Heading into the 2010 NFL gambling season there were plenty of question marks hanging over both of these franchises but during the Week 1 action both teams answered their detractors with victories –the Titans a bit more emphatically than the Steelers.
The Titans are team that everyone loves to forget about but Jeff Fischer is simply too good a coach to let his teams go quietly into the night. After getting off to a gruesome 0-6 start last season this team rattled of 6 straight wins and came within a win from making the playoffs.
Led by a resurgent Vince Young at QB, as well as all-world RB Chris Johnson (142 yards rushing and 2 TDs), this team made pumpkin pie out of the hapless Oakland Raiders. The final score was 38-14 but the ball game didn’t even seem that close, so thorough was the Titan’s dominance.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, will be quite a different level of competition and a good yard stick for this exciting Titans squad to measure it against.
After failing to score a TD in regulation it’s no wonder that the Steelers and their struggling offense are nearly a touchdown Dog in this matchup. Without QB Ben Roethlisberger this is a very conservative unit that took only a few shots down field and was content for most of the game to let punter Daniel Sepulveda pin their opponents in the red zone, which he did extremely well. He was arguably the team’s best offensive player in the game though RB Reshard Mendhall ran well (22 carries, 120 yards) and second year QB Dennis Dixon looked impressive at times (18-26, 236 yards) but was careless with the ball.
On defense the Steelers looked sharp, especially against the run giving up just 58 yards to an offense featuring Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood.
The Steelers run defense vs. Chris Johnson will be the real key to this game. If the Steelers can keep Johnson under 100 yards they will win the game. If not, the Titans chances look very good.
Nonetheless, look for Blitzburgh to prevail and pull off the minor NFL betting odds upset.