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Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers 20-16 win over the Titans

The idiom “a knee jerk reaction” means that you respond to something in an equally unthinking way. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do, and if it’s in an unthinking way then I definitely qualify. Knee jerks apply especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer, who am I fooling it’s more like if you are a Steeler fan in general. As is the custom, I compile my knee-jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game (my son Kyle might have a few things to say as well). It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later (if at all). So with that being said, it’s time to react to the Steelers Week 9 matchup against the Titans. Let’s get this going, HERE……WE……GO!!!


1st Quarter

  • There is quite a crew at this game tonight. Big Bro and Kyle are there. BAD is there. So it’s Lil Bro doing the honors tonight.
  • I’ve been in a bad mood all day because of a back issue. Are the Steelers going to make me more grumpy or be able to remedy it?
  • Steelers win the toss and elect to take the ball. I’m not a big fan, but I kind of understand why.
  • Steelers break the trend on the very first play. They aren’t shotgun but run the ball.
  • Broderick Jones is starting at right tackle.
  • There’s a third down conversion to Allen Robinson. It’s been along time since the Steelers got a first down on their first drive.
  • Not sure if that will go down as a run or a pass because it was close to backwards to Warren. But that’s a nice 9 yards on first down.
  • Steelers have another first down and are across midfield. This is good news for my mood!
  • I hate it when the Steelers have a nice gain and you see a flag. But this one is on the defense. That’s a third first down!
  • That illegal man downfield call on Jones is not his fault. That pass was supposed to come out quick. And you could’ve had your pick of the linemen.
  • That ball was so far above Johnson’s head it almost was like he expected it to go to a different receiver behind him.
  • Pickett extends the play and the Steelers get 12 on 2nd & 15 to give themselves a chance on this conversion.
  • There’s another conversion and the Steelers are in the red zone!
  • Are we in November or August? That’s the last time I’ve seen the Steelers move the ball like this on an opening drive.
  • That’s what you have to do if you take the ball after winning the coin toss! You’ve gotta put points on the board! Harris runs it in from 10 yards out. And the line was blocking great. Steelers up 7–0.
  • With the penalty on the kickoff the Titans are deep in their own territory. And the first play is only a one-yard gain by Derrick Henry thanks to the return of Captain Cam.
  • That hit on Levis by Watt looked exactly like how Pickett got hit last week. You never know when it’s going to be called or not.
  • I’m still trained that on every good play by the Steelers I don’t get excited because I’m waiting for the flag.
  • It’s 4th & 1 just shy of midfield. Big play coming as the Titans are going for it.
  • Henry runs wide and gets the first down. Everything inside was all bottled up.
  • JPJ definitely needs work on his run defense. Couldn’t bring him down until he grabbed his face mask. Yikes!
  • Of the Titans 4 first downs, 3 are by penalty and one was on fourth down.
  • That was a weird screen. The Steelers had to go for a 1-yard loss.
  • Is it just me or am I seeing Cam Heyward every time he’s on the field? Man, was he missed.
  • Highsmith gets the sack on third down, but of course there’s a flag on the field. Porter gets two calls against him and it’s an automatic first down. That’s now four of their five due to penalty.
  • Titans try a trick play that doesn’t work but they still manage to get 5 yards although they shouldn’t have.
  • It’s third down. Should they throw the flag now before the snap and then decide what they’re going to call?
  • Did T.J. Watt just get a sack after getting his helmet ripped off?
  • The Steelers are 0–3 when giving up points on the opening drive. But this time they do so but still hold the lead. 7–3 Steelers after they force the FG.
  • There’s the 3 & out. It was just one drive late. Pickens was wide open for it but Pickett threw it high in behind him.
  • What a punt and tackle!
  • Wow. They’re actually calling a hold for T.J. Watt.
  • This was already the Titans backup right tackle and now he’s down.
  • They can’t stop T.J. Watt, all they can do is hold him. And The officials have actually been calling it.
  • Why is Cole Holcomb guarding DeAndre Hopkins? And now he’s down in serious pain.
  • What should have been a sack on 1st & 15 ends up being an 11-yard completion to end of the quarter. Steelers up 7–3.

