TEAM NOTES – DEFENSE
• A 36-yard field goal by the Steelers in the second quarter ended a streak of five scoreless quarters by the Titans defense, including four quarters in the shutout performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 12. The Titans defense also had a streak of six consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown until the Steelers reached the end zone in the third quarter.
• The Titans defense allowed the Steelers offense to gain a total of 168 yards, including 35 rushing yards and 133 net passing yards. In the franchise's "Titans era" (since 1999), it was the seventh-lowest opponent yardage total in a game against the Titans and the lowest since yielding 127 yards against the Steelers on Sept. 19, 2010. For the Steelers, their 168 yards of offense was their lowest total since the same 2010 game against the Titans.
• The Titans defense limited the Steelers to 12 first downs. Over a two-week period, the defense allowed only 21 total first downs, including nine against Jacksonville on Dec. 12.
• The Steelers offense converted only two of their 11 third-down attempts, a rate of 18.2 percent. That was the best third-down percentage by the Titans defense of the season and the best since allowing 13.3 percent (two of 15) against Chicago on Nov. 8, 2020.
• The Titans defense allowed 43 total rushing yards in a two-game span. The unit held Pittsburgh to 35 rushing yards on 17 attempts (2.1 avg.) one week after limiting the Jaguars to eight rushing yards. The Titans, who went into the week ranked second in rushing defense, are allowing opponents an average of only 86.9 rushing yards per game in 2021.
• The 133 passing yards by the Steelers were the second fewest by a Titans opponent in 2021 behind only the 107 passing yards by the Houston Texans on Nov. 21.
• The Titans defense took the field four times following Steelers takeaways in Titans territory. On those four drives for the Steelers, the Titans defense allowed only three total first downs and forced four field goals.
• When newly-acquired inside linebacker Zach Cunningham made his first appearance with the Titans, he became the 87th different player this season to participate for the team in a game. The total is the most in league history outside of the 1987 strike season that included replacement players. Cunningham also recorded his first start with the Titans, making him the 51st player this season to start at least once for the team. The Titans entered the week tied for second place in the NFL for most starters used in 2021.
TEAM NOTES – OFFENSE
• The Titans totaled 201 rushing yards, including 108 ground yards by D'Onta Foreman, 49 by Dontrell Hilliard, 26 by Jeremy McNichols and 18 by Ryan Tannehill. It was their third game in 2021 with at least 200 rushing yards and their second such performance in a three-game span.
• For the 11th time in 14 games this season, the Titans won the time-of-possession battle. Their time of possession was 39:08, compared to 20:52 by the Steelers.
• On a drive in the second quarter that ended on a 32-yard field goal by Randy Bulluck, the Titans offense drove 64 yards on 19 plays, taking 10 minutes and 17 seconds to do so. It was the highest number of plays on a Titans drive since a 19-play touchdown series at Houston on Jan. 3, 2021. It was the most time used on a Titans scoring drive since Oct. 26, 2003, when the Titans offense had a drive for a field goal that used 11 minutes and 14 seconds.
DL DENICO AUTRY
• Registered a sack in the fourth quarter, dropping Ben Roethlisberger for a one-yard loss. The play gave him seven sacks in 2021 and 37.5 career sacks.
• Recorded his second consecutive season with at least seven sacks and his third career season with at least seven sacks.
K RANDY BULLOCK
• Made both of his field goal attempts, hitting from 26 yards in the first quarter and from 32 yards in the second quarter. He also made his only extra point attempt.
ILB ZACH CUNNINGHAM
• After being added to the roster off waivers from the Houston Texans in the week leading up to the game, he started in his Titans debut and led the defense with six tackles.
OLB BUD DUPREE
• Returned to the field after missing three games due to injury.
• Registered a nine-yard sack against his former team, dropping Ben Roethlisberger in the third quarter. It was his second sack of 2021, giving him 41.5 career sacks. He totaled two tackles in the contest.
RB D'ONTA FOREMAN
• Led the team with 108 rushing yards on a career-high 22 rushing attempts, including a 20-yard run in the fourth quarter.
• Added 27 yards on two receptions to give him a career-high 135 scrimmage yards.
• Registered his second career 100-yard rushing game and his second 100-yard performance in a three-week span.
RB DONTRELL HILLIARD
• Totaled 49 yards on nine rushing attempts and 10 yards on four receptions. His four receptions tied for the team lead.
WR JULIO JONES
• Left the game in the third quarter with an injury and did not return. His streak of 134 consecutive individual games with at least one reception came to an end. The streak dated back to Dec. 4, 2011, when he was a rookie with the Atlanta Falcons.
DL NAQUAN JONES
• Totaled four tackles, one sack and a team-high two tackles for loss.
• Registered a five-yard sack of Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter. It gave him 2.5 sacks during his rookie season.
P BRETT KERN
• Appeared in his 194th career game with the Titans, which placed him in a tie with Brad Hopkins (194 games from 1993 to 2005) for third on the franchise's all-time games played list. Only Bruce Matthews (296) and Elvin Bethea (210) have more career games with the Titans/Oilers.
• Averaged 47.7 yards (34.7 net) on three punts with a long punt of 54 yards.
RB JEREMY McNICHOLS
• Totaled 51 scrimmage yards, including 26 rushing yards on six carries and 25 yards on three receptions.
WR CHESTER ROGERS
• Tied for the team lead with four receptions and finished second on the squad with 30 receiving yards. He added 48 total yards on two punt returns and 40 yards on two kickoff returns.
• Recorded a career-long 55-yard punt return in the first quarter, leading to a Titans touchdown. His previous career long was 51 yards against the Titans as a member of the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 18, 2018. Rogers recorded the longest punt return by a Titans player since Darius Reynaud had 69- and 81-yard touchdown returns against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Dec. 30, 2012.
QB RYAN TANNEHILL
• Completed 23 of 32 passes for 153 yards with one interception and added five rushing attempts for 18 yards and a touchdown.
• Recorded a one-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter. With his seventh rushing touchdown of the season, he tied the career high he set in 2020. It was his 24th career touchdown run.
• Reached the 3,000-yard passing mark (3,118) for the second consecutive season and for the sixth time in his career.
• Eclipsed 30,000 career passing yards, becoming the 51st player in NFL history to reach the mark. He now has thrown for 30,113 yards during his career.
• Extended his streak to 12 consecutive games with at least one passing or rushing touchdown.
WR NICK WESTBROOK-IKHINE
• Led the offense with 32 receiving yards and tied for the team lead with four receptions.