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Monday, September 9, 2013
On Steelers' less threatening passing

By Paul Kuharsky

A year ago, when the Tennessee Titans beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Nashville 26-23, Tennessee gave up an 82-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace, a 55-yard reception to running back Isaac Redman, and a 22-yard pass play to Emmanuel Sanders.

In this year’s win against the Steelers, a much more defensive 16-9 game, the Titans did far better limiting Ben Roethlisberger's deep stuff.

In 2012 he threw for 363 yards. In 2013 the Titans shrunk that number to 191.

Per ESPN Stats and Info, Sunday marked the fifth time since the start of 2011 that Roethlisberger threw for fewer than 200 yards in a start, and Big Ben was mediocre throwing downfield without Wallace.

In his 2012 season, on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield, Roethlisberger hit on 49 percent for 10.3 yards an attempt, with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was off target 28 percent of the time.

Sunday, on the same sort of throws, he hit on 38 percent for 6.9 yards an attempt, with no touchdowns and a pick. He was off target 38 percent of the time.

Titans cornerback Jason McCourty, victimized on the long TD catch by Wallace last season, said the absence of Wallace wasn’t a big difference. Wallace left for Miami as a free agent.

“They’re different, but I wouldn’t say a ton,” McCourty said. “You’re looking at 84 (Antonio Brown) and 88 (Sanders), those guys are 4.3s. Wallace is a 4.2. But when you go out there and you’re covering a 4.3s as opposed to a 4.2, it’s not that much different.

“I think Plaxico (Burress) going down for them was a little bit different, he’s a bigger receiver. They’re different, but not a ton different. They are still doing things trying to get the ball downfield.”