The Steelers clinched the AFC North division title last week when they beat the Baltimore Ravens, 13-9. QB Ben Roethlisberger completed 22-of-40 for 246 yards and one huge touchdown. The Steeler defense lived up to the hype allowing just nine points and 227 combined rushing and passing yards. The defense also sacked rookie QB Joe Flacco two times as well as intercepting two of his passes. The Steelers now look to get home field advantage throughout the playoffs by beating the 12-2 Tennessee Titans and then beat the Cleveland Browns next week. The Titans need to win this game to secure home field throughout the postseason as well. QB Kerry Collins completed just 15-of-33 for 181 yards and one interception last week, while the Titans\’ running game was also kept in check with 100 total yards.
The Steelers offense will look to finally get some semblance of a running game going against a defense that will be without defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch. The Titans secondary is strong and has been good about not allowing too many big plays. The Steelers will look to work underneath once again in the passing game and stretching the Titans defense out sideline to sideline. Running backs Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore will likely need to combine for over 100 yards rushing for the Steelers to win this game.
The Steeler defense will look to make Collins win the game with his arm and will concentrate on controlling running backs Chris Johnson and LenDale White. Johnson is dangerous catching the ball out of the backfield and must be spied throughout the game. Collins is not a threat to move out of the pocket, so the Steeler pass rush will look to force him into bad decisions.
This is a game the Steelers need and should win.
Prediction: Steelers 27 Titans 16