Texans dominate Steelers 30-6 in blowout Week 4 win
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans both entered their Week 4 game in Texas coming off wins. The Texans beat their division rival Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Steelers were coming off a prime time win over the Las Vegas Raiders. However, could the Steelers win a third game in a row, or would the Texans stack wins for the first time in 2023?
On the same day J.J. Watt would be entered into the Texans’ Ring of Honor, it was the Texans and C.J. Stroud who took the opening kickoff as the Steelers deferred their possession to the second half of the game.
Stroud and a balanced offensive attack took the ball down the field with relative ease and worked their way into the red-zone. On a 3rd and 3, it looked as if Stroud scrambled up the middle, broke a tackle, and stretched the ball into the end-zone for the opening drive score; however, he was ruled down short of the goal line. All it did was delay the inevitable, and the Texans scored when Stroud hit Nico Collins for the first score of the game.
Trailing 7-0, Kenny Pickett and the offense took the field looking to answer the Texans’ opening drive score. After two first downs got the team near midfield, a first down sack put the Steelers behind the chains. On second down Pickett targeted Calvin Austin III down the seam, only to be picked off by Steven Nelson.
With the ball near field goal range, Stroud and the Houston offense did what they’ve been doing all quarter and moved into a more comfortable range for their kicker. On 3rd down, a pass intended for Robert Woods fell incomplete, and the field goal made the score 10-0 with 1:20 left in the first quarter.
A Steelers 3-and-out gave the ball right back to the Texans, and the Texans added another field goal to make the score 13-0 with 12:13 remaining in the first half.
Another Pittsburgh 3-and-out gave the Texans an opportunity to add to their point total. Once they reached field goal range, Houston decided to go for it on a 4th and short. The pass was off the mark, dude to pressure from T.J. Watt, and equated in a turnover on downs. The Steelers weren’t able to turn the turnover into points, but the Pittsburgh defense got the ball back to the offense with 2 minutes left in the first half.
The Steelers offensive struggles continued, and the team punted the ball back to the Texans with 41 seconds left in the half. One pass from Stroud to Collins for 42 yards put the Texans in field goal range, and the kick from 39 was good to make the score 16-0 score as both teams went into halftime.
Coming out of halftime the Steelers started with the football, and they put together their best drive of the game. Big 3rd down conversions to Calvin Austin III and hard runs by Najee Harris got the Steelers in field goal range. However, on 3rd and short Jaylen Warren was stopped well short, and Chris Boswell was called on for a field goal to make the score 16-3 with 9:31 left in the quarter.
A rare forced punt on Houston’s first drive of the second half gave the Pittsburgh offense the football in Houston territory. While the drive might have been unconventional, the Steelers were able to work the ball into the red-zone. Facing a 3rd and goal situation from the 5, Pickett’s pass fell incomplete and Mike Tomlin elected to kick another field goal. Boswell was good, making the score 16-6 with just over 5 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Steelers got the ball back quickly with a chance to make a serious dent in the Texans’ lead, and as Pickett and company moved the ball into field goal range, Tomlin elected to go for it on a critical 4th and short. The team came out in the shotgun, and Pickett was sacked on the play. Not only that, the quarterback injured his leg on the play as the Steelers turned the ball over on downs.
Houston continued their offensive dominance, and rubbed some salt in the wound when nearing the goal line a halfback pass to Dalton Shultz put more points on the board. After the extra point, which was ultimately the dagger for the Steelers, made the score 23-6.
A Mitch Trubisky led drive equated in another three-and-out, and when the ball went back to Houston they didn’t give the ball back up until they put more points on the board. Stroud to Nico Collins, who beat Patrick Peterson, made the score 30-6 with 3:39 left in regulation.
When the dust settled, the 30-6 score went as final.
The loss moves the Steelers’ record to 2-2 on the season as they prepare for the Baltimore Ravens at home in Week 5. Be sure to stay tuned to SCN for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the regular season.