As the season continues to wind down, a result that is all too familiar to the Houston Texans occurred once again. Suffering a loss to the juggernaut Pittsburgh Steelers at home by a score of 34-6. Even with the loss there was a bright spot. Running back Alfred Blue was able to put together a respectable performance in the loss.
Blue rushed 16 times for 108 yards. A 48-yard run highlighted his performance even with the disappointing result. Excluding the 48-yard run, Blue averaged four yards per carry on the day. This is the type of production the Texans need if they want to compete moving forward. A solid running game is the foundation of most successful teams.
Lamar Miller also contributed to a lesser extent in the loss. Carrying 10 times for 55 yards and catching one pass for 10 yards. Miller was a key contributor to the Texans offense on a day when nothing else seemed to work.
Quarterback T.J. Yates struggled to find consistency throughout the contest and was a burden to the Texans offense. Yates completed only seven passes on 16 attempts for 83 yards with a touchdown. However that is the end of the positives of Yates’ performance. Yates was sacked six times, threw an interception and fumbled three times, losing one. The lackluster outing from Yates was more than enough to sink the Texans chances in the contest.
Perhaps the touchdown catch of the season, DeAndre Hopkins made a one-handed grab in the end zone to give Houston their only score of the game. Hopkins tipped the pass before corralling it, securing the catch and maintaining possession as he went to the ground. There was no controversy with this catch, this was definitively a touchdown.
As predicted the Texans defense struggled to slow down the Pittsburgh offense. Ben Roethlisberger totaled 226 yards with two touchdowns on 20-29 passing. Le’Veon Bell added 69 yards on the ground with a touchdown while adding 28 yards through the air. JuJu Smith-Schuster had his way against the Houston secondary catching six passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. Houston was unable to get to Roethlisberger as they failed to record a sack and only hit him once.
Houston only has one more game left this season and luckily it is a against a more manageable opponent (3-12 Indianapolis Colts). This does not mean it will be easier, just more manageable. The final game of the season should be used for roster evaluation rather than a legitimate contest. The team has hit several speed bumps this season due to injuries. While injuries are not unavoidable, they have been a significant factor in the lackluster season for the Texans.