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mesaSteeler
09-15-2010, 06:25 PM
Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/gametracker/preview/NFL_20100919_PIT@TEN

TIME: 01:00 P.M. EST
VENUE: LP Field

The Pittsburgh Steelers found a way to win their opener without Ben Roethlisberger. The Tennessee Titans - as usual - made sure their path to victory was paved by Chris Johnson.

The NFL rushing champion is in for a bigger challenge Sunday against the visiting Steelers, who hope to back young quarterback Dennis Dixon with another strong defensive effort and snap Johnson's streak of 100-yard games at 12.

Pittsburgh (1-0) had the most productive passing season in team history behind Roethlisberger in 2009, but with the quarterback suspended for the first four games, it returned to the traits that previously defined the franchise.

The Steelers kept the pressure off Dixon last Sunday against Atlanta with stout defense and a solid running game, and when the game went to overtime, both came through again. Pittsburgh quickly forced the Falcons to punt, then Rashard Mendenhall took the Steelers' first offensive play 50 yards to the end zone for a 15-9 win.

"I thought we stayed together and played team football, and we did it until the very end," coach Mike Tomlin said. "We got some things to work on, absolutely, like all 31 other teams do, but we get to do it while we're 1-0."

Mendenhall rushed for 120 yards and Pittsburgh's defense held former All-Pro Michael Turner to 42 yards on 19 carries, the type of effort it would love to replicate against Johnson.

It certainly won't be easy. The Titans' dynamic back said before the season he wants to rush for 2,500 yards, and while he isn't quite on that pace after the opener, he's not far off. Johnson ran for 142 yards - including a 76-yard touchdown - as Tennessee (1-0) routed Oakland 38-13.

"I was waiting on it," quarterback Vince Young said of Johnson's big run. "Offensive coordinators and our coaches always preach just taking it one at a time, one play at a time ... 3 yards, 5 yards and then eventually CJ is going to do what he does."

The NFL's Offensive Player of the Year has rushed for at least 100 yards in 12 straight games, two shy of Barry Sanders' league record set in 1997.

Johnson, though, has been held under 70 in both career meetings with the Steelers despite breaking a 32-yard run in last season's 13-10 loss.

Pittsburgh has allowed an NFL-low three 100-yard rushers since 2006.

"I feel like we had a little success against them last year," Johnson said. "It's going to be a tough thing to run the ball against them. So we've just got to go game plan and get focused, just keep doing the same things that I've been doing."

Tomlin is well aware of where his defense's attention needs to be.

"(Johnson) has a strong argument for being the best player in the world right now," the fourth-year coach said. "They have some concept things, some speed option things, some designed things that highlight Vince's athleticism and pedigree, but largely their personality is their personality and their offense flows through 28."

Johnson's job could be easier if Pittsburgh is without its run-stuffing nose tackle. Casey Hampton left the win over Atlanta with a hamstring injury and is questionable, meaning Chris Hoke could replace him.

Both teams will have different signal-callers than the ones who started against each other in last season's Thursday night NFL opener, though Young - who took over for Kerry Collins in Week 8 - has 40 starts under his belt.

Dixon only has two, and his season debut was far from flawless despite going 18 of 26 for 236 yards. He threw a costly interception and escaped a few other picks on defenders' drops, but wide receiver Hines Ward was encouraged.

"All in all, we couldn't ask for any more out of Dennis," said Ward, who had his 26th career 100-yard game. "He did what we wanted him to do, and it was a great learning lesson."

The Steelers may need Dixon to throw more if they continue to find running difficult against Tennessee, though he'll likely drop back without left tackle Max Starks (ankle) protecting his blind side. The Titans have held Pittsburgh to 109 yards on 48 carries in the past two meetings.

Big plays were easy to complete in 2009 on Tennessee, which allowed 61 pass plays of 20 yards or more - second-most in the league. The Raiders only hit one of that length last Sunday.

"Everyone has a chip on their shoulder," cornerback Cortland Finnegan said. "When we look at film we'll realize we could have made some more plays. We can't be satisfied."

The Steelers are 1-6 all-time at Tennessee.

stb_steeler
09-15-2010, 07:34 PM
Lets hope that changes sunday

StainlessStill
09-15-2010, 07:40 PM
Scariest game on the schedule in Ben's absence, including Baltimore. Traveling to Tennessee is always a chore and we have our hands full with their offensive attack that could open up play makers. Chris Johnson doesn't scare me, everyone should know better by now that our defense just stuffs any runner who thinks they are going to run on us with ease, and Michael Turner certainly was welcomed to that history.

Johnson doesn't scare me personally, but the playbook with him in there certainly does, so many eyes should be on Vince Young as well. If our defense does what it does and stops the run, there's no doubt in my mind that we can force Young into looking like a certified fool, and everyone knows he shuts down.

We know what our game plan will continue to be on offense. Run 34 until his treds wear down. I'd like to see Dixon hit accurate pass's the he didn't hit last week. It'll be even tougher this week, but at the same time he'll remain comfortable and confident in seeing Ward in the huddle. We will be fine if our D can stop the run the way we plan to.

Expect another nailbiter. This has overtime written all over it as well.

stb_steeler
09-15-2010, 07:53 PM
I hate those damn nail bitters, its time to turn this Tenn. Mojo around!. Cant help but wonder why Steelers have trouble there. Crowd noise? Travel?. Remember opening day with the Titans 05 i think?, when willy ran for 162 yards.....Ahhhh those were the days! Lets get a day like that again.

Fire Arians
09-15-2010, 07:56 PM
I hate those damn nail bitters, its time to turn this Tenn. Mojo around!. Cant help but wonder why Steelers have trouble there. Crowd noise? Travel?. Remember opening day with the Titans 05 i think?, when willy ran for 162 yards.....Ahhhh those were the days! Lets get a day like that again.

steve mcnair used to always have our number it seemed

StainlessStill
09-15-2010, 08:01 PM
I hate those damn nail bitters, its time to turn this Tenn. Mojo around!. Cant help but wonder why Steelers have trouble there. Crowd noise? Travel?. Remember opening day with the Titans 05 i think?, when willy ran for 162 yards.....Ahhhh those were the days! Lets get a day like that again.

The only time we won there that I could remember was back in '01 when we swept them to win the Division. Kordell ran off a QB scamper right down the sideline, of coarse, HINES WARD throwing him a block:tt04:

We use to share the same division with them in the Central and the NFL always seemed to schedule them against us after the fact. We are just similiar teams that have the same mentality and that's to pound your opponent into the dirt until they fold and collapse. Jeff Fischer has a lot to do with that mentality.

stb_steeler
09-15-2010, 08:13 PM
Yeah we used to match up well with the OILERS!

steeltheone
09-15-2010, 08:33 PM
The only time we won there that I could remember was back in '01 when we swept them to win the Division. Kordell ran off a QB scamper right down the sideline, of coarse, HINES WARD throwing him a block:tt04:

We use to share the same division with them in the Central and the NFL always seemed to schedule them against us after the fact. We are just similiar teams that have the same mentality and that's to pound your opponent into the dirt until they fold and collapse. Jeff Fischer has a lot to do with that mentality.

Yes, Hello. These are the Houston Oilers......The NFL should have let the colors and name in Houston like they did the Browns. The Texans just stir no harsh feelings like Oilers -Cowboys... Oilers- Steelers....

steeltheone
09-15-2010, 08:38 PM
I had to look it up..But Fisher coached the HOUSTON OILERS part of 94 after Jack Pardee was fired, Then coached in 95 and 96 before the team was moved to Tenn.

stb_steeler
09-15-2010, 08:42 PM
I had to look it up..But Fisher coached the HOUSTON OILERS part of 94 after Jack Pardee was fired, Then coached in 95 and 96 before the team was moved to Tenn.

Hey steeltheone, what part of harrisburgh u in?.....Im not far from u here in Mt Joy.........

steeltheone
09-15-2010, 09:19 PM
Basically Center City.....In the other Burg

stb_steeler
09-15-2010, 09:21 PM
The Burgh bankrupt yet...with all the Rendell cuts?

BehindSteelCurtain
09-15-2010, 09:31 PM
Vince Young is going to make mistakes, we just have to take advantage