If you predicted that the Tennessee Titans would be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7 of the NFL season as two of the only three undefeated teams, you should probably be playing the lottery.
One team is built through grit, strength and an explosive offense that has the league’s biggest and toughest back. That would be Derrick Henry and the Titans. Henry is coming off the best statistical game of his career and is showing defenses why they shouldn’t let him get hot because he will make you pay.
The other team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, are built with a defense that is showstopping. They are quick, hard-hitting and explosive. Anchored on the other side of the ball by veteran Ben Rothlisberger, the Steelers have the perfect combination of offense and defense which has helped them sustain success through six weeks of the season.
Both teams have dealt with COVID-19 complications and were sidelined for a week while they made sure it was safe to return to the field. Now heading into Week 7, both of these teams have a 5-0 record but only one can keep up that undefeated standing.
Let’s take a quick look at what the Steelers will have to stop if they want a shot at winning this game. It’s Derrick Henry. Sunday against the Texans Henry accounted for 264 total yards, He joined Hall of Fame running backs Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson as the only players to reach at least 200 yards and score two touchdowns in a game three times. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin knows that they will have to do something to stop the big man.
It is astounding that a back of his size can go to the house every time he touches it,” he said. “He has sprinter’s speed. His highlight reel is incredible.”
Thankfully for the Steelers, they are a top-three run defense in the league and are catching a break with the Titans loss of Taylor Lewan, the All-Pro right guard. Pittsburgh is allowing opponents to just over 66 yards on the ground when they face them. It’s been their defense that has kept them around in games.
The big blow for the Steelers will be the loss of Devin Bush. The second year linebacker has been tremendous through his first year and a half. He tore his ACL against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season. He was a leader on their defense and a big reason why the run-defense was so impressive.
Players to Watch:
Steelers, James Conner: While the Titans have one hell of a running back, the Steelers do too. When Conner is healthy, he is one of the best backs in the league and he is showing that through five games, rushing for over 224 yards so far. He has just two touchdowns, but this could be a breakout game for him.
Titans, Ty Sambrailo: Weren’t expecting this one, huh? Sambrailo steps in for Lewan and will need to hold his own. Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt have had a lot of success getting to the quarterback in 2020. Sambrailo has made 13 career starts since getting drafted in 2015, the Titans will need him to step up.
The Steelers come in as two point favorites and they are on a tear. The Titans are riding high too and have had more time off in the last month.
Steelers 24 Titans 27
By: Matt Lively CruelFan.com