1. CJ Stroud is having success early on, and will build momentum vs. the Steelers
It's not an overstatement to say that CJ Stroud is exceeding expectations. Even if the Texans were to say they always believed in him, they wouldn't probably have imagined that he would be performing like a vested veteran at this stage of his pro career. In three games, the former Ohio State Buckeye has completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 906 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Those numbers would pop off the stat sheet regardless of who the signal-caller was but they're highly impressive for a rookie that's only got three starts under his belt. That said, Stroud isn't doing it alone.
He's getting help from the Texans' wide receiver corps. Nico Collins, for his part, has made a significant leap in Year 3, hauling in 15 receptions for 260 yards and one trip to the end zone. At this current pace, he should have no trouble shattering the career-best for yards in a season (481) he set in 2022.
Rookie Tank Dell is also showing out, catching 15 passes for 251 yards with two touchdowns in 2023. Against the Jaguars, he put up monster numbers. Sure, his 68-yard touchdown run was the result of blown coverage but Dell deserves praise for making the most of his opponent's mistakes. That's what good players do.
Going back to Stroud, he and the Texans offense should be able to move the ball against a Pittsburgh defense that ranks 22nd in yards allowed heading into Week 4. As noted before, the Steelers' defensive front isn't anything to scuff at but they're vulnerable. If Stroud and his arsenal of weapons seize the opportunity, they will get their first home win of the year.