This was not the way the Pittsburgh Steelers wanted to start their season.
Behind a horrendous performance from their offense and a pair of turnovers, the Steelers were humbled, 16-9, by the Tennessee Titans in the opening game of their 2013 season.
The Steelers offense looked slow and stagnant all day, showing little signs of life until late in the fourth quarter. They finished with just 195 yards of total offense.
Pittsburgh was particularly ineffective on the ground, rushing for only 32 yards. With second-round pick Le'Veon Bell inactive due to a foot sprain and LaRod Stephens-Howling limping off the field in the third quarter, Isaac Redman could muster only nine yards on eight carries.
The game's scoring began in bizarre fashion on the opening kickoff when return man Darius Reynaud accidentally committed a safety. After fielding a squib kick from Pittsburgh's Shaun Suisham, Reynaud took a step back and kneeled in the end zone for the touchdown. Unfortunately for the Titans, he had just slightly overstepped the end zone prior to kneeling, resulting in the safety.
The Titans got on the board with 48 seconds left in the half when Jackie Battle plunged into the end zone from three yards out, making the score 7-2 following the extra point. The score capped a 12-play, 49-yard drive that ate up over six minutes of the game clock.
Battle was in the game because Chris Johnson's usual backup, Shonn Greene, was forced to exit with a knee injury.
It would be the Titans' only touchdown of the day, as their offense repeatedly stalled in the red zone during the remaining half. Rob Bironas applied the finishing touches for three of those drives, kicking field goals of 26, 44 and 27 yards to push Tennessee up 16-2.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense finally awakened following the last field goal from Bironas, marching 75 yards in under three minutes to score their first and only touchdown of the game, a four-yard pass from Big Ben to Jerricho Cotchery with 1:26 remaining.
Fantasy studs and duds
Hopefully you weren't leaning on the Steelers for fantasy points this week. Roethlisberger finished with just 191 yards, one touchdown and one pick. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders had 71 and 57 receiving yards, respectively. No Steeler had more than 19 yards on the ground.
The Titans provided no fantasy stars themselves. Chris Johnson had 70 yards and no touchdowns, while Nate Washington was the team's leading receiver with four catches for 46 yards.
The Steelers suffered a host of key injuries to go along with the ugly loss. Center Maurkice Pouncey had to be carted off the field after injuring his knee and was sent to the hospital to undergo an MRI. Stephens-Howling and defensive back Cortez Allen also went down with leg injuries. Their availability moving forward is unknown at the time.
The Titans lost backup running back Shonn Greene, who left in the first half after injuring his right knee.
Did they cover?
Those that bet on the Steelers had a bad day, as the 6.5-point favorites suffered the loss.
Sept. 15, 1 p.m. ET Tennessee vs. Houston
Sept. 16, 8:40 p.m. ET Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati