Defence, special teams carry Steelers

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:38 PM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Steelers defence stepped up to force seven turnovers in the wake of an injury to quarterback Dennis Dixon and the special teams accounted for all 19 points, as Pittsburgh was able to grind out a 19-11 win over Tennessee at LP Field.

Jeff Reed kicked four field goals and rookie Antonio Brown returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown, while the defence hounded the Titans' two biggest offensive threats in Chris Johnson and Vince Young. Young accounted for three of the turnovers on two interceptions and a lost fumble.

Johnson, the NFL's 2009 Offensive Player of the Year, was bottled up and held to 34 yards on 16 rushes and also fumbled. He was vying for a 13th consecutive 100-yard rushing performance. The Steelers vaunted defence has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 36 straight games.

Rashard Mendenhall helped carry the load late for the victors, wearing down the Titans defense to the tune of 69 yards on 23 carries for Pittsburgh (2-0), which also won ugly in a season-opening 15-9 triumph over Atlanta in overtime.

Dixon was taken for X-rays on his left knee early in the second quarter. He was replaced by Charlie Batch, who was the only other quarterback dressed for Sunday's game following the surprise release of Byron Leftwich on Saturday.

It was a wildly different outcome for the Titans (1-1) than that of their successful 38-13 rout of Oakland to start the season. Young was benched for the fourth quarter and replaced by the ageless Kerry Collins, who was intercepted on the first series and lost a fumble on his third possession.


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