PITTSBURGH — The first half of the Steelers’ game against the Tennessee Titans went poorly for Pittsburgh in all three phases, but perhaps the most alarming of the setbacks was what happened to the Steelers’ punting unit.
Rookie punter Pressley Harvin III punted four times in the first half, his first went for 27 yards, his third for 32 yards, and his fourth for 40 yards. His second, a 51-yarder, was returned 55 yards by Chester Rogers and was aided by a 10-yard penalty on gunner James Pierre to put the Titans at the Steelers’ 35-yard line.
The net average of his four first-half punts, including the penalty, was an abysmal 21.25 yards.
“Field position in a game like that is real,” head coach Mike Tomlin said. “They won the battle of field position in the first half, primarily because of the ineffectiveness of our punt team.”
The Titans used that field position to go down on scoring drives of 25 and 45 yards to take a 10-lead that the Steelers took most of the rest of the game to battle back from.
“The punting component created short fields and so forth,” Tomlin said. “They won the battle of field position and special teams.”