The Pittsburgh Steelers put forth a rather feeble performance Sunday in a 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans in their NFL regular season opener at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
In the process, at least five Steelers players were injured, and it appears two — center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker Larry Foote will be lost for the remainder of the season. Pouncey tore both the MCL and the ACL in his right knee, and Foote tore a biceps.
In addition running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (right knee), cornerback Cortez Allen (ankle) and kicker Shaun Suisham (hamstring) sustained injuries.
The Titans spotted Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead by allowing a safety on the game’s opening kickoff. Tennessee then scored on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jackie Battle and on three field goals kicked by Rob Bironas.
The Steelers themselves never found the end zone until Ben Roethlisberger hit Jerricho Cotchery with a 4-yard TD pass with 1:23 left in the game. With no timeouts remaining, Pittsburgh attempted, but was not successful in recovering an onside kick.
The Steelers were held to 32 net rushing yards, including 19 by Stephens-Howling. Roethlisberger completed 21-of-33 passes for 191 yards, was intercepted once and finished with a 76.7 quarterback rating. Antonio Brown caught 5 passes for 71 yards, Emmanuel Sanders had seven receptions for 57 yards, and Cotchery caught four tosses for 34 yards.
Pittsburgh was helped during the season’s first weekend by losses by everyone else in the AFC North, so the Steelers, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Baltimore all approach week two with 0-1 records. The Steelers next will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals in a division showdown on Monday night.