Neither the Tennessee Titans or Pittsburgh Steelers had the type of season they wanted last year, but at least one of them will start their 2013 campaign on a high note. The two AFC squads will kick off their respective schedules on Sunday, September 8th at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh (1:00pm ET, CBS). Early 2013 NFL Week 1 Odds have the hosting Steelers listed as a -6.5 against the spread favorite and the Over/Under set at 43.5 points.
The Steelers missed the playoffs for just the fourth time since 2001 last year as they closed out the season with an 8-8 record. Pittsburgh’s 2-5 finish, which included home losses to the Ravens, Chargers, and Bengals, ruined a start that featured four consecutive wins.
Pittsburgh’s defense was, per usual, one of the best in the league, holding opponents to 275.8 yards and 19.6 points per game, but the offense struggled under the direction of new coordinator Todd Haley. Ben Roethlisberger put together a decent season, throwing 26 touchdowns to eight interceptions (97 passer rating), but the ground game produced a paltry 96.1 yards per contest.
The addition of Le’Veon Bell (second round draft pick – Michigan State) should improve the backfield situation, but the Steelers lost Mike Wallace on the outside and Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders have not proven themselves consistent receiving threats at this point in their respective careers.
Despite the question marks on offense, Pittsburgh is expected to have its way with the Titans in the season opener. Tennessee, after a 9-7 season in head coach Mike Munchak’s first year, went backwards last year, finishing at 6-10.
The Titans made their share of moves in the offseason, bringing in a number of notable players, including Andy Levitre (OL), Kevin Walter (WR), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB), Bernard Pollard (S), and Shonn Greene; however, quarterback is still a concern as full time duties fall to Jake Locker. The offensive line is an issue as well, but it could improve rapidly with the signing of Levitre and the drafting of Chance Warmack (G- Alabama).
Notes: The Titans were 2-6 on the road last year where they averaged just 19 points per game. The Under is 9-1 in the Steelers last 10 home games
Titans vs Steelers Spread 2013 NFL Week 1: Provided by CarbonSports.ag
Tennessee Titans +6.5 (-110), Over 43.5 (-110)
Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 (-110), Under 43.5 (-110)