Nov 17, 2014 9:17 PM
Steelers take 13-7 lead over Titans
The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) William Gay intercepted Zach Mettenberger's first pass of the game and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown, and the Pittsburgh Steelers had a 13-7 lead over the Tennessee Titans after the first quarter Monday night.
The Steelers got the opening kickoff and gave the ball to Le'Veon Bell on their first six plays. Bell, leading the AFC in yards from scrimmage, rusher broke off runs of 12 and 19 yards before Tennessee held, forcing Pittsburgh to settle for the 49-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham.
On the Titans' first offensive play, Mettenberger tried to connect with Justin Hunter on the sideline, but the wide receiver slipped and Gay ran the easy interception up the sideline for a 10-0 lead.
Mettenberger, making his third start, bounced right back by completing his next two passes, and fellow rookie Bishop Sankey capped the drive with a 9-yard TD run for Tennessee.
Pittsburgh responded with a 14-play drive. But Blidi Wreh-Wilson broke up a pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Antonio Brown in the end zone, and the Steelers had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Suisham.
The Steelers (6-4) came in tied with Cleveland and Baltimore for second in the AFC North, needing a victory to jump over Cincinnati for the top spot in the division going into their bye. But two of Pittsburgh's losses have come against Tampa Bay and the Jets, teams with a combined four wins, and coach Mike Tomlin is 1-8 all-time against teams with a winning percentage of .200 or worse.
Tomlin does have former Titans coach Mike Munchak coaching the Steelers' offensive line in Munchak's first game in his NFL career against the franchise he spent 32 seasons with as a Hall of Fame offensive lineman and coach. The Titans let Munchak go in January after going 22-26 in three seasons as head coach.
The Titans (2-7) had lost seven of their last eight under first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt. The man who won a Super Bowl ring as offensive coordinator with Pittsburgh was hired in January to turn around a franchise that last won a playoff game in January 2004. Whisenhunt already is on his third quarterback in Tennessee in Mettenberger.
Tennessee was without tight end Delanie Walker, who wasn't cleared after he suffered a concussion last week in Baltimore. That left the Titans with three tight ends not on the roster at the start of the season. The Steelers were without four defensive starters, including Troy Polamalu.
No matter the outcome, these teams played the coldest game at LP Field with the temperature at kickoff 25 degrees.
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