5 Keys to Week 7: Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans

The Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans game on Sunday will be the game of the week. The last two undefeated teams in the AFC will square off. The goal: to remain undefeated and move to 6-0 on the season.

Steelers at Titans – 5 Keys to the Game:

1.) Find a Way to Stop Derrick Henry

This will be the biggest key to the week. Derrick Henry possesses a rare combination of size and speed. Imagine Jerome Bettis with breakaway speed.

The Steelers will need to find a way to stop Henry from having another big day. Pittsburgh has the best rush defense in the AFC. They are giving up less than 67 yards of rushing per game. Derrick Henry, though, will be their toughest task so far this season and maybe the toughest back they see all year.

2.) Take Advantage of the Another Back-up Lineman

Taylor Lewan, the Titans left-tackle, tore his ACL in Sunday’s win over the Texans. He will now miss the remainder of the 2020 season. That means that the pass-rushing duo of Bud Dupree and TJ Watt will have another chance to go up against a back-up offensive lineman.

Ty Sambrailo will start in place of the injured Lewan. On Sunday he gave up a strip-sack to Watt’s older brother JJ. Bud Dupree will see the most snaps against Sambrailo on Sunday and it should be another opportunity to put lots of pressure on an opposing quarterback.

So far this season the Titans have only given up five sacks in their five games. The Steelers will be well on their way to a 6-0 record if they can bump that number up and get after Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Sunday.


3.) Exploit the Titans Weakness

There aren’t many weaknesses in teams that are 5-0. That said, both the Steelers and Titans will be looking to exploit any weaknesses they can find on Sunday. Tennessee’s weakness so far in 2020 has to be on the defensive side of the ball.

They are struggling to stop opposing offenses and it has led to them winning multiple shootouts. Sure, they have been able to win each of those games, but it also shows that their defense is susceptible to giving up lots of yards and points.

Statistically, the Titans are giving up over 25 points per game and over 400 yards of offense. That weakness must be exploited by a solid Steelers offense this week. Ben Roethlisberger and James Conner need to lead the offense to another big day.


4.) Avoid the Shootout

Pittsburgh and Tennessee both rank in the top four of the league in scoring. Both teams are averaging over 31 points per game on the season. That is one of the main reasons both teams are undefeated. Of the top four teams in offensive scoring, there is a combined one loss.

That being said, the Steelers would be smart to stay out of a shootout this week. Pittsburgh, by the stats, has an advantage this week on the defensive side of the ball. It will be up to the defense to keep this game from turning into a back-and-forth shootout.

Tennessee has already been in three games with over 61 total points. Those games were decided by an average of three points and the Titans won all three.


5.) Let Big Ben Air it Out

Steelers at Titans Week 7 - Ben Roethlisberger
(AP Photo/Don Wright)

Through the first six weeks of the NFL season, there are only four teams giving up more passing yards than the Titans. Tennessee’s biggest area of weakness is definitely on the defensive side of the ball.

The Texans, Jaguars, and Vikings each put up over 30 points against the Titans defense. Each of those teams also had over 300 yards of passing from their quarterbacks. More importantly, though, those teams have a combined record of 3-15. Yes, the Titans are undefeated, but they have struggled defensively against some poor teams.

Ben Roethlisberger should be able to find some favorable match-ups on Sunday. Along with a great defensive performance, a great day on Sunday for Roethlisberger could lead the Steelers to a 6-0 record  the season.


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