NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ben Roethlisberger suspended, left tackle Max Starks injured. Dennis Dixon even hurt his left knee early and didn't return.
With the Steelers defense playing as stingy and hard-hitting as ever, who needs much offense?
Antonio Brown scored on an 89-yard kickoff return to open the game, and the Pittsburgh Steelers forced seven turnovers in defeating the Tennessee Titans 19-11 Sunday.
Charlie Batch replaced Dixon, and Pittsburgh (2-0) was outgained 238-127 on offense. But the Steelers swarmed the Titans (1-1) to come up with four sacks and force the most turnovers by Tennessee since 2000. Jeff Reed kicked four field goals off those turnovers.
The Titans even tried pulling Vince Young after his third turnover. Kerry Collins was intercepted to end his first series.
Pittsburgh also snapped Chris Johnson's 100-yard rushing streak at 12 straight. The NFL's rushing champ had a chance to move a game away from the league record of 14 held by Barry Sanders, but he finished with just 16 carries for 34 yards. An 85-yard touchdown was wiped away by a holding penalty.
The Steelers did all this without injured nose tackle Casey Hampton. James Harrison had three sacks, forced a fumble and recovered another.
The Titans tried to rally late. Troy Polamalu helped eat up the clock by leaping over the line and tackling Collins for a loss on first-and-goal. Collins did toss a 2-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington two plays later, and he found Kenny Britt for the 2-point conversion to pull within 19-11 with 58 seconds left.
After Colin Allred recovered the onside kick for the Titans, Bryant McFadden broke up Collins' pass to Washington in the end zone with 13 seconds left. After two straight false starts by the Titans, Collins tossed a short pass to Johnson, who was tackled by Lawrence Timmons to seal the victory.
The Steelers intercepted Young twice, sacked him twice and caused him to fumble once. Young was slammed to the ground awkwardly by Harrison, and Collins came in on the next series to loud cheers from the crowd.
Pittsburgh led 7-3 with the Titans threatening to take the lead when Polamalu picked off Young in the end zone. LaMarr Woodley ended another drive with an interception at the Steelers 37. Timmons stripped Johnson of the ball just before halftime, and Harrison recovered to set up another field goal from Reed for a 13-3 halftime lead.
The turnovers helped the Steelers hold the ball for more than 33 minutes to wear out Tennessee despite wearing their black jerseys with the temperature at kickoff at 87 degrees — the hottest ever in the 90 games played at LP Field.
Tennessee came in having won nine of 11 dating to last season. The Titans came up with four sacks and a turnover of their own. It just wasn't enough to overcome an offense that couldn't hold onto the ball. Tennessee had its most turnovers since also committing seven against Cleveland 10 years ago.
Brown was the Steelers receiver who imitated Johnson in practice all week, and the rookie showed he could do more than just provide a good look. He took a handoff from Mewelde Moore on a reverse and went to his right untouched on his kickoff return for the 7-0 lead to stun the sold-out crowd.
Then Stevenson Sylvester stripped Titans rookie Marc Mariani of the ball after a 33-yard return.