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NFL Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers: Takeaways from Loss to Tennessee Titans

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Pittsburgh Steelers: Takeaways from Loss to Tennessee Titans

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Preparing for action against the Tennessee Titans, the Pittsburgh Steelers took the field on Sunday ready for battle. With a cloudy overcast over Heinz Field, hopes were high for Steelers faithful across the globe.

With perhaps the most odd start to a football game one can imagine, Tennessee return man Darius Reynaud took the opening kick and stepped over the goal line unknowingly, proceeding to take a knee in the end zone resulting in a safety.

With an early 2-0 lead, it seemed as if the Steelers were ready for a fantastic outing. As we would watch, however, it was the exact opposite.

Disappointing is an understatement for the performance the black and gold put out in the first week. Heavily favored in the match up against the Titans, Pittsburgh came out to the gridiron flat and weak.

Heavily dominated throughout the game, the Steelers were held scoreless on offense for every drive, finally giving up a touchdown with under two minutes left in the game.

Take no credit away from Tennessee -- they played a great game against Pittsburgh and made plays when it counted, whereas the Steelers didn’t.

Luckily, there are 15 more weeks left in the season. With every other team in the AFC North losing this past week, the Steelers lost no ground as they enter Week 2.

While the Steelers' staff and players will move forward to next weeks matchup, let’s take a look at what can be taken away from the Week 1 loss to the Titans:

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Ben Needs Help ... Bad

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With an injured Maurkice Pouncey and not even a sub-par running game to help him, Ben Roethlisberger looked helpless in the loss to the Titans. Constantly having balls dropped by receivers and being forced with pressure (sacked five times), Ben needs to have some type of relief on the offensive side before he winds up injured again.

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Todd Haley's Play Calling Remains the Same

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Carrying over from last year, Todd Haley's play calling remains questionable at best. Whether it be a screen call on third and 11 or targeting a running back three plays in a row, Haley remains the same old coordinator from 2012.

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No Pass Rush

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While the defense held their ground throughout the game, the pass rush was the Achilles' heel of the game. Only totaling one sack on the day, the pass rush looked slow as opposing quarterback Jake Locker slowly picked apart the Steelers' secondary.

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No Run Game ... At All

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

With the injury to Le'Veon Bell and the release of Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman was named the next man up to start. With two fumbles and nine yards on eight carries, Redman was replaced by Felix Jones and Larod Stephens-Howling. Larod was eventually hurt and Jones wasn't able to convert on his opportunities. Not able to move the ball at all, dark skies cloud the once depth-filled backfield.

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Emmanuel is the Man

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Targeted 12 times and reeling in seven receptions, Emmanuel Sanders was the main man to go to when it came to the passing game. Taking pressure off of fellow receiver Antonio Brown, Sanders could possibly break out this year for Pittsburgh.

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Defense Held Its Ground

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While zero turnovers were forced in Sunday's effort, the defense did do its part in order to win. Faced with terrible field position the whole game and no offense to counter it, the defense managed to hold Chris Johnson to 75 yards on 25 carries and Jake Locker to 125 total yards passing. The defense looks similar to its past successful self.