2020 South Side Questions: Which Team Will Leave Undefeated?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.

Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.

As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion

Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Which team will remain unbeaten after today’s game?

Well, it is the obvious question for today’s game. Two undefeated teams with at least five victories don’t face each other very often—just a handful in the Super Bowl era—and the winner of said game has advanced to the Super Bowl in the past. Of course, that doesn’t mean it will happen this time, but the Steelers and the Tennessee Titans are certainly among at least the top five teams in the AFC, along with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Buffalo Bills.

This is a matchup that was supposed to happen weeks ago, but was postponed for obvious and well-known reasons at this point. Both teams have continued to have success since the postponement and come into this game with plenty of momentum, though not without adversity.

The Titans, for example, just lost their quality starting left tackle, Taylor Lewan, for the remainder of the season. The Steelers have fared no better with Devin Bush lost for the year. This will be the first game for both teams without one of their more high-profile players.

If there is an advantage to be had in this game, it would be the Steelers’ defense and their relentless pass rush, but they can’t be sucked into the Titans’ deadly play-action action. Ryan Tannehill uses play action the fourth-most often among qualifying quarterbacks and has five touchdowns to zero interceptions with a quarterback rating of 125.6 when he uses it, compared to 88.5 without it.

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