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Tennessee Titans vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Keys to victory

AFC supremacy will be on the line when the Tennessee Titans play host to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coming off of a frustrating loss to the Texans, the Titans will be looking to regain the form that was often on display during their impressive 10-0 start. The Steelers, on the other hand, are playing perhaps their best football as of late and appear to be peaking at the right time.

Here are this week’s keys to a Tennessee Titan victory.  

“The Replacements”

In addition to playing without the energizer bunny himself, Kyle Vanden Bosch, the Titans will be without the services of their stud behemoth Albert Haynesworth for the remainder of the regular season.

Filling in for the injured KVB, David Ball and Jacob Ford’s performances are a testament to the depth the Titans have at DE. Now it’s time for guys like Tony Brown, Jason Jones and Amon Gordon to step up in “Big Al’s” absence at DT.

Things got pretty ugly in 2007 when Haynesworth was not on the field. Hopefully, history won’t repeat itself in 2008.

Catch the darn ball!

The term inconsistent is perhaps a kind way of describing the play of the Tennessee Titans’ wide receivers in 2008. With the possible exception of Brandon Jones, dropped balls have been a recurring problem for the much-maligned Titan wide-outs.

Sustaining drives against the vaunted Pittsburgh defense will be of the utmost importance. In crucial 3rd down passing situations, the Titan wide receivers must be able to hold on to the football (that means avoiding throwing in the direction of Justin McCareins at all costs).

Getting creative with CJ

In Chris Johnson, the Titans have an offensive weapon with the speed to make big plays on any given down. 

CJ’s jets will definitely come in handy against the tenacious Steeler defense. Instead of constantly hammering Johnson into the line of scrimmage, I’d love to see Mike Heimerdinger utilize the Titans’ stud rookie RB creatively this weekend.  

That means calling some plays that will get CJ out in space, a few screen passes, a little of CJ in the slot, etc. I wouldn’t even be opposed to seeing some Wildcat action with CJ playing the Ronnie Brown role.

What are your keys to a monumental Titan victory this weekend?