2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Steelers ready to start winning streak at Titans

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2012-10-11 01:28

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Pittsburgh Steelers may have picked the right place to start winning on the road when they visit the punchless Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.

The Steelers (2-2) have two home wins and two road losses, and with running back Rashard Mendenhall back in the lineup to complement Ben Roethlisberger, they hope to pound away at a defense that has allowed more points than any other team in the league.

``If we are going to be a competitive type of team, the type of team we aspire to be, you have to go into hostile environments and do the job,'' Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. ``We haven't done that. Thursday night in Nashville, we anticipate it to be hostile. We anticipate a certain level of urgency coming from these guys.''

Urgency may be putting it mildly. The Titans (1-4) come into the game off a 30-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, a game in which quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was ineffective replacing the injured Jake Locker and Chris Johnson was held in check with 24 yards on 15 rushes.

Even with safety Troy Polamalu missing his third game with a strained right calf and linebacker LaMarr Woodley possibly out with a strained right hamstring, the Steelers are looking to begin a winning streak.

``We've just got to play good football,'' Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor said. ``We're 0-2 on the road, that's what the resume says about our 2012 season.''

Ryan Mundy is expected to replace Polamalu again, though Will Allen might get more playing time. Linebacker James Harrison returned last week from a left knee injury. And through the injuries, the Steelers are still fifth in the NFL, allowing 280 yards a game.

The Titans, meanwhile, are 30th in rushing at 65.4 yards a game, and Johnson added to his struggles by losing a fumble in last week's loss. The former 2,000-yard rusher is averaging all of 2.9 yards per carry with 210 yards and no touchdowns.

Hasselbeck is starting his second straight game with Locker sidelined with a dislocated left shoulder. The good news is receiver Kenny Britt is healthy, and has practiced the past couple days. He is returning from a torn right knee ligament last season followed by a sprained left ankle last month.

The Titans are ready to get back on the field early after last week's loss.

``Having no time to really harp on all the stuff the last couple weeks, it's good,'' Titans left tackle Michael Roos said. ``It's going to be a physical fight. Everyone here's played against them before in the offensive line. You know what's coming. Just get ready for it.''

The Steelers have dominated this series between the former AFC Central rivals, winning three straight and six of their last nine with Tennessee.

Having Mendenhall back after a knee injury in January should help. He debuted against Philadelphia and averaged 5.8 yards a carry.

Roethlisberger has thrown for 1,111 yards with nine touchdowns and only one interception, and he has been fine on the road, too, with six TD passes and his only interception. Roethlisberger is a big reason the Steelers convert an NFL-best 53.2 percent of their third downs, and now he gets to face a defense giving up an NFL-worst 36.2 points per game.

``I don't think that their defense is an indication of their record,'' Roethlisberger said. ``I think they're a lot better than that. We have to prepare accordingly, because I think they are a good defense.''

The Titans have gotten little help from the offense. Tennessee trailed 14-7 at halftime before losing 38-14 in Houston, and 13-0 at halftime in Minnesota.

``It all comes down to one simple thing,'' Johnson said. ``We're not making plays. We're not staying on the field, not sustaining drives. And at the end of the day, no matter how good our defense does ... they can't keep going out there and making plays when we keep leaving them on the field like that. We have to do our job as an offense.''

The Steelers routed Tennessee 38-17 last season in Pittsburgh and forced seven turnovers in their last trip to Nashville in a win in 2010.

Titans coach Mike Munchak said he knows from experience the Steelers likely will have 30,000 fans in the stands. Needing a win playing Pittsburgh is never easy.

``It's been a couple of weeks, and it's been two long weeks,'' Munchak said. ``Hopefully this week will change that.''

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker on Twitter: http://twitter.com/teresamwalker

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group