Texans vs. Steelers: 3 Key players to watch in Week 3

Jordan Akins #88 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Jordan Akins #88 of the Houston Texans (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
Chase Claypool of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

3. Chase Claypool, Wide Receiver (Steelers)

Two games into his rookie season, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool has five receptions for 127 yards and one touchdown, averaging 25.4 yards per reception. In the season opener against the New York Giants, Claypool had two receptions (on two targets) for 39 yards, with a best reception of 28 yards.

Last week vs. the Denver Broncos, the rookie Claypool had three receptions (on three targets) for 88 yards and one touchdown that went for an 84-yard reception. According to ESPN.com, Claypool is projected for 40 receptions this season for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns.

As for stopping him, the secondary of the Texans has players who are talented, but they just need to be in the right places at the right times, because when Claypool gets an opportunity, it will most likely be for big yardage downfield.

Vernon Hargreaves and Bradley Roby will be in the game most snaps, but one of them must be on JuJu Smith-Schuster depending on the situation, so the Steelers could have a solid advantage with Claypool against the secondary when they decide to go to him in this game. The Texans also have Cornell Armstrong and Lonnie Johnson Jr. at cornerback who’ll be called upon in this game to defend against Claypool, plus the safeties will need to be on high alert to help stop the big play from happening as well.

It will be interesting to see how the Houston Texans secondary works to slow down the speed that Claypool has, with his combine time being 4.42 seconds on the 40-yard dash. The Steelers offense seems to be back as they are 2-0 this season, and don’t be surprised if Claypool gets the most targets he’s had in his short career to date, as it will be up to the Texans defense to stop the long-yardage play from occurring this weekend.