Two potential AFC playoff teams will square off Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Houston Texans for a Week 3 matchup.
It’s been a rough start to the year for the Texans and the schedule doesn’t get any easier for them. Houston faces off with the Steelers, who have won their first two and have one of the league’s stingiest defenses.
The Texans have met arguably the two best teams in the NFL, let alone the AFC, in losses to the Chiefs and Ravens. Houston’s season could be over before it begins if they go down to the Steelers to sink to 0-3. Making things worse for the Texans’ 0-2 start is that the three other teams in their division have picked up wins. The Titans are 2-0.
Pittsburgh is happy to have Ben Roethlisberger back commanding the offense. No disrespect to Mason Rudolph or Duck Hodges, but the Steelers are noticeably better with their veteran under center. The receivers are enjoying better production with Roethlisberger, as all the numbers through two weeks can attest to.
Pittsburgh would love nothing more than to send the Texans to 0-3, putting a dangerous team (on paper) that much further from a berth in the playoffs.
The Steelers are 5.5-point favorites on Sunday with the over/under set at 45.
Houston Tries to Avoid 0-3
Deshaun Watson has thrown for 528 yards and 2 TD’s, with a pair of interceptions through two games. Watson has faced a couple high quality AFC teams to start the year, but the QB’s start could still be considered disappointing. The trade of DeAndre Hopkins last offseason still doesn’t make sense, and the return on investment for David Johnson has been underwhelming to say the least (22 carries, 111 yards in two games).
The Texans have plenty of talent on the roster, and tried to make up for the loss of Hopkins by acquiring Brandin Cooks and signing Randall Cobb. JJ Watt is healthy for now, and pummeling elite quarterbacks again, but that isn’t leading Houston to any wins right now.
It’s hard to declare a game as “must win” this early in the year, but that is exactly the situation the Texans find themselves in.
Steelers Looking to Get to 3-0
The Steelers took care of the Giants in week 1 and dispersed the Broncos last Sunday. It’s been a much lighter strength of schedule for Pittsburgh to start the season compared to Houston, but 2-0 is 2-0 and the Steelers have momentum and confidence.
James Conner and Benny Snell Jr. have been good enough at the RB spot for Pittsburgh. Diontae Johnson has also become a serious weapon in the offense, hauling in 14 passes through two games.
The Steelers defense has been their usual sturdy selves as well. Pittsburgh has already forced four turnovers as other teams QB’s just cannot seem to make the right reads against this secondary.
Steelers Keep It Rolling
Sorry Texans, but 0-3 is your fate. Another win for the Steelers to push them to 3-0 on the season.
Free Play: PIT -5.5
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