Thoughts From The Pressbox

Dale Lolley filed this report from Nashville following the Steelers' come-from-behind win over the Tennessee Titans.

The Steelers went into Monday night's game at Tennessee looking to re-establish their running game with Le'Veon Bell.

In fact, Bell and the offensive linemen got together during the week leading up to the game and set a goal of the Steelers' running back rushing for 150 yards against the Titans.

Consider the mission accomplished.

Bell rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries in Pittsburgh's 27-24 victory, becoming just the fourth Steelers running back to go over 200 yards in a game.

"We didn't have a carry goal, we just had the yards," said Bell.

Early on, the Steelers' intentions were apparent.

Bell carried six times for 37 yards on the opening possession as the Steelers didn't attempt a pass on a field goal drive.

"The offensive line coming off, we got a field goal, but we were like, 'Man, we can run the ball on these guys all day,'" said Bell. "Those guys were so confident, so we kept to the run."

It was needed, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn't at his sharpest on a cold and windy night in Nashville.

"We wanted to keep attacking them, keep running it," said Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. "If you keep running the ball with the same run, then keep going at it until they stop it.

"It was maybe two or three different plays that we were running, we were just executing at a high level."

@ The Steelers reached their bye week - finally - with some momentum regained following a loss two weeks ago at New York against the Jets.

@ There was a sense of relief in the locker room following this win. Things could have definitely gone the other way when the team fell behind, 24-13, in the third quarter.

"It wasn't pretty early," said Roethlisberger. "It's not one of those ones that you're going to go home and watch the whole thing and be proud of it, but at the end of the day, it's the scoreboard that matters."

@ Roethlisberger might not want to watch his film from this game, but he admits to watching Bell plenty in this one.

"When (Bell) gets the ball in his hands, you never know what’s going to happen,” said Roethlisberger, who passed for 207 yards and one touchdown with one interception.

“Sometimes I get so caught up in it that I forget to carry out my fakes. It’s like poetry in motion."

@ The Steelers are now 19-2 since 2004 against rookie quarterbacks and are unbeaten in those matchups when Roethlisberger starts.

But they can't continue to wait until the fourth quarter on the road to get their offense going.

The Steelers have now played six road games. In four of those games, they scored one or fewer offensive touchdowns.

And they have also gone without a touchdown through the first three quarters in four of those games as well. They scored two Monday night, but both came in the final 15 minutes.

That won't be good enough against better opponents.

@ Titans' rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger wasn't sacked in this game, but the Steelers did dial up some pressure at key moments.

"I thought we did a better job of getting to him in the second half," said Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons.

That was the case at times. But with head coach in Ken Whisenhunt who was a former Steelers offensive coordinator, and a defensive coordinator in Ray Horton, the Titans had perhaps better knowledge than any other team on Pittsburgh's schedule about what defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau likes to call and when.

@ Coach Mike Tomlin called Nate Washington's 80-yard touchdown catch at the end of the first half unacceptable and he's absolutely right. You cannot be beaten for an 80-yard score with less than one minute remaining.

William Gay was the culprit - though he also scored the team's lone touchdown in the first half, so I guess he finished even.

Tomlin wouldn't say if Gay was supposed to have safety help on that play, but I have a hard time believing there shouldn't have been.

@ Martavis Bryant had the kind of night that you had to be expecting from the rookie.

He was targeted four times in the end zone and all were incompletions, including one that he dropped.

He also failed to come back strong on play in which he got behind the defense early on, allowing the corner to catch up and make a play.

"He wants to be great," said Roethlisberger. "He knows he should come back and fight for that ball."

It will be another teaching moment for the rookie. And it's much easier to do that after a win.

@ Think about this: The Steelers lined up Monday night without six defensive starters from the group that opened the season.


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