Steel Curtain Network: A Pittsburgh Steelers podcast

The numerical matchup between the Steelers and Texans in Week 4

Ahead of each Steelers game, I take the time on my Steelers Stat Geek podcast to break down the team rankings in six of the most key statistics for both the Steelers offense and defense as well as their opponent. Since early in the season the NFL rankings can be misleading based on a small sample size. I wait until at least three games have occurred before I even begin to look at these rankings as a starting point.

What are the Steelers opponent greatest strengths on offense? What is the biggest weakness on defense? Where did the Steelers match up well versus where they might struggle? These are some of the things that can be determined based on these numbers.

So without further ado, here are the stats and rankings for the Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of their Week 4 matchup.

Note: yards and points are given as an average per game while sacks and turnovers are total for the season.

Texans Offense:

Yards: 341.0 (14th)
Points: 22.0 (18th)
Rushing Yards: 70.0 (28th)
Passing Yards: 271.0 (6th)
Sacks surrendered: 11 (25th)
Turnovers: 2 (t-6th)

Steelers Offense:

Yards: 275.7 (27th)
Points: 18.7 (22nd)
Rushing Yards: 67.0 (30th)
Passing Yards: 208.7 (17th)
Sacks surrendered: 8 (t-17th)
Turnovers: 4 (t-15th)

Looking strictly at the offense, neither team jumps off the page and having the greatest start to the NFL season. The Houston Texans look impressive with their passing yards through three games, but their biggest boost came in Week 2 in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. For the Steelers offensive numbers, they were towards the bottom of the NFL after having to face two of the top defenses in the league the first two weeks. The biggest take away, especially in regards to the Texans, is that they are towards the bottom of the league in rushing yards and sacks surrendered but have done a great job with not turning the ball over.

Texans Defense

Yards: 340.7 (16th)
Points: 24.3 (22nd)
Rushing Yards: 117.3 (17th)
Passing Yards: 223.3 (17th)
Sacks: 4 (t-28th)
Takeaways: 4 (t-13th)

Steelers Defense

Yards: 387.0 (28th)
Points: 23.3 (19th)
Rushing Yards: 151.7 (30th)
Passing Yards: 235.3 (22nd)
Sacks: 13 (1st)
Takeaways: 8 (t-2nd)

When looking at the various defensive yardage statistics, the Texans defense comes in higher than the Steelers as they are right in the middle of the NFL. But in probably the most important statistic, points surrendered, the Steelers rank slightly higher. There is also a large discrepancy when it comes to getting after the quarterback as the Texans are towards the bottom of the league in sacks while the Steelers are leading the NFL.

Key Matchups

The biggest contrast between these numbers are the Texans being at the bottom of the league in giving up sacks while the Steelers are leading the way. The biggest strength-on-strength matchup comes with the Steelers ability to take the football away versus the Texans offense being able to hold on to the ball. Otherwise, these appear to be two teams who have struggled to run the ball early in the season and are still trying to find their footing through the first several weeks.

For more on these matchups, check out the most recent episode of the Steelers Stat Geek podcast below:

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