It’s hard to anoint a play on the first series of the game as the pivotal play in a game.
Pittsburgh could have been up 9-0 with roughly 7 or 8 minutes on the clock in the first quarter. The Steelers botched the play when Redman fumbled, but may have had a legitimate complaint about the scenario that left them with a third-and-1 from the Titans’ 6-yard line they were trying to convert.
On the play before that, Ben Roethlisberger hit Emmanuel Sanders on the left sideline near the first-down marker. The initial indication was he reached it and the Steelers had earned a first-and-goal from the 5. Three or four cracks at the end zone might have turned out a lot better for the home team.
I just watched a replay from the TV broadcast. It's not from the best angle, but it sure looks like a first down to me. The Titans got the favorable spot, even though at least one of them was preparing to hunker down for a new set of downs.
“From my vantage point, it looked like the ball crossed,” cornerback Alterraun Verner said.
The spot led to a panicky play that led to one of the Titans' two takeaways. This one was more of a giveaway.
As well as the Titans played, I think they would have found their way back from 9-0, too. I’m sure they are pleased they didn’t have to find out.