ReFo: Steelers @ Titans, Week 11
An old school AFC Central rivalry to wrap up Week 11 saw the Titans bringing heavy pressure and take a two-score lead before being vanquished by a powerful display from Le’Veon Bell. The Steelers got the fast start thanks to opportunism of William Gay before Bell took the team on his shoulders and carried them over the finish line with an efficient and emphatic exhibition of the four-minute offense to round out the last seven minutes of the game.
The Titans did well to rebound from a disastrous start by Zach Mettenberger (who bounced back from his early error), swarming Ben Roethlisberger whenever he dropped back, but they ultimately had no answer for Bell and the Steelers’ ground attack in the second half.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Performances of Note
Le’Veon Bell, RB: +4.7
Breakdown: Where else to start than with the man who carried the Steelers across the finish line. His first 100-yard game since Carolina in Week 3 saw him break a career-high nine tackles in a relentless display, gashing the Titans’ run defense. Given a consistent platform by his offensive line (3.4 yard per carry before first contact) Bell took full advantage statistically and in terms of a consistent impact on the game.
Signature Play: Not so much a signature play as a signature drive; his eight carries on the Steelers’ final 10-play drive was one of the best individual efforts of the season so far with his juke on Michael Griffin with 2:35 to go the highlight.
Brett Keisel, DE: +3.9
Breakdown: Clearly coming toward the end of his career, Keisel is still capable of making his impact felt for the Steelers and he did just that as a pass rusher last night. One stop in run defense was paired with a pair of pressures (1 Ht, 1 Hu) and a couple of batted passes as he swatted down low throws at the line of scrimmage from Zach Mettenberger.
Signature Play: Recorded both of his pressures on third downs, the first of them a hit at Q3 13:38 on a stunt to the right of Brian Schwenke to help bring the Titans’ first drive of the second half to a premature end.
Kelvin Beachum, LT: +4.5
Breakdown: That platform for Bell was set by the likes of Beachum who built on a strong season with his best all-around display of the year. His highest run blocking grade of the season (+1.9) was paired with a fourth straight positive grade in pass protection surrendering no pressures on 38 plays spent pass blocking.
Signature Stat: On six carries off Beachum’s left hip, Bell gained 45 yards (7.5 per carry) including his 5-yard touchdown carry to open the fourth quarter.
Tennessee Titans – Performances of Note
Zach Mettenberger, QB: +1.2
Breakdown: After that start Mettenberger did extremely well to turn the game around for both himself and his team in what was comfortably the best of his three starts thus far. Shrugging off the pick-six, he commanded the middle of the field and stood in to get the pass away down the left side to Nate Washington for the score that gave Tennessee the lead at the half.
Signature Stat: Made the most of the Steelers’ base pass rush going 7-of-11 for 179 yards and both his scores against 8-of-13 for 84 yards and his pick-six when the Steelers sent extra rushers.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB: +1.9
Breakdown: The transition into a starting role has not been smooth for last year’s third-round pick but last night he showed some of the potential that the Titans will hope he can convert into reality a little more often down the line. Targeted nine times, Wreh-Wilson surrendered only three catches for 22 yards, breaking up two passes and cutting off the opportunity for receivers to reach a couple of his other targets.
Signature Stat: Surrendered a completion percentage of less than 50% for only the second time this season, the first time since Week 1 in Kansas City.
Jurrell Casey, DE: +4.3
Breakdown: This season has been a little more up and down for Casey after the consistent highs of last season but last night was certainly one of his best displays of the season. His was a game of two halves with his three stops against the run coming in the first quarter while three of his five hurries came in the second half against the Steelers’ guards.
Signature Play: Recorded two stops on the opening drive including one for a loss at Q1 12:22, ripping outside of Kelvin Beachum to chase down the line of scrimmage and stuff Bell in the backfield.
PFF Game Ball
This has been a week for running backs to shine on primetime. Following Jonas Gray’s lead from last night, Le’Veon Bell picked up that baton and ran all over the Titans’ run defense to get the Steelers back to winning ways.
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