Titans vs Steelers: Who will play and who will sit out in Week 9 clash

Titans vs Steelers

The Tennessee Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers are set to face each other in a Thursday Night Football showdown in Week 9 of the NFL season. Both teams are coming off contrasting results in their previous games, with the Titans defeating the Falcons and the Steelers losing to the Jaguars. The game will also mark the return of Titans head coach Mike Vrabel to Pittsburgh, where he played for four seasons as a linebacker.

Titans vs Steelers

Titans QB situation: Will Levis to start again

The biggest question for the Titans heading into the game is who will be their starting quarterback. Ryan Tannehill, who has been the team’s starter since 2019, suffered a rib injury in Week 7 and missed the last game against the Falcons. In his absence, rookie Will Levis stepped up and delivered a stellar performance, throwing for 238 yards and four touchdowns in a 28-23 win.

Levis, a fifth-round pick out of Kentucky, showed his arm strength and accuracy, connecting with star receiver DeAndre Hopkins for two scores. He also displayed his mobility, rushing for 32 yards on six carries. Vrabel announced on Tuesday that Levis will start again on Thursday night, as Tannehill is still not fully recovered from his injury.

The Titans will hope that Levis can continue his impressive form and lead the team to their fourth win of the season. The Titans are currently third in the AFC South division, behind the Colts and the Texans.

Steelers QB situation: Kenny Pickett to play despite rib injury

The Steelers also have some uncertainty at the quarterback position, as Kenny Pickett suffered a rib injury in their last game against the Jaguars. Pickett, who was drafted in the first round this year out of Pittsburgh, has been the team’s starter since Week 2, when he replaced veteran Mitch Trubisky.

Pickett has shown flashes of potential, throwing for 1,432 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions in six games. He has also added 147 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. However, he has also struggled with consistency and turnovers, as he threw two interceptions in each of his last two games.

Pickett left the game against the Jaguars in the second quarter, after taking a hit from defensive end Josh Allen. He was replaced by Trubisky, who could not rally the team to a comeback, as they lost 20-10. Pickett said on Tuesday that he is “playing for sure” on Thursday night, despite his rib injury. He will try to bounce back from his poor performance and lead the Steelers to their fifth win of the season. The Steelers are currently second in the AFC North division, behind the Ravens.

Game Inactives: Who will play and who will sit out

Both teams have released their list of inactive players for the game on Thursday night. Here are some of the notable names who will not suit up for either team:

  • Titans: OL Chris Hubbard, QB Ryan Tannehill, CB Roger McCreary, WR Colton Dowell, LB Caleb Murphy, DL Jaleel Johnson
  • Steelers: TBA

The Titans will be without their starting quarterback Tannehill, as well as their backup offensive lineman Hubbard, who is dealing with a knee injury. They will also miss rookie cornerback McCreary, who has been a key contributor on special teams. The other players on the list are mostly depth players who have not seen much action this season.

The Steelers have not yet announced their inactive players for the game, but they are expected to do so soon. They will likely be without some of their key players on both sides of the ball, such as wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who is on injured reserve with a shoulder injury; linebacker Devin Bush, who is dealing with a groin injury; and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is in the COVID-19 reserve list.

Game Prediction: Who will win

The game between the Titans and the Steelers is expected to be a close one, as both teams have similar records and strengths. The Steelers have a slight edge over the Titans in terms of defense and experience, as they rank seventh in total defense and have several veteran players on their roster. The Titans have an advantage over the Steelers in terms of offense and momentum, as they rank fourth in total offense and have won two of their last three games.

The game could come down to which quarterback plays better and makes fewer mistakes. Levis has shown more upside than Pickett so far, but he also has less experience and could face more pressure from the Steelers’ pass rush. Pickett has shown more poise than Levis so far, but he also has more injury concerns and could struggle against the Titans’ secondary.

Based on these factors, we predict that the Titans will edge out the Steelers by a score of 24-21 in a tight contest that could go either way.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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