Sunday, October 2, 2011

Steelers v. Texans: Key Matchup

Another AFC South team the Steelers face, and this one is more dangerous than the Colts.  Simply because they actually have their starting QB healthy, and Matt Schaub isn't a slouch at all.  Sure he's not Brady or Peyton, but he's been statistically successful and he's got plenty of weapons in man beast receiver Andre Johnson and tight end Owen Daniels, along with Arian Foster who is gimpy but still dangerous as running back, along with Ben Tate who has carried the load when Foster was out.  The Texans offense is dangerous, and the Steelers need to not only blitz the QB, but also be able to cover the Texans' receiving corps and stop the run.  Last week, the Colts were able to run the ball on the Steelers D-line, and there were moments where the Colts actually would have won the game with wide open receivers, just with QB Curtis Painter not getting a lot of reps.  Hopefully Troy shows up again, and the Steelers linebackers and defensive line put pressure and stuff the Texans' running game, especially with Brett Keisel out.  As usual, I'm worried about the Steelers defensive backfield, so let's hope they step up a lot.

On offense, oy!  The offensive line got blasted last week in Indy, and injuries again force an O-line shuffle.  Doug Legursky and Johnathan Scott are out.  Trai Essex at left tackle and Ramon Foster at right guard.  Maurkice Pouncey, ouch, he's questionable but I think he should play.  If not, oh boy.  The O-line needs to be able to give Ben time to throw the ball as he got hammered again last week, not to mention the running game had been practically nonexistent last week.  Let's hope the Steelers get that going and fast.  Also, Ben shouldn't have to keep looking downfield, but Bruce Arians' playcalling as offensive coordinator has been questionable.  Play-action's great, but let's not keep throwing downfield as we saw against the Colts last week, short to medium throws helped a lot to put the Steelers in position to win the game, and that put the pressure off Ben.  Some more of those throws will help set up not only the deep game but also the running game.  In any case, let's hope the Steelers offense can finally click on all cylinders and let it set the momentum for the rest of the season.

Special teams, eh, what else but stop the Texans from getting even decent field position and the Steelers put themselves in good field position.  Shawn Suisham kicked the game-winning field goal but he better make all of his kicks, otherwise he'll start to feel the heat from Pittsburgh.  All in all, get a well-rounded game going, guys.

I'm always going Steelers, but it'll be close again, with the Steelers winning 24-16.  I just hope to not have anymore heart attacks this week, but the Steelers aren't going to blow away teams unless they play near perfect football.  Let's hope the Steelers start moving today.

Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go!

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