No #1 Seed This Year: Titans Take Down Steelers in Tennessee in 31-14 Win


All week the experts talked about how the Steelers were going to able to take advantage of a beat up Titans team that was ready to play them without Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Well, mark this one in favor of the Titans, as not only didn’t the Steelers take care of business in Tennessee, they were beat up and down the field most of the day as Tennessee responded with a knockout blow and a 31-14 win of the team that is expected to be their biggest challenge to the AFC crown.

Led by a big day by Kerry Collins and a banged up defense that recorded five turnovers, the Titans secured the number one seed in the conference. Collins was mistake free, which you cannot say about Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. Collins went 20-for-29 for 216 yards with a TD and no picks.

He made some big throws in a big stretch in which the Titans ran off 14 points to turn a 14-10 deficit into a 24-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. They hit plays on third down, and plays on fourth down to quiet the NFL’s number one defense. The Steelers D, talked about as the best in a long time all week, allowed over 300 yards for the first time all season.

The win for the Titans means they will have to win two games, both at home to make it to Tampa Bay for the Super Bowl. Winning at home has been the best way to make it to the Super Bowl, and today’s win has to make them the favorite to do that. They pushed and shoved their way to the win with a tough D and a physical offense that matched the Steelers very good defense tooth and nail.

As for Roethlisberger, he played well enough as the Steelers were able to grab a 14-10 lead on a Hines Ward TD in the third quarter, but then he and the team fell apart. The Titans sacked Roethlisberger five times and forced him into four turnovers that they turned into 21 points. He even threw a pick during the desperate end as Michael Griffin ran back a pick up the field and up the left sideline for an 83-yard TD return with 16 seconds left.

Roethsliberger was 26-for-40 with 331 yards with two TD’s and two picks. He was nowhere near his comeback self like he was the past two weeks against the Cowboys and Ravens. While the Steelers D still ranks as possibly the best in the league, the offense still lacks, and could very well be this teams letdown in the postseason.

The Steelers will likely rest a number of players next week in their home finale vs Cleveland, as they cannot improve or go backwards in their AFC standing.

About the Author

Matt Loede
Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

23 Comments on "No #1 Seed This Year: Titans Take Down Steelers in Tennessee in 31-14 Win"

  1. well, like we have been saying, the offense might just be the thing that kills this team in January. Ben was bad today. I know he threw 2 TD’s, but 4 fumbles and 2 picks is inexcusable. The defense was a bit out of sync, probably a hangover from last weeks war with the Ravens. Never the less, the Tityans really took it to the Steelers and if the Steelers do in fact win their 1st playoff game, I didnt see any reason to think that they can go into Tennessee and win there after todays performance. The Titans are one of the better running teams and they pushed around the Steelers run defense. They also hit some BIG pass plays over the middle and it looked like the Titans had the Steelers well scouted. They dont give up many sacks and Collins had plenty of time to find receivers. The Steelers will probably only play the starters for a half or so next week, but it looks like the Ravens or Colts are coming back to town. I hope the Steelers watch plenty of film this week and next!

  2. adkjsfghkfdajk | December 21, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Reply

    I HATE ROETHILESBERGER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ME WANT LEFTWITCH
    ME WANT LEFTWICH
    ME WANT LEFTWICH

  3. Can we rest Arians? Or maybe make him think the game is in Cleveland. Maybe he’ll stay there, where he came to us from!

  4. C’mon dude!! Hate Roethlisberger and We want Leftwich? Ae you kidding me? Maybe you want Leftwich but No sane, intelligent Steeler fan does. I admit, Ben did not play very well today but the Steelers do NOT win a championship without him. He is still a premier Qb in this league who suffers from a mediocre O-line,A stagnant running game, and an idiot for an offensive coordinator. Ben can get it done just look at his BIG moments this year, like last week. He is light years ahead of Tony Romo, who gets much more attention then Ben does.

  5. Ben is a great QB to do what he’s done with the lack of protection. He didn’t had a bad day, but made some critical mistakes. Let’s face it out offensive line needs work. Willie is not the same back he was before he broke his leg. The power is gone, so why don’t we design some plays to dump it off to him in the flat and let Hines block for him down field. Use Moore “more.” He has been producing for us. We need some more receivers that are all tall as Ben and (except for Holmes and Ward) reach for the ball. All is not lost and any real Steeler fan would not stop supporting their team. We have been through bad, good, and great years and in this time of free agency the Steelers have usually been at the top. Throw Ben out for one day, please give me a break. I agree with Mark’s comments. Romo is overrated and a freakin’ cry baby along with TO.

