Steelers Postgame Commentary: Week 3 vs Texans
By COMON Network Team
Final Score – Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) 28 def. Houston Texans (0-3) 21
The Steelers trailed at the half, 21-17 to Houston in a Week 3 matchup at Heinz Field, but came away with a victory, pushing their record to 3-0 for the first time since 2010. The final score was 28-21. They haven’t been 4-0 to start a season since 1979.
Pittsburgh started the scoring with a 33-yard field goal by Chris Boswell with 8:55 to play in the first quarter. Randall Cobb then scored the first touchdown for Houston on a 28-yard pass from Deshaun Watson a few minutes later.
David Johnson scored from two yards out to make it an 11-point game in the second. The Steelers had the next two scores: a 10-yard pass from Ben Roethisberger to Eric Ebron and a 26-yard Roethlisberger pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, which gave Pittsburgh a short-lived lead. Will Fuller V caught a 14-yard TD paass from Watson at the end of the second quarter, giving the Texans a 21-17 lead at the break.
Boswell connected from 26 in the third before James Conner scored on a 12-yard rush. Ben completed to JuJu for a two-point conversion, making it 28-21, the final.
Roethlisberger ended the day 23-for-36 with 237 yards and two scores. James Conner rushed 18 times for 109 yards and a touchdown. Ebron caught five passes for 52 yards and his touchdown.
Commentary in podcast episode form will be available at 5 a.m. Monday, September 28 wherever you get your podcasts. Those episodes of the pod will be our Steelers’ Postgame Podcasts and we will be releasing Week 4’s preview Friday morning.
COMON Network Team Commentary
- Tight end involvement. It was neglected for the first two weeks, but Eric Ebron and Vance McDonald made their presence felt. Not a monster game for either guy, but the involvement brought a different dynamic to the offense. Five snags for more than 50 yards and a score for Ebron. McDonald added three grabs for 35 yards. Fans were waiting for Ebron to emerge and we saw a peak of that Sunday.
- Okorafor vs. Watt. Sunday was all about the Watt family with JJ, TJ and Derek sharing the field. JJ had a minimal impact and that is thanks to Chukwuma Okorafor, better known as “Chuks.” In place of Zach Banner, Chuks stood up to one of the best defenders in NFL history and with the exception of maybe one play, JJ Watt had nearly zero impact. I liked Chuks coming out of camp and thought he should have been the starting right tackle. He proved it Sunday.
- Texans: 0 second half points. The first half wasn’t a good one for the Steelers defense. The second half was. Great adjustments and good execution helped the Steelers outscore Houston 11-0 after halftime. 3-0 for the first time in a decade. Comon.
Player of the Game – Chuks Okorafor (PIT)
- What a day for James Conner. He made big plays and positive plays out of nothing at times and his outside runs were spectacular. That is in large part thanks to some really good blocking and schemes from a multitude of players: David DeCastro, Matt Feiler, Vance McDonald and others. The men up front and Conner, and even Anthony McFarland were excellent today.
- I wasn’t happy with the Steelers’ defense today in the first half, especially the secondary. But that unit flipped the switch in the second half. The Steelers didn’t allow a single point in the second half. The secondary got better. Mike Hilton made a play with the interception. No surprise there. And the pass rush got better. Stephen Tuitt had a big play. TJ Watt looked pissed off towards the end of the third and throughout the fourth. He was a completely different player in the final stanza. Gritty performance against a really good quarterback. The Steelers ended up with five sacks, as they recorded a sack for the 60th-straight game.
- Eric Ebron. People in the Steelers fan base have been begging for more from him even though it has seemed he has played really well the first few games of his Steelers’ career. Five catches from him today and the touchdown grab and he tied for the team lead in targets (7) with James Washington.
- Hope Diontae Johnson’s apparent concussion doesn’t keep him out long. The Steelers need him on offense.
Player of the Game – James Conner (PIT)
- One of the biggest reasons for the Steelers won today was the way the defense performed in the second half. As poor as the unit was in the first 30 minutes, that’s how good it was in the second. 0 points allowed in a half of football speaks for itself.
- Two words: David DeCastro. The Steelers running game wasn’t terrible in the first two games, but anybody who watched game #3 could tell the difference that big #66 can make when he’s healthy. Today, he was healthy. And he did his job
- If the Chiefs can beat the Ravens tomorrow night; and that very well could happen, the Steelers will be in first place. We aren’t even 1/4th of a way through the season yet, but that still feels pretty damn good.
Player of the Game – James Conner (PIT)
- TJ is officially the superior Watt. It might have to do with JJ being on the back end of his career and TJ is on the front, but I think it’s safe to say the torch has been passed. The guy has consistently been one of the best edge rushers in football for the last two years, and it seems like his play gets better and better as the game goes on, which is exactly what you want out of an elite player. It might not be a bad idea to throw some cash on cuz to win DPOY, if you haven’t done so already.
- I was extremely happy to see Eric Ebron finally break out a bit in this offense. He was brought in this offseason to improve the red zone woes for the Steelers, and he did exactly that today with his TD grab. Does it make me happy because I bet on him to score? Yes, but Ebron’s signing didn’t have me that excited about a player joining the Steelers since Joe Haden. Hopefully he continues to grow because him and 7 clicking on a consistent basis could be very scary for other NFL defenses
- Ray-Ray McCloud is just very good in the return game. It’s nice to see some good play back there for once. I’m sure Ryan Switzer could do some of what he’s done thus far.
Player of the Game – TJ Watt (PIT)