Steelers vs. Titans: 3 key matchups to keep an eye on in Week 7

Bud Dupree #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Bud Dupree #48 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Robert Spillane (41). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Robert Spillane vs. Titans Run

This shouldn’t come as a surprise as Robert Spillane is the player everyone is waiting to see this week. As stated earlier, the Steelers will be without Devin Bush for the first time since being drafted in 2019.

Bush was the defensive play-caller and had the pursuit skill to allow him to cover ground from sideline-to-sideline. This will be the most noticeable loss. Opposing teams have only averaged 66.2 rushing yards per game on 3.3 yards per rush, and Bush’s athleticism to command line of scrimmages from each end was a major reason.

For Pittsburgh now, they will be in a rotation on filling the void, starting with the third-year LB Robert Spillane. Starting his career off with the Titans in 2018, he found his way into the Steel City early in 2019 before being re-signed to the practice squad in October.

A year later and now activated for his first professional start, Spillane’s work on special teams now has to be shifted into defense and didn’t disappoint at first-sight. In thirty snaps, he combined for six tackles & one tackle for loss, and most importantly, looked comfortable.

Filling his assignments well and not struggling to make any stops, the preview was satisfying. Now we don’t know how effective he can be against the pass and could earn time for someone like LB Marcus Allen that has previous experience in the secondary.

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There are a lot of matchups that could prove to be important when two of the NFL’s best teams face off in Week 7, but these three may just determine the outcome of the game. Let’s hope the Steelers rise to the occasion.