PITTSBURGH – The following are the highlights and lowlights from the Steelers’ 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Heinz Field:
Play of the game: Up 2-0 and threatening to score again, the Steelers faced a third-and-1 at the Tennessee 6-yard line in the first quarter. But running back Isaac Redman fumbled the exchange from Ben Roethlisberger, and Tennessee’s Moise Fokou recovered the ball in the end zone.
Offensive player of the game: Titans quarterback Jake Locker wasn’t spectacular, but he didn’t turn the ball over and was sacked once.
Defensive player of the game: Titans linebacker Zach Brown recorded eight tackles, including two sacks.
Most telling statistic: The Steelers had only one run longer than 5 yards – an 8-yarder by Redman in the fourth quarter.
Hidden statistic: The Titans picked up 10 first downs by running the ball, while the Steelers had zero on the ground.
Best pass: Locker fired a 13-yard pass to Nate Washington in the fourth quarter while getting hit by Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons.
Worst pass: Roethlisberger floated a pass to Emmanuel Sanders amid a heavy rush and was intercepted by Alterraun Verner in the second quarter.
Best run: It was only 1 yard, but Jackie Battle fought hard for that yard on a fourth-and-1 carry in the second quarter, leading to the Titans’ only touchdown.
Best catch: Sanders pulled in a hard throw from Roethlisberger down the middle of the field for a 10-yard gain to the Tennessee 17 on the Steelers’ desperation touchdown drive in the fourth quarter.
Dropped pass: Pittsburgh running back LaRod Stephens-Howling failed to pull in a third-and-2 pass from Roethlisberger with Fokou closing in on him in the third quarter.
Best block: Titans tight end Delanie Walker took out Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen on a 7-yard Chris Johnson run in the red zone in the second quarter.
Missed block: Stephens-Howling didn’t slow up Brown on a third quarter sack of Roethlisberger on a third-and-3 play.
Best tackle: Brown nearly kept the Steelers out of the end zone in the fourth quarter with an open-field tackle of Redman after a reception at the 4-yard line on third down.
Best hit: Steelers rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones nailed Johnson in the backfield for a 2-yard loss in the second quarter.
Missed tackle: Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote could have stopped Battle short of the first down on the fourth-and-1 carry, but Battle escaped.
Best coverage: Steelers cornerback William Gay stopped a Titans drive in the third quarter by knocking away a pass intended for Washington on third and 6.
Worst coverage: Pittsburgh cornerback Ike Taylor allowed Washington to grab a third-and-13 pass from Locker across the field in the third quarter. The 14-yard play eventually led to a Rob Bironas field goal.
Best kick: Titans punter Brett Kern booted a 55-yarder that was downed at the Pittsburgh 4-yard line in the second quarter.
Worst kick: Steelers punter Zoltan Mesko kicked one 39 yards from his own 5-yard line in the fourth quarter, giving Tennessee great field position and eventually a Bironas field goal.
Best return: On Mesko’s above punt, Tennessee’s Darius Reynaud returned it 27 yards to the Pittsburgh 17.
Worst return: Reynaud stepped out of the end zone and then stepped back and gave himself up on the opening kickoff. It resulted in a safety for the Steelers just 3 seconds into the game.
Costliest penalty: Steelers safety Ryan Clark was whistled for interference in the fourth quarter, putting the Titans in field-goal range with a 24-yard penalty to the Steelers’ 18.
Best decision: The fourth-and-1 call by Tennessee coach Mike Munchak at the Pittsburgh 26 in the second quarter was a difference maker.
Worst decision: The Steelers should have called a timeout on the play in which Redman fumbled into the end zone. There was confusion on the third-and-1 play.
Best effort: Tennessee’s offensive line helped the Titans rush for 112 yards and gave up just one sack.
Unsung hero: Titans safety George Wilson fielded Shaun Suisham’s onside kick with 1:26 left in the game and held on to the ball after getting hit by Jones.
Challenges: Plays were reviewed, but no red flags were thrown.