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Titans upend Steelers, 26-23

The game came down to the wire.

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Steelers blog laments 'rough loss'

The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their third road game in as many tries on Thursday night, losing 26-23 to the Tennessee Titans on Rob Bironas' last-second field goal.

For a team that lost on the game's last play, a lot went wrong for the Steelers. They had to deal with injuries -- Rashard Mendenhall and his backup Isaac Redman were hurt, as were three Pittsburgh offensive linemen, gutting the run game -- dropped passes, and poor defensive play. Neal Coolong of SB Nation's Behind the Steel Curtain put the loss on both sides of the ball:

While this loss will likely be tabbed nearly exclusively on the defense - which netted three sacks, a forced fumble and an interception - the Steelers offense got very little production from anyone who did not break a passing record in the evening.

Ben Roethlisberger played a decent game while breaking Terry Bradshaw's Pittsburgh passing record, but Coolong notes how a missed pass on third down forced the team into kicking a long field goal late. When Shaun Suisham's attempt fell short, the Titans didn't have much ground to cover to get into field-goal range for an attempt of their own, which Bironas nailed for the win. On defense, the goat was Ike Taylor, whose pass coverage was lacking.

The loss leaves a Steelers squad expected to be a contender in the AFC at 2-3 -- not where Coolong had hoped the team would be:

In total, It's a rough loss, and another peek into what appears to be a bleak current outlook for the Steelers season. Injuries are difficult to overcome, but it shouldn't have been this hard.

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Music City Miracles approves of Thursday's miracle

Don't look now, but following Thursday night's surprising 26-23 upset in Nashville, Tenn., the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers are both two-win teams six weeks into the 2012 NFL season.

Even Jimmy Morris over at SB Nation Titans blog Music City Miracles didn't think his team had a shot. Late Thursday night, Morris wrote about what a nice surprise it was:

"Sometimes it is good to be wrong, and this is one of those times. I didn't think the Titans had any shot at winning this game, but they proved me wrong tonight. There were still some of the issues we have seen in other games, but they had a fight in them tonight that we have not seen this season. Hopefully they can keep that going for the rest of the year."

Morris' main theme for the night? Redemption. Matt Hasselbeck, Kenny Britt and Jason McCourty all overcame earlier mistakes help the Titans (2-3) hand the Steelers (2-3) their third straight road defeat:

"It was a night of guys coming back after making big mistakes. Jason McCourty got torched early in the game on the long touchdown pass to Mike Wallace, but he came back and had a huge interception before the half to keep the Steelers from getting any points heading into the intermission.

Matt Hasselbeck threw an ugly pick in the fourth quarter that set up a field goal that put the Steelers up 23-16. He came back to lead an 11 play 80 yard touchdown that drive that was capped off with a pass to Kenny Britt."

KG Drummers offers up his thoughts, as well, including an early prediction that the Titans, with momentum on their sides, will beat the Buffalo Bills next week.

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Titans hand Steelers primetime loss, 26-23

The Tennessee Titans surprised the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers by a final score of 26-23 on Thursday night.


Kenny Britt does not drop the ball, finally

Tennessee Titans receiver Kenny Britt dropped a pair of critical passes in the end zone on a fourth-quarter drive. He finally caught one that counted.


Roethlisberger passes Bradshaw in passing yards

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger broke Terry Bradshaw's franchise record for most passing yards on Thursday night.


Rashard Mendenhall dealing with Achilles injury

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is dealing with an Achilles problem and is questionable to return in the second half of Pittsburgh's Thursday night game against the Titans. Mendenhall was mysteriously absent from the Steeler offense in the third quarter and was on the sideline with his helmet off. Alex Flanagan of NFL Network reported shortly thereafter that the fourth-year back from Illinois was dealing with an Achilles issue.

Thursday was just the second game back for Mendenhall, who tore his ACL on Jan. 1 at the end of last season. He missed the first three weeks in September, and the Pittsburgh rushing attack suffered badly. The Steelers were among the three worst rushing offenses in the league. Mendenhall provided an instant boost in his first game back last week, averaging more than five yards per carry against the Eagles. Mendenhall has just six yards on six carries Thursday against the Titans.

The loss adds another blow to a depleted Pittsburgh backfield. Isaac Redman was shaken up in the third quarter after he took a direct blow to his right knee. He was limping on the sideline and Baron Batch, not Mendenhall, came on to replace him. The Pittsburgh special teams captain made an instant impact, however, scoring the Steelers second touchdown of the night for a 20-16 lead in the fourth quarter.


