Steelers notebook: Beating Tennessee would complete AFC South sweep
Half of the Steelers’ wins are against the AFC South — Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Houston — and they can run the table if they can beat Tennessee on Monday night.
LP Field in Nashville is one of the few NFL venues where Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t won. He’s 0-2 there; he’s 3-1 against the Titans in Pittsburgh.
The Falcons are the only NFL team Roethlisberger hasn’t beaten. He’s 0-1 against them, but he’ll get a chance for a win when the Steelers play Dec. 14 in Atlanta.
• Roethlisberger spent most of the previous three games throwing the ball down the field as evidenced by his 522-yard game against the Colts. The the loss to the Jets, though, featured more screen passes and passes along the line of scrimmage. Most didn’t work. “When it’s a poor performance, it takes everybody. That goes for me as well,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. “The Jets guessed right a couple of times on screens. … But I think our screen game has been a really good weapon. … And we have to keep it as a weapon.”
• Steelers punter Brad Wing was teammates with Titans quarterback Zach Mettenberger at LSU. Mettenberger started his final two seasons in 2012 and ’13, throwing 34 TD passes and 15 interceptions. Asked what he remembers about Mettenberger, Wing said, “He has good arm strength and could throw the ball a mile down the field.”
• Injured Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones worked out during the offseason with NFL sacks leader Justin Houston (12 sacks) of the Chiefs. He credits that and the one-on-one time he spent with new Steelers defensive assistant Joey Porter with elevating his game before he was hurt. After having only one sack as a rookie, Jones had two sacks in two-plus games before injuring his right wrist Sept. 21 against Carolina. It’s uncertain whether he’ll play again this season. “I put in a lot of hard work as far as (developing) my skillset and learning the system here. Joey really helped me out,” Jones said. “The first year here, for myself, it was more thinking than reacting. I think this year I was able to get a lot more comfortable into what I was doing and knowing what I was doing, pre-snap reads, tendencies, my understanding of the game.”