  6. Ben to Jerome Bettis on NBC “Football Night”….

    Bettis: What do you need to do to get ready for the playoffs?

    Ben: Nothing. We’re ready to go right now!

    Oh Oh!

  7. so happy to see the squeelers lose today….great day in C-TOWN….Oh, by the way…Big Ben Worthlessburger and his gang won’t make it past the first game in the playoffs…yuk…yuk..yuk….GO TITANS…ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPERBOWL…

  8. SANE, INTELLIGENT STEELER FAN?…BOY IS THAT AN OXYMORON…..

    MERRY CHRISTMAS PISSBURG.

  9. AWWWW…STEELERS LOST TODAY…WAH…WAH…WAH…..

  10. Rosie, Poopsieq:

    Did the two of you go to College? I was just wondering since your command of the English language takes my breath away!

    Stunning…simply stunning…

  11. I’m a true steelers fan and we need a QB. Ben is so over rated in steelers country. Just like willie, over rated. It’s not the line that gets ben sacked, he holds on to the ball way to long waiting for the big play. He has to realize that he doesn’t have the time. We will not win with ben. For those of you that are on bens jock, I’ll put money where you mouth is.

  12. Ben is overrated. He fumbles the ball more every year. I think he had 9 last year and has 12-13 this year.Can he read a defense? We can win with him, but we need a quicker o-line.Also, why did we get rid of Dan Kreider? We need a fullback that can block.Carey Davis,please!

  13. What’s wrong Timmy…did we strike a nerve?…
    WEE-WEECHU A MERRY CHRISTMAS anyway…

    John & Larry are correct…Benny Boy is way over rated. Whimpering on tv a couple weeks about how “The Squeelers are so under-rated and no one’s giving us any attention”…wah…wah…wah…

    GO BROWNS!!!!! WE WILL BE BACK…NO WHERE TO GO BUT UP…
    As usual. we’ll be saving you a seat because in true Squeeler fashion, your team won’t make it beyond the playoffs.

    tsk..tsk

  14. Poopsieq:

    Your comments might have more validity if you were a Colts fan, Patriots, et al., but as a Certified Browns fan, your trash-talking is a moot point.

    Let me put it this way:

    Being a browns fan is like winning the Special Olympics, you are very proud, but at the end of the day you are still retarded.

  15. Ewwwwwww…Scott…or can I call you “Scooter”…..I touched a nerve, huh?…Like I said…your beloved Squeelers with Big Ben Worthlessburger will fold like a chair in the playoffs…

    Oh, by the way, sure you fans are happy it’s winter up there and Big Dumbo Ben won’t be flying around in the snow on his motorcycle… :0)

    Merry Christmas “Scooter”…TITANS WILL WIN THE SUPERBOWL…

  16. Merry Christmas to you, PoopsieQ, as well!!

  17. I will say this once! Ben is good, very good! To do what he does late in games is something most teams would love to have, especially Browns fans. Does he hold onto the ball too long? Sure, I agree with that….Does he hold onto the ball too long when he extends a play and throws a winning touchdown pass? Sure, you have to agree with that as well. Do I wish he would get rid of it sooner? Yes! But I will not pin that as a top three reason we struggle (I use the word struggle relatively because we are 11-4; if we were Cleveland, struggle would then translate literally, even become glaringly understated!): We “struggle” because we got no talent on the o-line! Notice I’m not saying we have no high round draft picks. New York has a bunch of low rounders and they are cohesive. We just plain and simple have, at best, road graders who can’t pass protect and our (suck ass coordinator—from Cleveland) play calling does not lend itself to being committed to the run. So, in this order; (1) O-line needs talent, (2) Offensive coordinator gots to go, (3) so does fast Willie and here’s why—we could easily get a high second round pick for him and parlay that into another back ala Kevin Smith (Detroit) or Matt Forte, etc. to be a complement to Mendenhall (yes, I realize Rashard’s unproven but Willie’s main asset is his speed which is fading like Cleveland’s championship memories and Willie leaves WAY, WAY, WAY too many yards on the field as his running back vision, juke moves and tackle breaking abilities, I thought, were always questionable—but seriously, if you can’t break tackles or break someone’s knees, at least find the cutback lanes which he regularly does not, so he gots to go too)…I think if we fix up our O-line, get a new play caller and reassert ourselves with a short yardage back, we’ll be unstoppable….Oh, and poopsie or whatever you call yourself…ya didn’t hit a nerve, at least not with me, you just reaffirmed an existing stereotype about your city and its fans. Please, show up when we win as well if you want to validate your character, otherwise, SHUT-UP! I was to Cleveland two summers ago to watch the (soon-to-be-champion) Phillies. It’s actually a beautiful city that does not deserve to be dragged through the mud or marred by people who represent it as pathetically as you!