Isaac Redman takes nasty hit to knee

Steelers running back Isaac Redman injured his right knee in the third quarter of Thursday night's game against the Titans. Redman took a nasty shot on the right leg after breaking through the line of scrimmage and into the second level. Tennessee linebacker Colin McCarthy came lunging from Redman's right and collapsed the running back's leg.

At first, it looked like a very serious knee injury, but Redman limped off the field under his own power. He was trying to shake it off on the sideline, testing it with some jogging.

Redman filled in for starter Rashard Mendenhall through the first three weeks of the season, and the Pittsburgh rushing attack was second-worst in the league. But Redman had a breakout night through the air on Thursday, becoming the first Steeler running back to have 100 yards receiving since 1970. Redman has four catches for 105 yards, including a big 55-yarder from Ben Roethlisberger.

Mendenhall has carried the ball just six times for six yards in his second game back. With Mendenhall still working his way back from ACL surgery, third-string back Baron Batch will likely see increased time in the second half.


Titans lead Steelers 16-10 at halftime on Thursday

The Tennessee Titans overcame an early deficit and lead the Pittsburgh Steelers at home, 16-10, at halftime on Thursday night in Week 6.

After the teams traded field goals on their opening drives, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger connected with wide receiver Mike Wallace on an 82-yard touchdown strike, giving Pittsburgh a 10-3 lead.


Late in the first quarter, with the Steelers leading 10-6, the Titans blocked a punt attempt from Pittsburgh's Drew Butler to set them up at the 1-yard line. Running back Jamie Harper plunged in for the touchdown to give Tennessee the 13-10 lead early in the second quarter.


Titans kicker Rob Bironas added his third field goal of the half, knocking in a 47-yarder with four seconds left to play in the quarter, giving Tennessee the 16-10 halftime advantage.

Roethlisberger finished the half going 11-of-19 for 221 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Titans running back Chris Johnson rushed 10 times for 43 yards in the opening two quarters on Thursday night.


Big Ben gets picked

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw his second interception of the season in the second quarter on Thursday night.


Steelers' OL Marcus Gilbert leaves game

Marcus Gilbert, the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting right tackle, left the field after holding his knee in the second quarter of Thursday's game against the Tennessee Titans. He is probable to return to action.


Steelers LB Chris Carter questionable to return

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Chris Carter is questionable to return to Thursday night's game against the Tennessee Titans after suffering a hamstring injury.


Titans score the rare rushing touchdown

The Tennessee Titans finally scored a touchdown, and they now lead the Steelers.


Mike Wallace's touchdown is nice, real nice

Mike Wallace caught an 82-yard touchdown pass to put the Steelers on top.


Gilbert falls on Pouncey for ugly-looking injury

Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey injured his right leg in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's Thursday night game against the Tennessee Titans, and his return is questionable. Pouncey had his leg rolled up on in a pile, and immediately left the field to be tended to by the Pittsburgh training staff. His teammate Marcus Gilbert appeared to be the one who fell on his leg and caused the injury. An animated gif of the play:


Coincidentally, Gilbert was also the Steeler who fell on rookie David DeCastro in the preseason, putting him on the short-term Injured Reserve list.

Pouncey was moving better once he reached the sideline, but still visited the trainer's table to have his leg examined. Doug Legursky moved over to replace Pouncey at center.

The Florida product has had a history of injury and ankle problems so far in his career. He missed the Super Bowl against the Packers when he sustained an ankle injury as a rookie. He also missed the end of the 2011-12 season and the Steelers first playoff game, a loss to the Broncos, because of another left ankle injury. The team did not specify whether this was an ankle problem, instead calling it a leg injury.


DOINK! Titans get three ... barely

The Titans scored first on Thursday night, but field goals don't come as easy as they used to.


Woodley out for Steelers, Locker out for Titans

Troy Polamalu, LaMarr Woodley out for Pittsburgh; Jake Locker sits for Tennessee.


Steelers vs Titans picks: Unanimous for Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers face the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night, and it's difficult to find someone willing to predict a win for the Titans.


Steelers 5-point favorites over Titans

Betting odds and lines for Thursday's NFL contest between the Steelers and Titans.


Steelers vs. Titans kicks off on Thursday night

The Tennessee Titans have lost all but one of their games by 20 or more points, but hope to turn things around with Matt Hasselbeck still at the helm as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night.


NFL picks: More surprises to come (probably)

The Browns are winless but that won't last long. They're going to beat the Bengals this weekend. That and more NFL picks for Week 6.


Titans are home underdogs against Pittsburgh

Tennessee lays 5.5 points at home against a team they routinely defeat at home. The Titans are 8-2 SU in 10 games hosting the Steelers, a team riding a 2-10 ATS mark in road games recently.

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