3 reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers will win their Week 7 match up vs the Titans

T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bud Dupree #48 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
T.J. Watt #90 of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Bud Dupree #48 (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) Mandatory Credit: Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports /

Derrick Henry is the league’s leading rusher, but he drew a horrible matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers this week.

I’ve said it before, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the best run defense in the league in 2020. They were committing to being that in the offseason and so far they are living up to their own lofty expectations in that regard. Week 6 was the most dominant performance at stopping the run I feel like I have ever seen, considering the Browns are the top running team in 2020.

If there was a team built to beat the Titans in 2020 it is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan Tannehill is going to have to win this game for Tennessee. I would not be at all surprised if the Black and Gold hold Henry to under 3 yards a carry in this contest.

The Titans will be without their starting left tackle Taylor Lewan and that just makes it even worse for Tennessee in both running the ball and protecting Tannehill. Granted, he is mobile and can move around outside of the pocket with a great amount of poise. Yet, Pittsburgh’s front seven is so good at rushing the quarterback and they are so athletic on the edge I don’t think it will matter.

If the Titans fail to keep up with Pittsburgh’s offense in the first half, then Derrick Henry will become a non-factor in the second half. Henry has only been given 6 carries all season when the Titans are behind by at least 9 points. If the Titans fail to keep this game close, then Henry won’t be able to get his rushing attempts up to where they need to be for him to be playing his best. His running style makes him much more effective after his first 10 carries and he averages over a yard more per carry in the second half of games than in the first half.

I don’t think Henry will be able to get the carries required to really wear down such an athletic defense like Pittsburgh’s. With Keith Butler drawing up great run blitzes now to go along with such great pass blitzes this is the type of defense that can shut down teams like the Titans. If the Steelers manage to grow their lead through the end of the first, and into the second quarter to two possessions, then Pittsburgh is effectively taking him out of the game.