Sunday, December 21, 2008
Steelers-Titans halftime notes
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans lead the Pittsburgh Steelers, 10-7, at intermission.
Here are some halftime observations:
- Credit the Titans for taking their shots. Pittsburgh started the game with safety Troy Polamalu playing at the line of scrimmage with regularity and Tennessee wasn't afraid to pass in those situations. On the Titans' 34-yard touchdown catch by receiver Justin Gage, the Steelers jumped offside and quarterback Kerry Collins took advantage of the free play by throwing deep.
- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is playing this game like a playoff game. He took several shots early and fumbled twice. But he bounced back with some big throws, including a 37-yard touchdown pass to receiver Santonio Holmes. The play came after he scrambled for a key first down to keep the drive alive.
- With Tennessee missing defensive linemen Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Steelers made a concerted effort early to run the ball. But tailback Willie Parker gained just 29 yards on 14 carries in the first half. So Pittsburgh went to a pass-oriented offense in the second quarter and had more success.
- Pittsburgh needs to be careful not to suffer any significant injuries in this game. The Steelers have already had scares to Roethlisberger, linebacker James Harrison and backup tailback Mewelde Moore. None of the ailments were significant, however. It's one thing to go for the top seed, but it's another thing for the Steelers to jeopardize their postseason hopes altogether.