Steelers Offensive Line vs. DE J.J. Watt
The Steelers offensive line will have one of their toughest tests of the season in blocking defensive end J.J. Watt. The five-year pro has established himself as one of the most dominating players in the league as he has registered 40.5 career sacks and was named AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Watt plays in multiple spots on the defensive line and has already produced four sacks this season. The Steelers offensive line grouping of Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert will have one of the most important assignments of the game in containing Watt.
RB Le'Veon Bell vs. RB Arian Foster
Tonight's game features two of the best running backs in the NFL as Le'Veon Bell and Arian Foster rank in the top five in scrimmage yards and rushing yards. Bell currently ranks second in the league in scrimmage yards (793) and rushing yards (542). Foster's stats have been impressive as well as he has 644 scrimmage yards (ranks fourth) and 513 rushing yards (ranks third). With elite wide receivers on each side of the ball in Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown and Houston's Andre Johnson, each team will use the running game to open up the passing game and manage the game clock.
LB Lawrence Timmons vs. LB Brian Cushing
Timmons and Cushing each lead their respective teams in tackles and rank in the top-15 in the league in takedowns according to league totals. Timmons has registered 100 or more tackles in three of the last four seasons and is on track to do the same with 60 tackles through the first six weeks of the season. Seven-year pro Brian Cushing has been productive when he's been healthy as he has battled injuries in each of the past two seasons. He's returned to form in 2014 as the 2010 Pro Bowler leads the Texans with 49 tackles (30 solo) and has added one sack. Each player will play a pivotal role in leading their defenses to victory.