clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

5 things we learned from the Steelers loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1

There were some good performances in the Steelers' 16-9 loss to Tennessee in Week 1, and a few things that we've now confirmed will be strengths and weaknesses of this team moving forward.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport
1. Tight ends are valuable in this offense

With former tackle Kelvin Beachum starting as the team's second tight end, he was moved to center when Maurkice Pouncey was injured. It all seemed to go downhill from there. Communication along the line was poor, protection was even worse and it was generally a miserable performance up front. The tight ends in particular, though - David Paulson and David Johnson - were inadequate. The upside is Heath Miller is not long from his return. The Steelers may speed that up a bit after the way the team looked in Week 1.

2. Running game is facing significant problems

Blocking, executing and timing, the Steelers lacked consistency in all areas. Isaac Redman's fumble was partially on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but the other fumble was not. It was one of many zero and negative gains on the game. The strength of this team was supposed to be running the football. The Steelers are a long way from being in that category.

3. Defense will carry this team

Judging on the preseason fans weren't supposed to worry about, and a first game that could rank among the franchise's all-time worst, the Steelers defense allowed less than three yards a carry, 229 total yards and 16 points in a game in which their offense turned the ball over twice and had five 3-and-out series.

4. Jarvis Jones is legit

It was like his preseason performances; he got on the field, and he made plays. He had two tackles-for-loss, including a highlight-worthy smack on Titans RB Chris Johnson. He looks strong and explosive, and he needs to get on the field starting in Week 2 against Cincinnati.

5. Jerricho Cotchery won't just be a fourth receiver this year

He caught four passes on seven targets, including the Steelers' only touchdown in the loss. He wasn't always a third option for the Steelers, either. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley and Roethlisberger liked the match-ups they had (some of that may have been caused by an outstanding game by CB Jason McCourty). The Steelers' offense really struggled up front, needless to say, and that threw a lot of the passing game out of whack. Rookie Markus Wheaton didn't even get one target, Cotchery was on the field for large chunks of the game.

More from Behind the Steel Curtain: