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Steelers-Texans Recap

Steelers benefit from tons of Texan mistakes, capitalize and win at home, 30-23.

The Good – Bell and Antonio Brown continue to carry the offense. Bell accounted for most of the offense in the 1st half, including a number of short catches and running for a ton of yards after the catches, he had 43 yards on one of those catch and runs in the 1st half. Brown made a terrific sideline grab in the 2nd half as he held onto the ball while being physically challenged by a Texan CB. Brown was also robbed of a TD grab in the second half as the officials ruled he was out of bounds, he was not.

– D-Lineman youngster Daniel McCullers looked great on the D-line. Kiesel was active, Heyward was decent.

– Martavius Bryant making his first NFL grab and it’s a 30 yard TD snag to make the game 13-10 at the end of the 1st half. Great grab and play.

– Steelers defense stopping Houston on 2nd and 3rd and less than a yard on their first possession of the 2nd half. Great stand. The defense played better in the 2nd half.

– Brice McCain looked pretty good at CB.

– The last 3 minutes of the 2nd half which resulted in 24 points for the Steelers, completely crazy sequence of events. After the Steelers pull within 3, Houston fumbles the kickoff return resulting in starting at their own 4. Arian Foster would then fumble on 3rd down, Steelers recover, resulting in an Antonio Brown TD pass to Lance Moore on a trick play. Houston QB Fitzpatrick would then throw an INT (Kiesel with the snag) on the ensuing drive with a minute left resulting in a TD pass to Bell.

– No penalties in the 1st half. The refs actually didn’t call hardly any penalties at all which is how it should be. I’m sure Goodell is very pissed off about that.

– Special teams coverage was really good, definitely best it’s been this season.

The Bad – The entire 1st half, outside of the last 3 minutes, was mostly another shitshow for the Steelers. Here is a list of what happened.

– Ben missing rookie Martavius Bryant deep on the sideline on the 1st drive of the game. Ben started off with some misfires and had an overall OK game, not one of his better games that is for sure.

– Houston converting a 1st down on 3rd and long deep in their own end on their 1st drive of the game. The next play, Foster would run for 10 yards and another 1st down, big momentum switch, that’s a killer especially for a defense needing an early stop. The drive would eventually end in a Houston TD with Foster running for a ton of yards. Way too easy.

– The run defense was really bad in the 1st half. Huge holes, this LB corps might be the biggest weakness unit on the team, they can’t attack and they get blocked easily and swallowed up on way too many run plays. Tackling continues to be a big issue. Steelers have to be one of the worst tackling teams in the NFL. Good job, coaching staff. It’s one thing if it’s one or two guys but when it’s almost everyone on defense then that’s a coaching issue. Things improved in the 2nd half, but still inexcusable.

– After trailing 10-0 the Steelers offense responds with two vanilla run plays for 2 yards resulting in a 3rd and 8 which would then lead to another bad pass by Ben along the sideline to Wheaton, punt, barf, puke. This might be the worst coached team in the NFL. It’s a pure shitshow watching these guys play, this probably the most disinterested I’ve been as a fan in my lifetime. I don’t even know why I’m still writing up recaps of games at this point. *Note* The last few sentences was how I was feeling in the 1st half, like most Steeler fans I’m guessing these days.

– Foster/Beachum bum combo missing stunts by the Texan defense in the 1st half resulting in sacks, forced throws, etc. including a sack on Ben on a 3rd down resulting in just 3 points after trailing 13-0. There was one play where Beachum was almost bullrushed right into Ben. That would’ve been ugly.

– Some play design and of course playcalling was very questionable at times. On a 2nd and 5 inside Texans territory the Steelers run a nifty play action play with a two TE set, but guess what? There was literally no one downfield except for Heath Miller on the play (who is covered). How is a play like that supposed to succeed? Ben flings it out to Will Johnson the FB in the flat and misfires, wouldn’t have mattered as it would’ve gone for about 1 yard if caught.

– Dri Archer taking a kickoff return and running about 40 yards laterally to the other side of the field and out of bounds at about the Steeler 16 yard line. Great return. Later in the game he would be stopped at about the 18 yard line. Why is this guy returning kickoffs?

The Questionable – The trick play with Antonio Brown getting a pitch and reversing field ending in a TD pass to Lance Moore. The play was unnecessarily risky given it was called inside the 5 yard line. Easily could’ve been intercepted. It worked which is great but definitely would not want to see that again.

The Stupid – Steelers electing to try to draw the Texans defense offside on a 4th and 6 inches at the Texan 40 yard line in the 3rd quarter instead of simply calling a QB sneak and having Ben diving forward. Simply stupid and classic Tomlin “playing not to lose” mentality.

– Texans defense offside on a 3rd down play and Ben elects not to throw it downfield. What the hell. It’s a free play. Dumb.

Summary – Houston’s implosion at the end of the 1st half and some key drops were huge in swinging the game completely towards the Steelers. 2 turnovers inside their redzone in the matter of minutes and on the road will lose you most games and tonight was no different. Before those turnovers happened the Steelers looked to be in serious trouble. Overall, it’s a win which ultimately is what matters but it’s hard to be too excited going forward. Still lots of dumb mistakes and decisions from this team. Next week should be interesting.

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