In the lone game on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans meet in Nashville at Nissan Stadium. The Steelers head into Week 3 of the preseason with a perfect resume of 2-0. They have wins over the Buccaneers and Chiefs. Amid a quarterback battle, the defensive unit was the most impressive for the Steelers last week. They held a good Kansas City offense in check for only 7 points in a 17-7. Sure, Patrick Mahomes barely played, but it isn’t like Chad Henne is completely horrible. He’s a veteran that knows his way around an NFL offense.
Offensively, I will have to admit that it wasn’t a great day for anybody. Josh Dobbs threw an interception in the red zone that looked like a rookie mistake. That’s a big mark against him in his battle against Mason Rudolph. Dobbs was getting third-team reps last week behind Rudolph. Rudolph didn’t do anything too exciting, but he did protect the ball and passed for 77 yards on 10-of-15 passing.
Rudolph certainly has more upside than Dobbs. This is still a quarterback competition, but I think this is Rudolph’s job to lose. Behind Dobbs and Rudolph, Devlin Hodges has looked impressive for an undrafted rookie out of Samford. He’s making it awfully difficult on the Steelers to cut him. At a minimum, Hodges will find his way onto the practice squad.
The Steelers went with Rudolph as their starting QB in Week 2 against the Chiefs. Ben Roethlisberger is expected to get the start in this one. It will be his first game action of the preseason after sitting out Week 1 and 2. Since Rudolph got first-team reps last week, Dobbs is likely to get a look behind Roethlisberger. Dobbs is really going to have to impress with this opportunity. Another dumb mistake and the job could be Rudolph’s.
There are zero doubts regarding the quarterback rotation in Tennessee. It’s one of the clearer decisions to be made in the NFL. Marcus Mariota is the starting QB, while Ryan Tannheill follows in the backup position. Former Toledo Rocket and AAF alumni, Logan Woodside, is well back and is just trying to catch onto a roster or practice squad. Mariota will be starting Week 1 barring an injury. Knock on wood. Head below for our free Steelers vs. Titans pick.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tennessee Titans NFL Preseason Week 3 Betting Odds:
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Steelers vs. Titans Pick:
As far as Week 1 is concerned, Mariota is easily getting the nod over Tannehill. How Mariota and Tannehill perform today is irrelevant. However, it’s certainly worth mentioning that Tannehill is going to be breathing down Mariota’s neck if he struggles. Not only did the Titans acquired Tannehill to be his backup, but it’s a way to push Mariota. He did not perform how the Titans wished last season.
Mariota was not terrible, but he’s at a point in his career where he really has to lift everyone up around him. Make them better players than they are. Mariota passed for 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions with 357 yards rushing. He should be over his knee injury by now, so there aren’t going to be any excuses in 2019.
With respects to this preseason game, the Titans are basically going to have two starting quarterbacks playing for nearly three quarters of play. Tannehill isn’t the best signal caller you will find in the league, but he has plenty of experience as a starting QB in Miami.
He has acted as a starter for much more of his career than a backup option. Tannehill should be able to move the ball against backups when he gets the call in this contest. If he doesn’t, then that isn’t going to make Mariota too nervous regarding his job. Tannehill is likely going to take over in this one in the second-half or near the end of the first-half. By then, the Steelers are not going to be having their prime defenders out there.
Then on the Steelers’ side, they are going to have Roethlisberger out there for close to a half, and then a quarterback battle between Dobbs and Rudolph. There’s a good chance that at least two of them are going to be able to put some drives together.
Combined with Mariota and Tannehill, that’s four capable quarterbacks playing in this contest tonight. And if Hodges gets mop-up duty for the Steelers, he’s been playing well in the preseason, too. With a posted total of 40, there appears to be some solid value on the OVER in this preseason edition of Sunday Night Football in Nashville.