What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Texans

COIN TOSS: Texans call tails. It's heads. Steelers win the toss and elect to defer.

1:13 p.m. – What Went Right: The game's opening possession ended with the Texans going three-and-out, and the Steelers took over at their 22-yard line following the punt. An extra effort by JuJu Smith-Schuster turned a short pass into a first down that converted a third-and-10, and then on an ensuing third down, Smith-Schuster drew a pass interference penalty that converted again. The drive progressed to a third-and-2 from the Houston 16-yard line, but there a run by Jaylen Samuels came up 1 yards short of the first down. The Steelers settled for a 33-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead with 8:55 left in the first quarter.

1:21 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It took the Texans less than three minutes of game time to march 74 yards in seven plays and take the lead on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Randall Cobb. The Texans converted on third down with a 20-yard pass to Brandin Cooks, and then the only other third down on the possession came on the touchdown pass to Cobb. Houston led, 7-3, with 6:01 left in the first quarter.

1:34 p.m. – What Went Right: For the second time in three first quarter possessions, the Texans went three-and-out. Vince Williams sacked Deshaun Watson on first down, and then Mike Hilton dropped Kenny Stills for a 1-yard loss after a quick pass on second down. That set up a third-and-19, and after a check-down completion the Texans punted.

1:48 p.m. – What Went Wrong: When the Steelers defense wasn't able to author a three-and-out, the Texans were driving down the field for a touchdown. Their second such drive covered 54 yards in nine plays to give them a 14-3 lead with 11:32 left in the first half. Houston had receivers wide open on several plays – a 31-yard completion to David Johnson, a 19-yard completion to Kenny Stills that converted a third-and-6, and on a third-and-9 from the Pittsburgh 11-yard line, Deshaun Watson eluded two tacklers before completing a 9-yard pass to Will Fuller for the first down. On the next play, Alex Highsmith got blocked to the inside, and David Johnson eased into the end zone for a touchdown.

2:01 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers cut their deficit to 14-10 with 5:05 left in the first half on a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron. Anthony McFarland got things going with a 20-yard run on the second play, and then Vance McDonald caught a 15-yard pass on the next play. Benny Snell converted a third-and-1 with a 1-yard gain, and then Ben Roethlisberger came right back with a 17-yard completion to Ebron. An intentional grounding penalty on Roethlisberger set up a third-and-goal from the 10-yard line, but then he hooked up with Ebron for the touchdown.

2:17 p.m. – What Went Right: After another three-and-out by the Texans, the Steelers took over after the punt on their 37-yard line with 2:38 left in the first half. After two runs by James Conner gained 7 yards, Ben Roethlisberger converted a third-and-3 with a 7-yard slant pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Conner gained 12 yards on the next play, and that was followed by a pair of 6-yard completions, the first to Eric Ebron and the second to James Washington. On the next play, Smith-Schuster was wide open over the middle, and he strolled into the end zone to complete the 26-yard touchdown play. The Steelers led, 17-14, with 1:14 left in the first half.

2:24 p.m. – What Went Wrong: Too easy. The Texans reclaimed the lead with a 75-yard drive that took only five plays and 50 seconds. Deshaun was 5-for-5 on the drive for all of the years, plus the 14-yard touchdown to Will Fuller, who went up over Steven Nelson to make the catch in the end zone. It was Houston 21, Pittsburgh 17 with 24 seconds left in the first half.

HALFTIME: Texans 21, Steelers 17

2:57 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers may have taken the second half kickoff and scored at the end of the possession, but it came across as a squandered opportunity. James Conner converted a fourth-and-1, and then the Steelers benefitted from a defensive pass interference penalty on Bradley Roby on a pass intended for Chase Claypool on another fourth-and-1 that put the ball at the 10-yard line. After a penalty for Alejandro Villanueva being illegally downfield, Ben Roethlisberger threw behind James Washington on first down, then high and wide to Conner on second down, and then a third-down checkdown completion set up Chris Boswell's short field goal that cut the Steelers deficit to 21-20 with 9:54 left in the third quarter.

3:04 p.m. – What Went Right: On the possession following Boswell's field goal, the Texans went three-and-out, and after Ray-Ray McCloud's 12-yard punt return the Steelers started at their 37-yard line with 7:38 left in the third quarter.

3:09 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It was not a good four-game sequence for the Steelers. On first down, Matt Feiler got beat by Carlos Watkins for a 9-yard sack, and then on third-and-16, James Washington and Ben Roethlisberger hooked up for a 15-yard completion that set up a punt. Dustin Colquitt's kick traveled just 34 yards, and the Texans took over at their 20-yard line with 5:24 left in the third quarter.

THIRD QUARTER: Texans 21, Steelers 20

3:27 p.m. – What Went Right: After converting so many third-and-long situations during the game, the Texans turned the ball over with 13:27 left in the fourth quarter. On a third-and-15 from the Pittsburgh 43-yard line, Deshaun Watson escaped the pocket and threw while being chased by T.J. Watt. Mike Hilton stepped in front of the pass intended for Kenny Stills, and his 8-yard return gave the Steelers the ball at their 21-yard line.

3:39 p.m. – What Went Right: The offense capitalized on the Mike Hilton interceptions with a touchdown drive, plus a 2-point conversion, that covered 79 yards in 12 plays and consumed 7:03 of game time. Ben Roethlisberger converted an opening third-and-5 with a 14-yard pass to Eric Ebron, and shortly after Benny Snell converted a third-and-1 with a 2-yard run. Then it was third-and-2, and Roethlisberger hit Vance McDonald with a 14-yard pass to the Houston 12-yard line. On the next play, Conner burst over the right side for the 12-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion came on a quick pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who ran a quick slant from the right side of the formation. The Steelers led, 28-21, with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter.

3:44 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers defense responded to the touchdown with another three-and-out that was set up by an 11-yard sack by T.J. Watt. After a false start penalty, a short pass and a punt, the Steelers took over at their 31-yard line.

3:55 p.m. – What Went Right: On third-and-9 from the Texans 27-yard line with the Texans out of timeouts, Ben Roethlisberger threw a quick pass toward the sideline to Chase Claypool, who broke a tackle and ran down to the Texans 3-yard line. The play converted the third down and sent the Steelers into victory formation.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 28, Texans