Thursday, September 10, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Steelers 13, Titans 10 (OT)
By Paul Kuharsky
Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky
PITTSBURGH -- So much went right for the Titans Thursday night at Heinz Field. Even so, they dropped the season opener to the Steelers, 13-10.
Looking back, they’ve got a lot of things to regret, first among them the kicking game. A missed field goal by Rob Bironas and a blocked field goal in the first half might have made the difference. They were lucky a shanked punt by Craig Hentrich late in the game didn’t.
They didn’t win the overtime coin toss either, and when the pass pressure that fizzled late in regulation didn’t resurface, Ben Roethlisberger did what he often does: played clutch in a game’s decisive moments.
He pump-faked and passed the Steelers to an impressive win in a memorable game, capped by Jeff Reed’s 33-yard field goal.
Jeff Fisher’s team was 10-0 last season before losing. This time around they won’t deal with any of the perks or pressures of a long, undefeated run at season’s start.
When their upcoming opponents watch film of this one, they still get a strong message: The Titans are a tough team that will put up a fight.
And if you don’t have a super-courageous quarterback nicknamed "Big Ben," who will stand in the pocket, worry-free waiting for people to come open, you may have a tough time beating them.