The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to 2-3 on the season thanks to their 26-23 loss Thursday night in Nashville to the Tennessee Titans. Below is my list of winners and losers for the Steelers in the game, and truthfully the list of losers should be much, much longer.
Ben Roethlisberger – Roethlisberger was not perfect against the Titans but his 24-of-40 passing performance for 363 yards, that included one touchdown and one interception, was the only reason the Steelers had a chance to win this game. The night also included the quarterback performing a few of his patented Houdini-like escapes that enabled him to keep several plays alive. The interception was a result of a forced ball by Roethlisberger and a brilliant catch by Titans cornerback Devin McCourty, who stepped in front of wide receiver Antonio Brown to make the play. The night also included the Steelers quarterback passing Terry Bradshaw to become the franchise\’s all-time passing yardage leader.
Isaac Redman – Redman only rushed for 14 yards on 5 carries, but he chipped in 105 yards receiving in the loss. He is the first Steelers running back to have over 100 yards receiving since Frenchy Fuqua did it in 1970 against the Cleveland Browns. Of the 105 yards receiving Redman had in the game, 79 of it came after the catch.
Chris Rainey – The Steelers rookie running back did not have a carry in the game, but he did have 3 kickoff returns that totaled 97 yards, 1 reception for 12 yards and a punt return for 7 yards. Any player that can contribute 116 in all-purpose yards, no matter how they come, certainly gets a gold star.
Ryan Clark – It is hard to put any player from the Steelers defense on this list, but Clark had a good showing. The Steelers safety led the team in total tackles with 11 and his night included solid pass break up on a ball to Titans tight end Craig Stevens.
Mike Tomlin – Tomlin did not have the team ready for this road game on a short week. The play in all three phases was sloppy and his decision to let kicker Shaun Suisham attempt a 54 yard field goal with the game in the balance ultimately was a poor one. In addition, Tomlin very well may have iced his own kicker by calling a timeout prior to the kick.
Ike Taylor – Taylor had a nightmarish game and it included 2 pass interference and 1 defensive holding penalties against him. The Steelers cornerback also allowed Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt to score the game-tying touchdown with 4:19 left in the game. Taylor will likely be credited for allowing 6 catches in the game, with 5 being good for 10 yards or more.
Ryan Mundy – Mundy blew his assignment on a late first quarter punt that resulted in rookie punter Drew Butler suffering his first blocked punt of his young career. Mundy and long snapper Greg Warren crossed signals and Titans linebacker Tim Shaw was the recipient of a free run, and the Titans took over at the Steelers one-yard line following the recovery. Mundy barely cracked the stat sheet as he had just one assisted tackle on special teams.
Keenan Lewis – Lewis registered 6 total tackles in the game to go along with 3 defensed passes, but his drop of a poorly thrown pass by Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck that was intended for wide receiver Nate Washington could of sealed the game for the Steelers. The ball hit Lewis right in the hands and he has to make that catch.