The Steelers vs Titans 2009 opener wasn’t a game for fans of offense. But the Steelers vs Titans 2009 showdown was the game that Steelers and Titans fans expected. The Steelers vs Titans clash had both teams hitting and brawling like it was December, and not the first game in September. But ultimately, the Steelers prevailed over the Titans – albeit about five minutes later than they thought they would. The Steelers vs Titans 2009 opening game was the first overtime match of the year, which the Steelers won by winning the coin flip, and by putting Ben Roethlisberger out there.
The Steelers vs Titans 2009 kickoff ended in a 13-10 overtime win for the Steelers, who could have won it in regulation if not for a fumble by Hines Wards with a minute left in regulation. Pittsburgh looked set to win 13-10 in regulation when Ward caught the ball at the Tennessee 5, but the Titans Michael Griffin took the ball away when Ward wouldn’t fall on the field.
Before that, the Steelers vs Titans game was defined by defense, as usual. The Steelers held the Titans to one touchdown and two missed field goals, while the Titans largely kept Pittsburgh at bay for much of the first half. But after a bad start by Ben Roethlisberger, he proved almost incapable of missing in the second half and overtime.
Roethlisberger managed to finish 33-of-43 for 363 yards despite a poor start, and despite the Titans defense. As is becoming usual, Roethlisberger couldn’t miss late in the game, as receivers Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, and rookie Mike Wallace did the rest.
The Steelers offense used to be best known for rushing, but the running game has been almost non-existent in the last year or two. Ben Roethlisberger is now pretty much in control, and showed that this past summer’s rape accusations are not affecting him on the field so far.
After the Steelers vs Titans 2009 season premiere, Pittsburgh may need Roethlisberger more than ever, with the defense about to miss its top personality. Troy Polamalu made his impact on the game early and often, until suffering a knee injury during a blocked field goal. Polamalu’s season is now in jeopardy, and if it is, the responsibility on Roethlisberger to win games for the Steelers becomes even greater.
For the Titans, they went a long way to prove last season wasn’t a fluke, and that the defense can do fine without Albert Haynesworth. However, past history shows that teams who lose the NFL opening kickoff game do poorly the rest of the season. The 2006 Dolphins, 2007 Saints and 2008 Redskins all disappointed after losing game 1 to the defending Super Bowl champions.
The Steelers vs Titans 2009 clash had these two AFC favorites making their first statements. The rest of the league, will do the same Sunday and Monday.
SI.com- “Pittsburgh Steelers have holes, but get win behind Ben Roethlisberger” sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/don_banks/09/11/steelers.titans/