Steelers and Kenny Pickett exorcise some offensive demons while eking out win over Titans

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a workforce whose fanbase is in open revolt towards their offensive coordinator, with severely questionable play from their former first-round quarterback. They’re additionally 5-3, and wins like Thursday’s are the rationale why.

With a just-good-enough offensive efficiency, the Steelers defeated the Tennessee Titans 20-16 on “Thursday Evening Soccer,” an expertise that also noticed repeated booing from the Heinz Subject crowd.

There have been plenty of regrettable throws by Pickett, who completed 19-of-30 for 160 yards and a landing. At one level, a Steelers coached batted down a pass thrown out of bounds in apparent frustration. Within the largest play of the sport, nonetheless, he threw a 32-yard dime to Diontae Johnson to place Pittsburgh on the verge of the purple zone.

The Steelers working sport was nonetheless the superior unit, with Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris combining for 157 speeding yards and a landing on 25 carries (6.3 yards per run). {That a} 22-yard run by Harris to place the Steelers on the Titans’ 1-yard line later within the drive.

It nonetheless took 4 bites on the apple — with a no-gain run, a false begin and a defensive holding penalty — however the Steelers lastly broke via with a move to Diontae Johnson (with the assistance of a reasonably apparent choose play).

That landing was a very long time coming for Johnson, whose final rating got here on a move from Ben Roethlisberger in Week 16 of the 2021 season.

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the point-after try and a superb return by Tyjae Spears gave the Titans the ball on their very own 48-yard line, however could not get a primary down. The drive ended on a fourth-down incompletion to Treylon Burks, who did not stand up from the sphere and was ultimately carted out of the stadium and to the hospital.

The Steelers could not get a lot on the subsequent drive, giving the Titans the ball again with 1:44 left. That drive was extra profitable, however nonetheless ended with an interception to Kwon Alexander ultimately zone for the one turnover of the sport.

Steelers obtained their first opening-drive TD

The Steelers supplied loads of purpose for confidence at the start of the sport by exorcising their most persistent demon this season.

No reality has been used extra to sum up Canada’s incompetence than the very fact the Steelers had not scored on their opening drive this season. Not simply scored a landing, simply rating. In reality, that they had gained solely 38 yards complete on such drives in seven video games, with two turnovers. These are the drives that present the outcomes of per week of prep, with little probability for the protection to make changes, and Pittsburgh had been comically terrible all season.

So naturally, the Steelers opened the sport with a 10-play, 78-yard drive capped off with a Najee Harris landing run:

Pickett picked up 62 of his passing yards on that drive and total appeared stable. Steelers followers were booing the offense after a three-and-out on the next drive.

The Steelers obtained an opening-drive landing and a Diontae Johnson, two issues they had been majorly missing all season. What wasn’t nice was these had been their solely touchdowns of the sport.

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