2nd Quarter

  • Highsmith gets the sack with the help of Benton. The Steelers need to get off the field on this weighty down.
  • Titans flip the field with that punt and the Steelers will start at their own 17.
  • All the penalties they’re calling tonight and they aren’t going to call that pass interference against Pickens?
  • Steelers take the deep shot to Austin and don’t connect so it’s two straight 3 & outs. Got to get that ball out there a little farther.
  • The Steelers last two 3rd downs are both plays where the receiver was open. It’s all about execution.
  • Harvin with another booming punt and the Acrisure grass makes a great tackle.
  • Levis had too much time to find Hopkins open on that one. The pass rush is the key to the Steelers pass defense.
  • Markus Golden getting in on the sack party!
  • How is the guy that wide open on 3rd & 13?
  • There Derrick Henry busts through. Titans are first and goal.
  • Third and goal from the two. The third down defense has not been good on this drive.
  • Had Henry in the backfield and let him fall to the end zone. Steelers down 10–7.
  • The Steelers offense comes out and march is down the field for a touchdown. But two 3 & outs in a row has them trailing again. Now what are they going to do?
  • Nice run by Najee on first down. And the short run on second down is enough to break the trend of 3 & outs.
  • Steelers cross midfield on back-to-back passes to Diontae Johnson behind the line of scrimmage. But he’s been making the most out of them.
  • Wait a minute? They can call roughing the passer when it is Kenny Pickett getting hit? Who would’ve thought.
  • I don’t like that rule. But if you’re going to call it against the Steelers you’ve got to call it against their opponent.
  • Warren busts one for 15 yards and the Steelers are in the red zone. I thought they were going to get flagged because DJ was not set.
  • Warren rips off another one and the Steelers are 1st & goal!
  • Pickett doesn’t see Hayward open for the touchdown early and bounces it in the Robinson on third down. Steelers settle for three with just over a minute left in the half. 10–10.
  • Defense can’t give up anything here with the Titans getting the ball to start the second half.
  • This secondary is embarrassing without Minkah Fitzpatrick.
  • Defense let them move down the field way too easy. But the Titans wave the white flag on third down to settle for the FG. 13–10 Titans at the half.

3rd Quarter

  • The defense getting a stop on this first drive of the second half is going to be key.
  • Joey Porter knocks away the third down pass and the Steelers defense gets a 3 & out to start the second half.
  • Najee Harris rips off of a 25-yard run on second down! The Steelers are almost at midfield after starting inside their own 15.
  • Nice conversion on the bootleg on third down. I haven’t had problems with the play calls at all this game, just the execution at times.
  • That check down would have gained significant yards on first town but Harris can’t bring it in.
  • The third down pass falls incomplete but a flag on the defense for illegal contact gives the Steelers a fresh set of downs.
  • We have a Darnell Washington sighting! He catches the pass on the bootleg for the first down and the Steelers are in FG range.
  • I hate burning pointless timeouts early in the second half.
  • Austin takes the jet sweep for a first down.
  • Pickens has to get his foot down there. He had a lot of space to drag it.
  • Big bro text me and said Pickens was running lazy routes that entire drive. I didn’t see it on TV but he’s actually there.
  • Steelers should have had the lead there but instead settle for the tie. 13–13.
  • Defense got a lot of rest there. They need to step up big again.
  • Another Titans offensive lineman is down. Do they have five left to put on the field?
  • Dangerous throw by Levis across the field there. Man, I wish Minkah Fitzpatrick was playing in this game. I think he would have feasted.
  • Defense gets the 3 & out but an illegal contact penalty on Peterson is called although it was the offensive guy initiating the contact. Plus there was a blatant hold on the inside of the offensive line. But the Titans get new life.
  • How did he get that pass away? The screen goes for big yards.
  • Former Steeler Kevin Rader gets into it after the play.
  • That screen went nowhere. Steelers hold them to a field goal attempt.
  • The penalty-aided drive gives the Titans the lead again 16–13.
  • Steelers get one offensive play before the end of the quarter and it’s another successful bootleg for 5 yards. Steelers trail 16–13 going into the fourth quarter.

