Sunday, October 9, 2011
Halftime: Steelers 21, Titans 3
By Jamison Hensley
PITTSBURGH -- Thoughts at halftime of the Steelers-Titans game:
- Ben Roethlisberger isn't at full strength with a sprained left foot but it's not showing in his play. The Steelers quarterback has been nearly perfect in the red zone, throwing three first-half touchdowns of 8, 7 and 1 yards. His last one was a rollout to his right where he hit fullback David Johnson, but he limped afterward to the sideline. Roethlisberger's biggest mistake was an interception in the final minute of the first half.
- Special teams is playing a big role for the Steelers. A 52-yard kickoff return from Antonio Brown set up the Steelers' first touchdown, and a 33-yard pass from punter Daniel Sepulveda on a fake at midfield led to Pittsburgh's second touchdown. The fake punt, which converted a fourth-and-5, was called at the right time -- Ryan Mundy was uncovered over the middle of the field because the Titans had dropped back to set up a return.
- Running back Rashard Mendenhall didn't start due to a hamstring injury, but the Steelers' running game had a strong effort. Isaac Redman ran hard (28 yards on nine carries), and Jonathan Dwyer broke a 76-yard run on his first carry of the season.
- The Steelers run defense has struggled mightily this year and looked shaky on the opening drive. But Pittsburgh quieted Titans running back Chris Johnson for the rest of the first half. Johnson had 42 yards in the first half but 21 came on one run.
- Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (left shoulder) left in the second quarter and is considered questionable. He was replaced by Jonathan Scott.