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The Steelers were horrible in Houston

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Steelers than the 30-7 drubbing they suffered at the hands of San Fransisco in Week 1, head coach Mike Tomlin said, “Hold my beer.”

Unfortunately, the beer Tomlin wanted you to hold on Sunday was even nastier, flatter and warmer than it was on September 10 at Acrisure Stadium.

The Steelers came out meek and mild against a 1-2 Texans squad that was playing in front of a huge black-and-gold audience at NRG Stadium in Houston and just got meeker and milder throughout the day.

Pittsburgh fell, 30-6, and dropped to 2-2 on the season.

The Steelers’ offense never once passed midfield until the third quarter, and it never once penetrated the end zone, as two Chris Boswell field goals were all the team could produce for points the entire day. The offense accounted for 225 yards and 12 first downs all afternoon. Kenny Pickett, the second-year quarterback from Pitt, completed 15 of 23 passes for 114 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. He ultimately left the game in the third quarter after suffering a knee injury on a disastrous play-call on fourth and one. Running back Najee Harris had his best game of the season, gaining 71 rushing yards on 14 carries. Harris ran tough and hard. Unfortunately for him, his afternoon couldn’t be more effective thanks to his team falling behind early.

That’s right, the defense. Before you put all of the blame on Matt Canada (okay, after you put all of the blame on Matt Canada), I want you to take a look at the box score, because it doesn’t speak well of Teryl Austin and his defensive unit.

The Steelers won the coin toss but decided to defer because they wanted to set a tone for the afternoon.

They set a tone, all right, when the defense passively allowed Houston’s offense to march 69 yards on 12 plays and take a 7-0 lead on a two-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud to receiver Nico Collins.

The Texans didn’t have to punt until their fifth offensive possession; by then, it was 13-0. Houston led by a score 16-0 at halftime.

The Steelers closed the gap to 16-6 in the third quarter before Houston pulled away with two touchdowns in the final period to make the final score, 30-6.

Back to that defense.

Stroud completed 16 of 30 passes for 306 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Stroud’s great day was made possible thanks to the almost flawless protection from his makeshift offensive line that included many backups and even Kendrick Green. Stroud wasn’t sacked once, as T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith combined to barely make a dent in the results of Sunday’s game.

The defense yielded 451 yards and 24 first downs on the afternoon. The Texans gained 139 rushing yards, while Collins caught a total of seven passes for 168 yards and a touchdown.

For all of the talk of the Steelers’ defense being elite, it has yielded 30 points twice in four weeks and has given up at least two touchdowns and no fewer than 18 points in every game so far this season.

The Steelers will be back at Acrisure Stadium for a Week 5 showdown vs. a Ravens squad that is in first place in the AFC North. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, it will likely be doing so without Pickett, whose knee injury is expected to keep him out for at least a few weeks.

The Steelers will also be facing Baltimore without a potent offense AND without an elite defense.

It’s terrible all around, but then again, so are these 2023 Pittsburgh Steelers.


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