Steelers vs. Titans: What they're saying in Tennessee after loss

Nov. 3—Tennessee Titans quarterback Will Levis got to hear "Renegade" by Styx a lot recently.

"That song is a banger," he said, according to The Tennessean sports columnist Gentry Estes. "We've been playing it all week in practice."

The song typically is played during potentially pivotal moments of Pittsburgh Steelers home games, and is meant to whip fans into a frenzy, with Terrible Towels waving. Levis completed a 21-yard pass from his own end zone after the song was played Thursday night at Acrisure Stadium, but it wasn't enough for a win, Estes wrote.

While Steelers fans likely were thrilled to see an opening drive that ended in a touchdown, Estes was stunned that the team's offense won the game. The Steelers topped the Titans 20-16 thanks to an 11-play, 92-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive and late interception.

"How did the Steelers win because of their offense?" Estes wrote.

The Titans certainly lost because of their defense, he wrote — they had no sacks of Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett.

"Throw somebody around. Shed a block. Make a tackle," Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said. " ... There's no secret formula. We can blitz all day. That brings challenges. We can mix pressure. But you've got to line up and you've got to beat somebody. That's what defensive football comes down to."

The win wasn't pretty, Yahoo! Sports staff writer Jack Baer said, but it's been typical of this Steelers season so far.

"The Steelers provided plenty of reason for confidence at the beginning of the game by exorcising their most persistent demon this season," he wrote, referencing Pickett's first-quarter touchdown drive to take the early lead.

The Titans continue to falter on the road — Thursday's loss was the team's eighth straight away from home and fourth this season, wrote ESPN's Turron Davenport. The reason for that? "Execution," Titans running back Derrick Henry told reporters after the game.

But Davenport and other sports writers agreed — it might be time for Levis, a rookie, to take over as starter. He has been filling in for Ryan Tannehill who has been out with an injury. Thursday was his second start.

If that comes to fruition, he will get used to the missed opportunities that come with losses in the NFL. But for now, he appeared to wallow in his first loss in the league, sports writers said. Levis sat in the locker room after the game, staring off into the distance with his arms crossed, The Tennessean's Titans beat reporter Nick Suss wrote.

Levis was sacked four times and hit 10 times by Steelers defenders. He threw for 262 yards.

"I was just trying to replay in my mind some of the things that happened," Levis told reporters. "Obviously knee-jerk reactions are different than once you go back and watch the tape. ... So I was just trying to replay in the heat of the moment how I felt and what I could've done. Just needed to take a couple breaths."

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta by email at or via Twitter .