Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Houston Texans: NFL Week 4 Thoughts

Pittsburgh Steelers 10   Houston Texans 17

Anthony Zinzi thinks the Steelers and Texans may have switched our assumed spots from before the season: Sporting a banged up offensive line, an equally beaten up Ben Roethlisberger, a running game that can’t buy a yard right now, and a defense giving up yards in chunks without getting any pressure up front, the Pittsburgh Steelers came into Houston a wounded animal.  To add insult to injury, the vaunted Houston offense, which struggled in the red zone in their 40-33 loss to New Orleans a week ago, got premier running back Arian Foster back at full health.  And the Steelers left further wounded, as Foster paid immediate dividends, blitzing the proud yet reeling Steelers for 155 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.  Despite the losses of wideout Andre Johnson to a hamstring injury and backup running back Ben Tate to a groin strain, the Texans seemed to have the game in complete control.  Offensively, tight end Owen Daniels was able to pick up the slack of Johnson’s absence by catching five balls for 69 yards and a touchdown.  On the defensive side of the ball, the Texans were able to get to Big Ben, sacking him five times, forcing one interception, and injuring his foot.  Ultimately, the result left fans thinking about the possibility of Super Bowl hangover in the Steel City, as well as the possibility that the Texans, when healthy, might not only make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but could also seriously challenge the upper echelon AFC teams (read New England) for a spot in Indianapolis.

Daniels agrees and is utterly done with the Steelers: The Steelers are like an aging athlete.  They look old, then they have a last gasp and we remember they’re supposed to be good, so we ignore the fact that they’re bad for a couple weeks.  The problem with picking them is going to be it’s going to be nearly impossible to guess when the shadow of themselves team is going to show up.  This week…. was not that time.  Also, I guess we can officially now say the Texans chose wisely in the Bush/Leinart/Williams draft.

My Take: The Steelers seem a lot like an 8-8 club.  They’ll win impressively, get complacent, then lose, then get mad and win impressively again.  They’re old and think they’re great, so they just aren’t bringing it.  It’s also amazing how much of their game was based on their offensive line.  Without it, they can’t run, so they can’t kill clock, so the defense is getting tired and overexposed.  That in turn makes the Steelers have to pass, and the line can’t protect Ben, so they get beat up. The Texans might be really good, but I have a bad feeling beating this Steeler team doesn’t mean what we all want it to right now.

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