Home > Steeler Articles > Week 4 Steelers-Texans Recap

Week 4 Steelers-Texans Recap

The Steelers face another quality opponent and look fairly mediocre in comparison, losing 17-10 to the Texans. Right now this team simply does not look like a playoff contender.

QB – Ben had a fairly mediocre day. His accuracy was questionable all game and was fortunate to only have 1 INT. To be fair, yes, the O-line was mediocre, but how is that any different than any other game? Ben needs to get of the rid of the ball quicker at times instead of taking sacks and unnecessary hits. He also needs to just dump it off at times instead of looking for the homerun ball to Brown or Wallace downfield. Overall, he had a few really nice throws and a lot of mediocre ones sprinkled in with a good dose of dumb decision making.

RB – Mendenhall’s new nickname is “Mr. Softee”. He ran horribly most of the day outside of a few runs. In his defense, he is Mr. Softee and shouldn’t be asked to run up the middle, he clearly does not like it. Fortunately Isaac Redman was given more carries starting in the second half and did not disappoint at all. Somehow the rushing offense went from averaging less than 3 yards (with Mendy) to about 6 yards (with Redman in the game). Just a coincidence! Redman looked great as he didn’t hesitate and just ran straight ahead, showing good vision and an ability to break tackles. Reliable Moore also chipped on 4 runs for a nice 34 yards.

WR/TE – Antonio Brown had a really nice game hauling in 5 catches for 67 yards and showing off some smooth moves, although he failed to adjust his route on a hot read. Wallace was also solid grabbing 4 grabs for 77 yards, unfortunately he didn’t get 100 yards which would’ve broken an NFL record for consecutive 100 yard receiving games. He also had a boneheaded unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the 1st drive of the game where he stupidly taunted the Texan sideline. Hey dumbass, your team is down by 7, just shut up and get back to the huddle. This is a disturbing trend I’ve noticed from Wallace and I hope it ends quickly. Wallace was the opposite of this when he first entered the NFL. Ward, Miller and Sanders were all fairly quiet and barely ever thrown to.

OL – Once again, the O-line will be blamed for all the offensive woes on this team. Did they have a good game? No, obviously not, but they were solid at times in pass protection and downright awful on about a handful of pass plays, one big problem was Houston was bringing overload blitzes a good portion of the game and the Steelers offense failed to adjust. That’s on Ben, the WR’s and Arians. Their run blocking magically improved when Redman and Moore were given carries. Go figure.

DL – The D-line was simply bad today, which is obviously a big concern. Throughout the first half the entire line was constantly blown back off the LOS. Ziggy Hood should be a HUGE concern for everyone. He looked slow and awful against the run, same goes for Aaron Smith. Smith’s excuse is he’s older than dirt and has been constantly injured, what is Hood’s excuse? He’s just not that good? He’s not a good fit for a 3-4? Why was he drafted then? Hampton did a decent job, but overall a bad showing by this unit as Texan RB Arian Foster rang up 155 yards on the ground, including a 42 yard TD run.

LB – Where were these guys all game? Every single one had a mediocre game. Harrison’s excuse could be that he was injured and held a good bit of the day but he’s held every game. Woodley made a couple nice plays in the run game but he also took horrible angles (like on Foster’s 42 yard TD run), overran plays and did a bad job of disengaging from blocks throughout the game. He continues to play like a man that clearly does not deserve the gigantic contract he has just received. Why Farrior is left out in pass coverage and Foote given playing time over Sylvester remain two of the great mysteries of the football world. Timmons finished with just 2 tackles and was ho-hum in pass coverage. Not a good by any of these guys.

CB/S – Troy was about the only guy that showed up all game for the Steelers. He was disruptive on a number of plays at the LOS and was flying all around the field, while the rest of the team continued to play with their thumbs up their butts. Troy did miss a couple of tackles, the big one being on Foster’s 42 yard TD run where Troy collided with Woodley. But hey, at least he did some productive things on the field. Taylor had a fairly easy and quiet day as Andre Johnson left the game with an injury in the first half. Youngster CB Keenan Lewis had a great pass break up on a deep sideline pass late in the game that gave the ball back to the hapless Steelers offense. Ryan Clark finished with 7 tackles, but most of those were made 8 to 10 yards past the LOS on Foster as Clark held on for dear life. Clark’s lack of speed was apparent all game long. On one play Clark had what looked to be a sure INT as the ball sailed over a Texan WR’s hands, but instead Clark went for the “kill shot” on the WR and if he had made contact would’ve most assuredly been flagged. Just dumb.