  18. jay good points other then ben he is our cordell of the 2000’s we can’t rely on 4q comebacks and half of our wins this year come off our D and not ben

  19. Ewwwwww…Alright Jay Sabo…you hillbilly…I truly did hit a nerve….yessssss…..I came on your blog just to agitate illiterates like yourself…..you obviously can’t handle having your team lose a game…tsk…tsk…tsk…settle down little pumpkin and have yourself a Merry little Christmas…

    You cannot offend a true Browns fan by name calling…it just doesn’t work that way little man….We die hard Browns fans love our team and support them no matter what…yes, we’ve not had a team to brag about but trust me…our turn will come…you fools on the other hand get all pissy when your team loses….you can’t be on top of your game forever…Cleveland’s turn is coming …mark my words…and no, we don’t wish we had Big Ben Worthlessburger…you keep him.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night….oh, yeah….GO BROWNS! We might just win next Sunday…wouldn’t that completely put Pissburg over the edge?

    Night night Jaybird…you “pathetic”little thug.

  20. I live in a city (eastern PA) far from a hillbilly, I don’t carry a gun (far from a thug-although I’d whoop your ass), you accuse me of name calling (which is true) but you did it right back which makes you a hypocrite…Cool…I’m one of the more objective Steelers fans who calls it like I see it and is not afraid to call out players when the situation arises…if you get off on “hitting nerves” that’s cool too…I believe the true fantasy people are those who believe in the Cleveland Browns….No merry christmas because invasive people like you suck!

  21. Oh no…..that truly is a “GOTCHA”…that’s ok if you’re mad at me…and by the way, you should be able to “whoop” me..after all, I’m a female and I’m sire that wouldn’t stop you…you’re the kind of little man that would hit a woman, I’m sure. As far as “calling out” your players when the situation arises – we Brown’s fans do the same…we’re not happy at all with the sad mess our team and front office are in but through it all (and it’s been many years) we “true” Browns fans continue to support and love our Browns…sure, there are plenty of them that need to be gone next year and believe me, we “beat up our team” but we don’t allow anyone else to beat up on them (verbally) without us getting right back in your face. Anyway, some day we’ll hopefully have new owners and new front office personnel who will put together a great Browns organization and then we’ll “whoop your asses”…

    Anyway, it’s been fun Jaybird but now I have to get off your blog…I accomplished what I set out to do….cheered when the Steelers lost and double-cheered when a few Titans players stomped on your “turrible towel”…although I don’t think it was a smart thing to do..nor classy…our Browns never did anything classless like that but then again…we are a city with “true grit” and great sportmanship…Football long ago was always BROWNS and GREEN BAY…watch out, “WE’RE COMING BACK”…and baby boy, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you…just wanted to have some fun with you and I did….see ya! oh and by the way…you best hope the Squeelers win next Sunday…how embarrassing it will be for Pissburg if you lose to our Browns…it happened to the Giants…oh that’s right, Squeelers lost to the Giants, didn’t they?!…tsk…tsk

    :0) ;0) ;0)
    sorry I can’t stay for your response….gotta get back to “our” blog….it’s far more fun! Never been n your blog before and probably will never be again…it’s cold and lonely..you folks aren’t any fun…too pissy and emotional.
    GO BROWNS!!!!

  22. You’re probably fat.

  23. Poopsieq??? hahahahhahahahaha!! a real football fans name!Great back-n-forth with Poopsieq. I cant help but laugh at that name!!It figures that the Browns mouthpiece on a Steeler site is named Poopsieq. Anyway, I hope that the Browns do get Marty ball back. Oh, and by the way, Poopsieq you said your team is not classless huh? how about when one of your fat lineman tossed around a 75 year old referee a few years back? OOh, “I got hit in the face by that Big, heavy penalty flag and decided to manhandle the referee to get even”. rememeber? Classless when your owner up and moved to another city and Steeler fans actually backed the Browns fans with a show of unity before the last game. Oh, “Turkey” Jones body slamming Bradshaw was class all the way huh? and watching James Harrison pummel an idiot fan, much like yourself im sure,who came running out on the field is priceless!!
    Have a great Christmas Poopsieq and good luck Sunday.

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