Our projections in the first week were not outlandish. Read that sentence with a hint of surprise at the end.
We had our share of hits and misses, but as predicted Dennis Dixon had a good game for the Steelers, as did Hines Ward and Rashard Mendenhall.
Same goes for the Titans’ Nate Washington and Chris Johnson. Well, Johnson’s a lock for his numbers most of the time. Can we expect the Chris Johnson we expect when the Steelers play the Titans in Tennessee this week? Let’s find out.
It feels good to get that first week out of the way. We were operating without a parachute with projections last week. While the pass distribution and rushing distribution will change throughout the season, we have a little better idea about which players teams want to use. That makes projecting easier.
Just like last week, 2009 statistics factor in but we have added depth provided by Week 1. Again, this is no perfect model. There are many improvements that could be made but we had relatively good accuracy with it last week despite the flaws. Translation: Use these at your own discretion but they should be pretty darn good.
The projections have the Titans beating the Steelers by a field gaol, 22-19.
This is a good matchup for Rashard Mendenhall and Dennis Dixon and a very bad one for Chris Johnson.
Now, you’re going to play Johnson. Don’t even hesitate. Just understand that the Steelers shut down a Michael Turner who was “faster-,” “healthier-” and “in-better-shape-than-ever”* last week. He had just 22 yards on 19 carries. (*Source: Preseason hypetrain conductor)
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh faces a defense that gave up a huge game to Darren McFadden.
One thing to watch in-game: Who does Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan cover, Mike Wallace or Ward? The loser of that decision could be in for a disappointing-ish game.
Dennis Dixon, PIT: 22-34, 234 yards, TD, INT, 5 rush yards
Vince Young, TEN: 19-31, 202 yards, INT, 10 rush yards
Chris Johnson, TEN: 110, TD, 4 catches, 25 receiving yards
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT: 105, TD, 2 catches, 10 receiving yards
Javon Ringer, TEN: 10 yards, 1 catch, 5 yards receiving
Isaac Redman, PIT: 10 yards
Mewelde Moore, PIT: 5 yards, 2 catches, 15 yards
Hines Ward, PIT: 6-85, TD
Mike Wallace, PIT: 4-60
Nate Washington, TEN: 5-75
Justin Gage, TEN: 3-45
Kenny Britt, TEN: 3-30
Antwaan Randle-El: 3-20
Heath Miller, PIT: 5-50
Bo Scaife, TEN: 2-20
Jared Cook, TEN: 1-5
Rob Bironas, TEN: 2 FG, 2 XP
Jeff Reed, PIT: 2 FG, 1 XP
Titans: 3 sacks, INT
Steelers: 2 sacks, INT