4th Quarter

  • Diontae Johnson gets the third down conversion and just stepped out of bounds before he can get more.
  • The offensive line was getting a lot of push on that Jaylen Warren run for 6 yards.
  • Trying to get Pickens involved, he catches the pass 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage and gets tackled immediately. By catching it it’s now 3rd & 7 rather than 3rd & 4.
  • The Titans sent more players than the Steelers had blockers and Pickett has to throw it away. Punt coming.
  • With the Titans starting inside their own 10, they play renegade but the first play Levis has all day to throw and connects for 21 yards. Yuck.
  • T.J. Watt just misses batting down that pass but it only gains a couple and the Steelers can get off the field here on a 3rd & 8 stop.
  • The Right tackle starting three seconds before the rest of the offense but they won’t call it. Luckily the pass falls incomplete and a punt is coming.
  • Why fair catch that running backwards at the 8-yard line? It’s probably going into the end zone!
  • The Titans didn’t get points on that drive but they did manage to flip the field. The Steelers have to put together a long drive.
  • Two Najee Harris runs and the Steelers have a first down. They need nine more of those.
  • Is that a Miles Boykin sighting on offense?
  • I hate it when the announcers say, “It’s a turnover free game so far.” Makes me nervous when the Steelers have the ball.
  • I’ve been noticing Jaylen Warren lined up as an H-back throughout the season. They give him the ball on the end around in Week 9 and it goes for 13 yards.
  • Diontae Johnson with the big catch down the sideline on third down!
  • Is he in? Is he in?
  • Jalyen Warren steps out of bounds at the one. They have got to punch this in!
  • They try to run a gadget play and jump off sides. Seriously? At the 1-yard line?
  • D.J. drops it but the defensive hold gives the Steelers a new set of downs at the 3-yard line.
  • And there is the Diontae Johnson touchdown!
  • Boz knocks it through and the Steelers are up 20–16 with four minutes left.
  • Broderick Jones has played a good game tonight, but getting called for the unsportsmanlike after the PAT is going to give the Titans decent field position.
  • Now it’s on the defense. They have to get the stop. And I would have to think the Titans are going for it on fourth down from this point on.
  • That penalty was a killer. Titans almost to midfield before taking a snap.
  • Elandon Roberts is a full-grown man.
  • With the Titans running it on third down, this shows they were going for it on fourth. They just weren’t expecting to get stuffed.
  • On fourth down the Titans take a deep shot to a player who was limping after the end around. Steelers take over close to midfield.
  • On replay, that was nice coverage by Wallace.
  • Scary scene with Burks there. Not sure if he did something to his spine when he landed or what.
  • The Steelers rushing attack has done well tonight but they lose 3 yards on first down. Is it because it was the first time Chuk’s was on the field tonight as the extra blocker?
  • Austin gets the handoff on the end around for 3 yards. Third and 10 upcoming.
  • Do you run the ball to make the Titans use one of their last two timeouts or do you throw for a first down? I’m throwing for it.
  • But the Steelers do not and hand it off to Jaylen Warren for 2 yards. Time to punt.
  • Harvin gets it away and the Titans get the ball at their own 15.
  • Defense has to do it again!
  • Levi Wallace almost picks off the first pass but Hopkins knocks it away.
  • Highsmith with the big sack!
  • Steelers keep them inbounds and the Titans are out of timeouts!
  • One stop right here in the game is over. Come on!
  • How was that a flag? They tipped the ball!
  • So they call holding instead of pass interference.
  • Does DeAndre Hopkins ever run a route where he doesn’t commit interference? Because that was more on him that it was on Porter.
  • And the Steelers let a guy run wide-open deep down the field.
  • Now I’m really nervous. This game should be over.
  • Darius Rush had his chance to make a splash and can’t bring it down.
  • Come on Steelers. A sack would run out the clock right now.
  • I almost can’t watch.
  • Kwon Alexander seals it with the interception!
  • I almost missed it because I was living in my fears.
  • Levis didn’t really have a choice but to throw it into the end zone.
  • Victory formation…
  • 3… 2… 1… WIN!
  • Steelers find a way to win 20–16. They follow suit by winning a game when they score 17 or more points, and the Titans follow suit by losing when they can’t break 16.
  • Now we get to enjoy the rest of the weekend with the Steelers already having their win.

Once again, I just fired off what was going through my head at the time. All reactions were in real time. Basically, it is the equivalent of watching the game with a me and Kyle, you just don’t have to go to another room because of my screaming at the television (sometimes Kyle leaves the room). Now time to process it, some quick analyzing for the Scho Bro Show, and then put it behind me as we move toward, Week 10 and the Packers. Make sure you get your voice heard in the comments below.

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