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The Pittsburgh Steelers visit Nashville for the Week 6 edition of Thursday Night Football. Here's everything you need to know to get ready for the game.
What's at Stake
For Tennessee, this game is the difference between a fighting chance and oblivion. With a win, they can look ahead to a manageable stretch of games and hope to pull something good from the burning pile of rubble that has been 2012. With a loss, they can start talking about building for 2013. Pittsburgh is a team at the crossroads. They are coming off a hard-fought home win over the Eagles, but their record stands at just 2-2. Their schedule is brutal, and there are only a few lightweights on it. If they drop a game to the Titans, it will be an uphill climb to the playoffs.
Biggest Advantage for the Steelers
According to the Football Outsiders' DVOA metrics, the Titans have the worst red-zone rushing attack in the NFL. Then again, the Titans have the worst overall run offense in football all the time, so why should the red zone be any different? Meanwhile, the Steelers buck up in close—they are a top-10 defense against the run inside the 20-yard line. This means that if the Titans do manage to sustain drives, they are going to have to cash in through the air, because Pittsburgh is stingy on the ground.
Biggest Advantage for the Titans
The kick-return game has been a major bright spot for Tennessee all year, and Darius Reynaud should give them a boost against the Steelers. Pittsburgh is below average in covering kicks, and the Titans excel at running them back. It's going to take multiple big plays on special teams to give the Titans the yards and points they need to stay close in this game. Outlook
Is there any reason to think this defense has improved in the last four days? Pittsburgh is a better passing team than the Vikings, and everyone saw what they did to the Titans. It's hard to win on the road on a short week, but until the Titans prove they can hold an opponent under 30 points, it's impossible to favor them