Ben had FOUR fumbles and two picks last time, totalling four turnovers and 21 points. That shit ain't happening this time.
A lot of pundits picking Steelers by two TDs or so... Makes me uneasy. Think this game could go either way, and in any event should be a grunt-fest. Predictions:
Arians first play from scrimmage... what the motherfuck else? Parker, up the gut, NO GAIN.
Kemo will flub around for a sack or two, with the awareness of a gnat in summer heat and the grace of a hippo on ice skates. Whooosh. "What was 'at...?!?" That was the sound of "you gonna lose that job to an undrafted free agent, dunderhead."
Steelers' special teams will actually be the difference maker this time... in a good way. Sepulveda will ensure good field position, and Joystick Logan will come close to breaking one for 6. The two will combine to keep action in the Titans end of the field much of the game.
Steelers run D will be better than last year. At least, after the first series.
Ben will spread the ball around. Look for a key completion deep to Limas Sweed, who actually hangs onto the damned ball.
The running game will get a nice boost from everyone's preseason dog, Rashard Mendenhall. The Titans match up well on Parker, but Mendenhall will gut out those tough yards late to grind the game away.
Steelers do not have a good record in Tennessee. They will get a palpable homefield boost.
Tough sledding early for both teams, advantage defense.
Q1: Steelers keep the action pinned in the Titans half of the field mostly, but can't get the offense going with the run game. Settle for a Skippy FG. Steelers 3, Titans 0.
Q2: Steelers passing game gets things going, Ben finds Miller in the EZ. Nate Washington comes back on gimpy hammies to show he has some juice and gets yards on broken coverage, LenWhale for the TD. Steelers 10, Titans 7. Deja vu.
Q3: Ben and Collins trade picks; Ben finds Hines in the EZ, Collins goes to Gage. Another Skippy FG off a nice Logan return. Steelers 20, Titans 14.
Q4: Mendenhall starts to find some breathing room in the second half, and breaks one past 8 in the box for the coup de grace. Bironas gets a 3, but the Titans never get any closer as the Steelers D smothers them up.
Final, Steelers 27, Titans 17.
Roethlisberger: 19-30 (63.3%), 234 yards, 7.8 YPA, 2 TD, 1 INT, 95.7 rating
Collins: 14-24 (58.3%), 149 yards, 6.2 YPA, 1 TD, 2 INT, 55.7 rating
Parker: 16-37-0, 2.3 ave.
Mendenhall: 11-58-1, 5.3 ave.
Moore: 2-8-0, 4.0 ave.
Summers: 2-3-0, 1.5 ave.
Total: 31-106-1, 3.4 ave.
C. Johnson: 20-53-0, 2.7 ave.
L. White: 12-33-1, 2.8 ave.
C. Henry: 3-4-0, 1.3 ave.
Total: 35-90-1, 2.6 ave.
Sweed: 3 -36-0
C. Johnson: 1-1-0
J. Harrison: 1 sack
L. Woodley: 1 sack
W. Gay: 1 sack, 1 INT
T. Polamalu: 1 INT
K. VandenBosch: 1 sack
J. Jones: 1 sack
K. Bulluck: 1 sack
C. Finnegan: 1 INT