Many weeks, football fans find other things to watch on Thursday nights. The matchups aren't exactly intriguing.
This is a week to tune in.
Pittsburgh, ranked third in the AP Pro32, is a 7-point favorite over No. 11 Tennessee. It's an important game for several reasons:
Both teams lead their divisions, the 7-2 Steelers in the AFC North, the 6-3 Titans in a tie with Jacksonville atop the AFC South.
Both are in good shape for wild-card slots, and this game could have tiebreaker ramifications.
Both teams are on four-game winning streaks.
Each comes off tight tests against inferior opponents, Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, Tennessee at home to Cincinnati. It will be interesting to see how (or if) they rebound with stronger performances.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey isn't concerned that the short turnaround will affect his club. Playing the Steelers always gets a team's attention.
“If we let that become a distraction, it can be, yes,” Mularkey said. “This team's pretty mature and pretty good about handling different situations, and this won't be any different.”