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Winners and Losers from the Steelers' 19-13 win over the Titans

Updated: Dec 21, 2021


(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)


Winners:


Joe Haden - With the Titans driving down the field and threatening to retake the lead, Haden had an incredible tackle on wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine to seal the win for the Steelers on fourth-and-6. The officials gave the Titans a generous spot, but he was clearly stopped well short of the first down marker by Haden. It was a textbook tackle by Haden, as Westbrook-Ikhine was in position to lung forward for the first down. Haden also had a fumble recovery.

Minkah Fitzpatrick - Fitzpatrick had a game-high 14 total tackles, and 12 of those tackles were solos. It's never a good thing to have your free safety lead the team in tackles, but Fitzpatrick prevented a lot of big runs. During his post-game press conference, Mike Tomlin praised Fitzpatrick for his tackling in the game. Fitzpatrick also had a fumble recovery.


T.J. Watt - Watt had another big performance with five total tackles (four solos), 1.5 sacks, one tackle for a loss, three quarterback hits and a fumble recovery. Watt leads the league in sacks with 17.5 and he surpassed James Harrison for the single-season franchise sack record (16), which was set in 2008.


Terrell Edmunds - Edmunds is often criticized by Steelers fans and the media for his lack of splash plays, but he showcased a solid performance against Titans with 10 total tackles (seven solos) and two tackles for a loss.


Arthur Maulet - Maulet was great in run defense and made a spectacular strip on tight end Anthony Firkser, which was recovered by Fitzpatrick. The Steelers took over at the Titans' 36-yard line and managed to get their first points of the game, a 36-yard field goal by Chris Boswell to cut the Titans' lead to 10-3 in the second quarter.


Joe Schobert - Schobert had seven total tackles (four solos) and an interception on Tannehill off a deflection by Taco Charlton in the fourth quarter. Four plays later, the Steelers took their first lead of the game after a 46-yard field goal by Boswell to put the Steelers up 16-13.


Chris Boswell - Boswell continues to come through for the Steelers this season, as he was 4-of-5 on field-goal attempts, three of which came in the fourth quarter. Boswell's miss was from 56 yards out at the end of the first half.

Losers:

Matt Canada - The Steelers haven't scored a touchdown in the first half in their last four games. For some reason, the Steelers start games really slow. And then they pick things up in the second half. They outscored the Titans 16-0 in the second half. That's not a sustainable way to win. That won't cut it against the Chiefs next Sunday. Matt Canada and the offense are fortunate that the defense forced four turnovers, or this would have been a for sure loss. And even with the four turnovers, the offense managed to get field goals off all the takeaways. The offense mustered just 12 first downs and 168 total yards, along with going 2 of 11 on third down. They didn't turn the ball over, however, so the Steelers were +4 in the turnover differential. Any team rarely loses when that happens.

Offensive Line/Run Game - Najee Harris rushed for just 18 yards on 12 carries (1.5 average). And while Harris had some poor decisions in the game, for the most part, as they have been all season, the offensive line was getting mauled upfront by the Titans' defensive line. Harris needs a competent offensive line, and he's just not getting it right now. Especially in the interior, Kendrick Green and Trai Turner just get worse as the season goes on. John Leglue is a fourth-stringer, so it's expected that he'll struggle. The pass protection wasn't much better, as Ben Roethlisberger was sacked three times.


Run Defense - For the seventh straight game, the Steelers have allowed over 100 yards rushing. They gave up 201 yards rushing on 42 carries (4.8 average) to the Titans. The Steelers have allowed over 200 yards rushing in their last two games, and the Bengals nearly rushed for 200 yards in Week 12 with 198 yards. So, yeah, this run defense is historically bad, and it's not going to change this season. Minus Heyward, they just don't have the talent on the defensive line or run stuffers at inside linebacker.


Chase Claypool - It continues to be a disappointing season for Claypool, as he had no receptions against the Titans. He also had drop. Claypool has just one touchdown receptions this season after having nine in his rookie campaign, along with two rushing touchdowns.


Special Teams minus Chris Boswell - Rookie punter Pressley Harvin III is really struggling right now. Harvin had a 27 and 32-yard punt in the first quarter. Harvin basically spotted the Titans three points on the second bad punt. Harvin booted the ball 51 yards on his second punt of the game, but Chester Rogers returned it 55 yards, and 10 yards were added on due to a block in the back penalty called on James Pierre. The Titans ended up scoring a touchdown following Rogers' big return.

Mike Tomlin's Clock Management - Along with taking an early timeout in the third quarter, Tomlin for some reason didn't use his timeouts on the Titans' final possession of the first half that resulted in a field goal. Tomlin didn't call a timeout until the third-down stop and it resulted in the Steelers having just 12 seconds with two timeouts left on their final drive of the second quarter. Roethlisberger drove down the field and set up Boswell for a 56-yard field goal that was no good. If there was more time left on the clock, Boswell could have had a closer field goal attempt.





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