Magic runs out on Titans
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans had grown so used to rallying late in winning four of their first five games that they expected to do just that once again.
Then Stephen Gostkowski’s 45-yard field goal to force overtime slipped wide right, providing a painful reminder that comeback magic doesn’t always work.
In a matchup of the AFC’s remaining undefeated teams Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers made the Titans pay for their reliance on late-game theatrics by holding on for a 27-24 win in a game pushed back three weeks while the Titans dealt with the NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak during the season.
“That’s the story of the Titans right now,” cornerback Kevin Byard said. “We’re not starting fast enough on defense. It’s kind of like we’re anticipating or expecting the offense to always dig us out of a hole, and that can’t be the mentality. That can’t be the mentality going forward.”
Pittsburgh (6-0) converted its first seven third downs of the game, chewing through the Tennessee defense that came in last in the NFL in that area. The Titans (5-1) allowed the Steelers to convert 13 of 18 on third down, and Pittsburgh scored on five of its first six drives.
The offense provided little help either.
Tennessee came in No. 2 in the NFL in both total offense and points scored. The Titans hadn’t scored fewer than 31 points since rallying for a 16-14 win to open the season in Denver.
Derrick Henry, the NFL rushing leader, was held to 75 yards on 20 carries.