Greg Cote’s Thursday night pick

STEELERS (2-2) at TITANS (1-4)

Line: PIT by 5 1/2

Cote’s pick: PIT 24-16

TV: 8:20 p.m., NFL Network

Take lightly neither the wounded animal backed into a corner nor the struggling, embarrassed NFL team playing in prime time at home. This is the factor that will somehow make this game competitive even though the matchup does not look close. You’d think lopsided if all you considered was that Ben Roethlisberger’s offense, energized by the return of Rashard Mendenhall, could drop 40 on a truly awful Titans defense that leads the league with 181 points allowed. But then you’d also maybe consider that Pittsburgh is 2-7 all-time in Nashville and has given up 65 points in two road losses this season. Put all of that in the blender, pulse gently and be left with a Steelers win that is not in doubt, but not a rout.

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