defense full of stars and sheer talent. At first glance, you’d think no way any team could hope to have a clean day against a defense like this.

But that’s where the Titans and their high scoring offense comes into play.

It won’t be easy, but I think Arthur Smith and company have the necessary ingredients to cook up some offensive success this Sunday. Even with the tall task they have ahead of them.

How can they do it though? Let’s break it all down.

1. Win The Battle In The Trenches

It’s no secret that the Steelers can completely dominate on passing downs. But what gets lost in their elite ability to rush the passer, is how good they are at stopping the run. Cam Heyward is a big presence in the interior of the Steelers’ defensive line, and is a big reason why the Steelers rank 2nd in the league in rush defense, allowing only 66 YPG.

They’ll have their toughest matchup yet though, as they’ll be tasked with shutting down Derrick Henry, currently the league leader in rushing yards and 2nd in the league in rushing touchdowns. Devin Bush is already out due to a season ending knee injury he suffered last week against Cleveland. But Mike Tomlin’s defense has plenty of depth behind Bush, ready to step in and bring some support.

For the Titans, this battle won’t be won immediately in the trenches. The Steelers’ defensive line is too physical, and too good to be pushed around consistently in the run game.

Instead, it’ll have to be a game of wearing down the Steelers’ defense over the course of the game. Connecting with jab after jab, then finally delivering the knockout blow late in the game.

That chance won’t come so easily though.

However if it does come, watch out.

2. Avoid Long 2nd & 3rd Downs

This principle is preached each and every week regardless of the opponent. But because this Steelers defense is so good at rushing the passer, avoiding long down and distances on 2nd & 3rd down has to be a big priority on Sunday.

TJ Watt and Bud Dupree make up arguably the best pass rushing duo in the NFL. Decreasing their opportunities to pin their ears back and go buck wild as pass rushers has to be a big goal for this Titans offense. Luckily for them, they have a dominant ground game they can potentially fall back on to take the pressure off the passing game.

But if the running game can’t get going on Sunday, the Titans might be in some trouble.

Ty Sambrailo is already a big question mark filling in at left tackle. Asking him to go 1 on 1 with either Watt or Dupree on 3rd down is simply too much. So, it’s best to avoid those situations by playing good football on 1st and 2nd down.

Either way, the Titans will have their hands full.

3. Keep Ryan Tannehill Off The Ground

Compared to last season, the Titans have done an excellent job at protecting the quarterback. So far this year, the Titans have only allowed exactly 1 sack per game.

That’s been big for this team, especially considering the offensive line troubles in 2019. It’s allowed this offense to stay on the field a lot longer, and put up a lot more points than recent past. Which I imagine is music to the ears of Mike Vrabel and Arthur Smith.

However, this Steelers pass rush will arguably be the best pass rush the Titans’ offensive line will face all season.

Containing Cam Heyward will be an extremely tough task for the Titans’ interior offensive line, Ben Jones and Nate Davis specifically. Those 2 players tend to get into trouble from time to time in pass protection, so them staying on top of things inside will be a big story line to watch develop.

The same thing goes for Ty Sambrailo and Dennis Kelly.

Both of them are vulnerable to getting beat with excellent combinations of speed and power.

So, how will Titans offense succeed against the Steelers defense? It won’t be easy in the slightest, but if this Titans offensive line can hold it down, then this Titans offense will run more smoothly than anticipated.


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Vince McElroy

October 23, 2020

No one is mentioning the fact that the Titans defense won't stop the Steelers offense. Can the Titans offense score enough points to make up for the points that the defense gives up.

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