Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
PITTSBURGH -- It wasn’t pretty. But the defending champions earned a hard-fought, marquee win against the team with the best regular-season record in the NFL last year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers made just enough plays in the fourth quarter and overtime to edge the Tennessee Titans, 13-10, in a season-opening slugfest. Jeff Reed made the 33-yard field goal in overtime to seal it.
The performance was far from perfect, particularly offensively. Pittsburgh didn’t run well, struggled to pass protect at times, and veteran receiver Hines Ward fumbled the football in the waning moments of regulation.
Even with the win, the Steelers still suffered a potentially significant loss.
Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu went down with a left knee injury in the second quarter. He was trying to recover a blocked field goal and Titans tight end Alge Crumpler fell awkwardly on his leg. But even without Polamalu, Pittsburgh’s top-rated defense from a year ago held firm and allowed just three points in the second half.
We will have an update on Polamalu and reaction from the Steelers locker room soon.
UPDATE: Polamalu has an MCL sprain in his left knee. Coach Mike Tomlin speculated Polamalu could be out three to six weeks.
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