That was not a pretty football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Tennessee Titans. If you like competent offense that is. If you're a fan of hard-hitting defensive football, than you loved what just unfolded in Nashville between the two AFC rivals.
Don't let the final score fool you - that game was never in doubt. Of course, a bothced special teams miscue allowed the Titans to miraculously get in position for one last miracle heave, but seriously, don't have nightmares of last season just yet. There was nothing close about that game thanks to one of the most opportunistic and swarming defensive performances I've seen from the Steelers' defense since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach back in 2007.
To some of the incredible defensive numbers on Sunday...
Fumbles (Forced/Recovered): 7/4
Time of Possession: 26:20 - and they had the ball for the final 5 minutes of the game!
Rushing Attempts/Yards: 22 carries / 46 yards
3rd Down Efficiency: 4-of-14
3rd Down Conversions Before Lone TD Drive: 1!
Total Yards: 238
Total Yards In First 55 minutes: 126
Now, the offense of the Steelers was extremely ineffective. We'll get to that, but once Dennis Dixon left with a knee injury and Charlie Batch was inserted in the 2nd quarter, the Steelers' offense was extremely vanilla and limited, likely because the only other quarterback available if Batch were to get injured was Antwaan Randle El. So, if you're wondering why the Steelers didn't even look like they were trying to move the ball effectively with the passing game in the second half, it's probably because the coaching stafff didn't want to risk an injury to Batch.
And because the defense was playing so lights-out that it really didn't matter.