Aside from 2002, where the newborn Texans romped on a lackluster Steeler team, previous meetings between these two teams have ended in displeasure. The Texans have been routed 27-7, and most recently in 2008 34-17, where the defense ran rampant on our young offense, and the offense gained over two hundred yards of total offense. Aside from a few changes, this Pittsburgh team is essentially the same team we faced in 2008, only they have gotten much, much better and are hungry to return to the Super Bowl to avenge last years loss. The keys to a Texan victory are simple, but are much easier said than done against a team of this caliber
- OFFENSE MUST PRODUCE!: With a semi 100% Arian Foster, the line has to blow up the Steelers’ front seven and give Arian holes to burst through, and protection of Matt “Shaubalicious” Shaub, is key to success of the passing game. Ike Taylor and the rest of the Steel Curtain will ready to eat our offense alive, with Troy Polamalu in the secondary, an interception is only a footstep away, so Matt Shaub needs all the protection the Texans’ offensive line can get him because reading the secondary and linebackers is going to be a task upon himself.
- Containment of the offense and Rashard Mendenhall: After being slowed and contained very well by Colts’ defense, Houston might have a general idea of how to keep the star running back to minimal gains and stuffing him on short yardage plays, especially on third down. The Texans will need to salvage and take every scoring chance earned against this defense so forcing plenty of three and outs on this offensive power house is a must.
- Move the chains and take time off the clock!: The Steelers can’t win if they can’t get the ball, nor can the offensive function properly if their back is on the ropes and they are running out of time! The Texans need to score as much as they can in the first half, similar to the Indy and New Orleans game, putting Pittsburgh against a seemingly insurmountable lead, and just as important, the Texans need to eat as much time as they can in the second half and use their time effectively when in possession of the ball.
Overall, the Texans need to play air tight football all four quarters. Last week’s debacle was a breakdown LeBron James would be most proud of, and most Texans fans shed tears that brought tears to the eyes of Chris Bosh. Enough harping, I believe in the team and that they are ready to take this challenge with a full head of steam and take everything Pittsburgh can throw at us.