NASHVILLE (93-7 THE FAN) — Un-Steeler-like defensive play was the story once again in yet another un-Steeler-like road performance, a surprising 26-23 last-second loss to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field Thursday.

“We’ve got to make plays, period. LT made a great play,” safety Ryan Clark said, referring to a second-half interception by linebacker Lawrence Timmons, “but we needed one more. It’s a team sport. The offense keeps trying to say, ‘It’s us too,’ but it’s not. It’s the defense.”

Injuries mounted for the Steelers on offense, but one of the big ones on the defensive side of the ball–the right calf injury to All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu–was the headline-grabber before Thursday’s game. The Steelers remain just a .500 team all-time when Polamalu is absent.

“People are going to say that,” he shrugged. “He’s a defensive MVP. I want him out there, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve lost games with him playing too. We’ve lost games where he and I are out there at the same time. We lost the Super Bowl that way. It’s no excuse.”

Clark reacted to some of the key plays down the stretch in defeat:

The Steelers (2-3) visit Cincinnati (3-2) next Sunday night.

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