ST- The Steelers had a short FG attempt blocked and actually returned for a Texan TD but luckily the play was called back on a block in the back. Brown looked great on a punt return in the 2nd half. Sanders (or was it Brown?) stupidly fielded a punt at around the 5. This is about the 3rd or 4th time this has happened this year.

Arians – Another game with no rhyme or reason or any sort of thinking from Arians. What exactly was the gameplan to start the game because your guess is as good as mine. It was the usual Johnson in the backfield on one play, bunch, 2 TE, etc. THE SAME THING AS ANY OTHER GAME. And here is a list of things Arians did to combat a suspect O-line in a hostile environment.

– No 3 step drops, hardly any quick pass plays, hardly any designed dump offs to RB’s or Miller.

– Make sure to throw in a lot of 5 wide to make things more interesting for Ben and the O-line.

– Call one screen play all game.

– If a run play actually succeeds, make sure to call another one on the next play, because the other team won’t suspect it with a 2 TE set on a 2nd and 6 inside the red zone.

– Make sure to get the play in so late that Ben snaps the ball with just 1 second left on the game clock. That really helps a mediocre O-line!

– Make sure no one is prepared so the team wastes two TO’s in the 3rd quarter. Make sure your WR’s don’t know how to read a hot route, too.

I understand that the O-line stinks, but Arians does NOTHING to combat that fact. Absolutely NOTHING. The O-line looks worse than it actually is because of the playcalling. Arians is a horrible OC and I honestly don’t see how he continues to have a job in the NFL.

Lebeau – Shoddy tackling, hardly any pressure on the QB, poor personnel moves. Why Smith, Farrior and Foote continue to see the field so much is a real head-scratcher and it’s hurting this defense. Lebeau needs to do a much, much better job of preparing his team and putting them in position to be better. He’s failing to do that right now. The entire defense seems to be in a daze (outside of Troy) and that starts with the legend.

Tomlin – Tomlin’s new name is “Mr. Do-Nothing”, I honestly STILL fail to see how he makes this team better. I know I’m a broken record but until I start seeing improvement my stance won’t change. For about the 51st time under Tomlin the Steelers came out looking flat and unprepared. When a team continually snaps the ball with 1 second left on the game clock and continually uses TO’s early in games, that is a sign they’re not prepared very well. When a team is making sloppy tackle after sloppy tackle, they are not very prepared. When a team is -10 in turnover ratio, that is ultimately on the coach. And when a team has WR’s showboating and getting unsportsmanlike penalties, that shows a lack of discipline. Tomlin is the one that OK’s what amounts to be crappy and unimaginative gameplans from his coordinators. He’s the one that is OK with his returners fielding punts at around the 5 yard line (Which has happened now about 3 or 4 times already this year). He’s the one that OK’s questionable personnel decisions (Foote over Sylvester? REALLY?). He’s the one that is seemingly OK with his team burning TO’s early in games. In the 2nd half, those two TO’s that were burned in the 3rd quarter could’ve been HUGE later in the game. Maybe with all 3 TO’s instead of just one, the Steelers challenge the questionable 3rd down catch the Texans had that eventually led to their go ahead TD. At this point I’m pretty much convinced that they could replace Tomlin with a statue on the sideline and not much would change. The press conferences wouldn’t be the same, though.

All in all, an ugly loss. The score could’ve been worse if the Texans hadn’t repeatedly shot themselves in the foot. It’s still early in the season but reality is starting to set in with the possibility that we are witnessing the twilight of a team that were perennial Super Bowl contenders. With a group of stubborn coaches at the helm, I’m not sure we’ll see a big improvement as the season moves on but we shall see.

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