NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 Game Recap: Pittsburgh Steelers 19, Tennessee Titans 13

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon celebrate as they recover the ball on downs late in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

A fourth-down stop in the red zone by the Pittsburgh Steelers defense helped them preserve a second-half shutout against the Tennessee Titans en route to their seventh win of the season. 

The Steelers' defense converted four takeaways into four field goals and used a Ben Roethlisberger quarterback sneak touchdown for a 16-0 second-half scoring run that helped move them back over .500 and maintain life in the AFC North title hunt. 


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Pittsburgh Steelers

Quarterback

Roethlisberger averaged a woeful 5.8 yards per pass attempt while making zero big-time throws and one turnover-worthy play, earning him a 53.0 passing grade on first review. However, he did enough to keep the Steelers afloat.

Running Back

All 19 of Najee Harris‘ rushing yards came after contact. He had few running lanes to work with, and he failed to cross the first-down marker in a game for just the second time this season.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Diontae Johnson recorded an explosive reception to headline his pending 63.0 receiving grade, but his five catches on six targets went for only 37 yards. Pat Freiermuth posted a 76.7 receiving grade on first review, carried by two first-down grabs and four catches on four targets prior to his departure due to injury.

Offensive Line

The Steelers allowed just five pressures, two of which were sacks. That was largely due to Roethlisberger’s patented quick release time. In the run game, Dan Moore Jr.’s pending 79.7 run-blocking grade was the only highlight from a subpar performance overall.

Defensive Line

Cam Heyward’s four pressures, including one sack, contributed helped him earn a 70.0 pass-rushing grade on first review.

Linebackers

Defensive Player of The Year candidate T.J. Watt collected five pressures and his 17th sack of the season — a franchise record. He earned a 72.2 pass-rushing grade, pending final review.

Secondary

Joe Haden, in his return from injury, registered the game-sealing stop on fourth down and allowed just one catch for six yards on two targets.

Tennessee Titans

Quarterback

Ryan Tannehill made two turnover-worthy plays, including an interception, to erase his two big-time throws. While Tannehill was sacked four times and barely surpassed 150 passing yards, he wasn’t aided by three drops from his pass-catchers.

Running Back

D’Onta Foreman shredded the Steelers' run defense to the tune of eight rushing first downs, two explosive ground gains and four forced missed tackles. All were major contributors to his 80.2 overall grade on first review.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

With A.J. Brown out and Julio Jones exiting early due to injury, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was left to do the heavy lifting. He caught four of his seven targets for just 32 yards. Tight end Anthony Firkser caught both of his targets, but his lost fumble led to Pittsburgh's first field goal.

Offensive Line

Taylor Lewan was a bright spot for a struggling Titans offensive line. He gave up just one pressure, and it was only a hurry. David Quessenberry, on the other hand, surrendered seven pressures — including two sacks.

Defensive Line

Harold Landry III led the way with three pressures and was one of four Titans defensive linemen to record a sack.

Linebackers

Zach Cunningham allowed three catches on five targets into his coverage for just 13 yards. He also made one stop in run defense.

Secondary

Kevin Byard registered his sixth interception of the season and finished with a 75.5 coverage grade, pending final review.

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