Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- Pittsburgh enters this game with a 2-1 record, and their victories have primarily been driven by their defense.
- Pittsburgh’s offense is a work in progress as they deal with the absence of Diontae Johnson due to injury and a lack of a running game.
- Houston is coming off a huge divisional win in Jacksonville and looking to build on their growing success after showing progress each week so far.
- #2 overall pick CJ Stroud looks every bit the part of a franchise quarterback through three games and has yet to throw an interception despite attempting 121 passes already.
- Both of these teams play at a brisk pace, ranking 5th and 6th in the NFL in seconds per play on offense.
How pittsburgh Will Try To Win ::
The Steelers enter Week 3 with a 2-1 record and sit in a 3-way tie for the AFC North division lead. They have done this primarily on the back of a strong defense after scoring two defensive touchdowns courtesy of Deshaun Watson in Week 2 and holding the Raiders under 20 points (which has happened in every Las Vegas game this year) on Sunday night football. The Steelers offensive line may be their biggest issue, ranking 32nd in PFF pass-blocking grade and 29th in run-blocking. They are playing without star wide receiver Diontae Johnson, whose ability to separate quickly for short-area targets was an integral part of their offense’s ability to overcome these offensive line deficiencies. They’ve made a couple of big plays in each of the past two weeks but have had a lot of trouble sustaining drives. This week, they play the Houston Texans, whose head coach, DeMeco Ryans, was previously the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers – who coincidentally absolutely dominated this Steelers offense in Week 1. While Houston doesn’t have the same level of individual talent as the 49ers, their schemes, terminology, and concepts are almost certainly very similar, and he should be able to derive a game plan that makes things very difficult for the Steelers.
Pittsburgh ranks 9th in the NFL in pass rate over expectation and 5th in the NFL in seconds-per-snap (aka, tempo). This quick-moving offense has not resulted in strong production, however, as they rank 27th in the league in yards per game through three weeks despite a 70+ yard touchdown pass in each of the last two weeks. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren are both getting opportunities but have struggled to sustain success due to their struggling offensive line play and inconsistent passing game. The Texans do rank 31st in the NFL in run defense DVOA, but that isn’t necessarily a great thing for Pittsburgh as it somewhat forces their hand into their least efficient method of attack. The Steelers will certainly take the bait early in this game, however, as they have won back-to-back games relying on their defense and are not going to want to box themselves into a corner with early mistakes from being too aggressive.