I did not have the pleasure of watching the game, having caught a few minutes on the radio during the first half. But after I saw the final results, I thought it might be useful to remind folks that miracles, or at least major upsets, happen almost every week in the NFL. Going into tonite's game, the Titans' defense had given up more points than any other team in the league, including our Buffalo Bills (who are the 2nd worst after the Titans).
Playing at home against a Steelers team suffering from a series of injuries to their offensive line, the Tennessee Titans, led by veteran and now backup QB Matt Hasselback, came back from a 7 point deficit in the 4th quarter to defeat elite QB Big Ben and the Steel Curtain at their home field in Nashville.
For a sign of what can happen on any given Sunday (or in this instance, Thursday Night) in the NFL, check this game out on your replay machine.
The Titans had been playing terrible defense most of the season, as evidenced by their league leading points allowed total. But with home field advantage, they were able to beat one of the best QBs in the NFL, effectively shutting down the Steelers' running game and containing their passing attack, while generating enough offense to edge the Steelers 26-23.
In the end, it came down to a pair of field goals, one made by their kicker at the buzzer following a failed 54 yarder with under one minute remaining by the Steelers. As is often the case in the NFL, you need a few breaks to win, especially against a quality opponent. The Steelers could have punted instead of giving the Titans excellent field position, assuring an overtime outcome. But they went for the low percentage field goal, and paid the price for the high risk attempt. The Titans quickly moved themselves into Steelers territory and were able to convert a field goal from inside 45 yards as time expired.
The Titans will have a long week to rest up and prepare themselves for the Bills at The Ralph. We can only hope they will be facing a Bills team experiencing some of the positive defensive momentum that the Titans managed to generate tonite.
Every week in the NFL, strange things tend to happen. The Bills are long overdue for a defensive performance worthy of being considered, by the past few weeks' standards, nothing short of miraculous.
In any case, it should be quite an encounter next week in Orchard Park to see which of the two worst defenses in the NFL blinks most often.