The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Houston Texans at Heinz Field facing as much of a “must win” situation as any 3-3 team could face. While the Black and Gold were officially favored, Houston had going for it:
their zone rushing scheme with Adrian Foster would test Pittsburgh’s shaky run defense
JJ Watt had scored more touchdowns his season than the Steelers offense had in the last two games
the Steelers were facing accusations from Bill Cowher that they’d gone soft and were a finesse team
For the first 28 minutes it looked like Hines Ward and Cowher were right. The Texans were running at will, and the Steelers were settling for field goals. Yet, just inside the two minute warning, the Steelers showed why you never take your foot off of the gas pedal.
- Antonio Brown gained 9 yards on a punt return – not huge but not something that’s happened frequently
- Ben Roethlisberger hit Le’Veon Bell for 28 yards, then hit rookie Martavis Bryant for 35 in the end zone
- Houston fumbled the kickoff and the Jason Worilds forced a Peterson fumble with Sean Spence recovering
- Antonio Brown then threw to Lance Moore for a touchdown
- Brett Keisel got a hand on a pass which bounced off of Lawrence Timmons and back to Keisel for an interception
- Two plays later, Roethlisberger was hooking up with Brown for 7 more
Truthfully the Steelers would find fewer moments of glory in the second half, as the offense only managed 6 points (although Brown got screwed out of a touchdown), but the defense held the Texans to 10 points, and the Steelers walked away with a 30 to 23 victory.
The Steelers most certainly need to raise their game vs. the Colts and then again vs. Baltimore. But for a team that limped to a 3-3 record and was facing a hostile fan base, the Steelers got a much needed victory to begin their 3 game home stand.
It’s already 1:16 am here in Buenos Aires, and work looms tomorrow morning. Check back for more later.