Titans Offense Could Be Sluggish Against Steelers After 90 Snap Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans will kick off Week 11 of the 2017 NFL regular season Thursday night at Heinz Field and if you were to poll every player on both teams you would probably be hard-pressed to find very many of them excited about playing on a short week. With that said, neither team really has a preparation time advantage over the other one as far as rest goes as both played early games this past Sunday.

Normal short week issues aside, such as travel, it’s probably worth noting that the Titans offense might just be the more sluggish unit of both teams Thursday night. Why? You may ask. Well, that unit did play 90 total snaps on Sunday in the team’s Sunday home win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Realistically, that’s right at a game and half worth of snaps. In the Titans first 8 regular season games they averaged just a little more than 60 offensive plays (penalty plays included).

Now, not every Titans offensive player played all 90 snaps against the Bengals but all five offensive linemen and quarterback Marcus Mariota certainly did. Additionally, skill position players Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, Demarco Murray and Delanie Walker all played 67 or more snaps against the Bengals. In short, it won’t be surprising to see the Titans offense wear down quickly Thursday night.

So, what about the Steelers and their workload Sunday in their road win over the Indianapolis Colts? Well, the Steelers defense was only on the field for 59 plays against the Colts and only five players, Sean Davis, Artie Burns, Ryan Shazier, T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree, played 57 or more snaps. Defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt should both be reasonably fresh Thursday night as both only played 48 snaps against the Colts.

As for the Steelers offense, that unit played 66 snaps against the Colts with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and all five offensive linemen playing every snap. Running back Le’Veon Bell was only off the field for one snap Sunday and when you consider that he leads the league at his position in both snaps played ant total touches, it won’t be surprising to see rookie running back James Conner relieve him a little bit more against the Titans. If there’s one Steelers player you might want to worry about being worn out entering the Thursday night game, it’s Bell.

While the Titans offense might ultimately be a bit sluggish, or wear down quickly Thursday night, their defense should be reasonably fresh as that unit only played 51 snaps this past Sunday against the Bengals.

It will be interesting to review this game on Friday with this information now front and center. The Steelers already have a home-field advantage edge heading into this Thursday night game and they quite possibly might be the fresher of the two teams right now and especially when you consider that they just had their bye in Week 9.

  • newguy68

    Then their defense should be well rested.

  • SteelersDepot

    You missed that part in the post?

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    This game scares me. The Titans are far from perfect, but the Steelers have a lot of issues to address from last game, and on a short week. A loss and the Steelers fall from #1 to at least #3, as the Titans leapfrog them and the Pats gain ground.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    Remember Burns getting burnt on a double move? This is from Paul Daugherty of Cincy Enquirer talking about the defensive holding calls: “Titans coach Mike Mularkey … said his receivers ran double moves all
    day, … ‘If they didn’t do what they did we’d have wide open guys,’ he
    said. ‘Every hold they had we had a double move on and they were beat
    to a point they had to hold.”‘

    Hope defense prepared for them; with 90 snaps Tomlin, Butler & company will have that much more info to scout.

  • hdogg48

    This high offensive snap count tells me that Mariota
    had an effective day stretching plays and keeping
    drives alive by hitting a ton of 3rd down plays.

    Spy him and take away the middle of the field on the
    short routes….sure tackling, sure tackling and more
    sure tackling. Shouldn’t be too much to ask of
    the number 2 scoring defense. They are NOT
    a big play team…especially on the road.

  • MC

    I fully expect them to come out looking like they’re on the road against a sub par team again. But then again, when I expect something from this team they usually do the opposite so I won’t be surprised if they surprise me if that makes any sense.

    On another note, im thinking Bell’s lack of production against the Colts may have been due to fatigue as he publicly stated he is getting ran into the ground at training. Why does he need that much volume at practice??
    Hopefully Connor can relieve him this game cause outside of pass protection I haven’t seen any flaws with Connors game.

  • heath miller

    all so true … lets home tomlin reads your post and listens to bell.. he says bell knows his body better than anyone then pays no attention to his practice workload… remember when bell held out .. and tomlin ran his legs off the first game.. bell tried to take himself out and tomlin motioned for him to stay in the game …

  • heath miller

    i too am worried .. but just worried in general .. the short week has nothing to do with it … if anything that has to help us .. we are the home team so we dont have to travel on top of the short week.. and the home team wins at a higher % on thursday night games than on sunday or monday games.. so to me the short week has to help us … not them .. plus as the 90 snaps their O played as dave points out is = to a game and a half of O.. and mariota hurt his ankle and shoulder .. those are still gonna be tender thursday…. advantages STEELERS.. but i still have the feeling we lose and drop to 3rd seed………. HEEEEATH

  • newguy68

    No.

  • SteelerDieHard

    Lol

  • SteelerDieHard

    Man, for the life of me, I HAVE to believe Tomlin & Co. gotta start believing all these touches for Bell aren’t good. For the multiple reasons everyone’s stated on here. Long term health, post-season availability, Conner’s readiness later in the season if needed … I just don’t see how they don’t feel the same way EVERY other coach, team, organization views this issue???!!

  • Cormel Bovan Sr.

    Tennessee always plays us hard and it’s normally the Titans and the Raiders that upset us. Plus they have Lebeau meaning they normally practice against a defense like ours. With all that said I feel we may finally start fast and jump out early being that we just had our upset scare this past Sunday so it’s still fresh. I want to see us incorporate Conner in more but I read that he still hasn’t adjusted to the nfl passing game. We should start running people’s tongues out. We could even have Le’veon split out on some plays with Conner in the backfield.

  • Sdale

    My concern is the match-up. Tennessee is built very similarly to Chicago and Jax. Physical, solid, running game that can get ahead and take the air out of the ball. Add in the fact that Mariota is a better QB than either of these teams had spells disaster IF we don’t come out and play gap-disciplined, physical defense to START the game. If we play a first half on D like we did last week, particularly run D, we won’t beat Tennessee.

  • Sdale

    Wow, I didn’t notice that.

  • Sdale

    I like the idea of Bell split with Connor back. I think you can run Connor and just be cognizant of putting him in tough situations…i.e. you could leave him to pass block on 2nd and short or 3rd and short, but just not have him in the game on 3rd and long where he has to read the blitz. It would be nice if he could get 10 touches a game.

  • heath miller

    no truer words have ever been spoken … exactly right HEEEATH

  • MC

    I do believe a lot of these instances are forms of punishment and they don’t usually yield the best results other than the sitting of MB in the lions game.

  • Todd Borax

    Need to trust Ben and come out firing. If we keep running Bell into the teeth of their defense on first and second downs we play right into Lebeau’s hand. Plus the Titans O doesn’t play well from behind.

  • heath miller

    yep,,,no doubt

  • cencalsteeler

    I also remember Mitchell cheating over to T.Y. Hiltons side, so the Colts recognized and threw a TD the other way. Point is, that Artie is not the only one to be worried about back there, especially with Walker coming to town. This game will be a true measuring stick for our secondary leading up to the Pats game. For me, tackling, the cut back run (overpursuing), and coverage over the middle are still my main concerns, defensively.