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What went right, wrong vs. Texans

* The Steelers' opening possession ended with a punt, but after a couple of first downs and a 48-yard punt by Brad Wing that was downed by Terence Garvin, the Texans began their first series at their own 6-yard line.

  • Early in the game, it was the Steelers' punt team performing the best. Brad Wing's second punt traveled 54 yards, and then Antwon Blake dropped returner Keyshawn Martin after a 1-yard return.
  • One of the ways to slow down an aggressive pass-rusher is by using a hard count to draw him offside and otherwise keep him off-balance. On a third-and-15 deep in their own territory, that's what Ben Roethlisberger did to J.J. Watt. After the penalty, Roethlisberger dumped the ball to Le'Veon Bell, who ran 38 yards after making the catch for a 43-yard gain to give the Steelers a first down at the Texans' 43-yard line.
  • Right around the two-minute warning of the first half, the Steelers defense recorded a three-and-out. Lawrence Timmons recorded a sack on second down, and then Brett Keisel's pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick forced an incomplete pass on third down.
  • Two plays after Houston's three-and-out, the Steelers had the ball in the end zone and it was rookie receiver Martavis Bryant who made the play. The first play on the drive was a 28-yard screen pass to Le'Veon Bell, and then on the next snap Ben Roethlisberger went deep down the right side to Bryant, who had a step on cornerback Andre Hal and got his feet down to complete the 35-yard touchdown. It was 13-10 with 1:36 remaining in the first half.
  • On second down following the ensuing kickoff, Arian Foster was handed the football with the Texans looking to run out the final 90 seconds of the first half, but Jason Worilds defeated the blocks and forced a fumble that Sean Spence alertly recovered at the 3-yard line.
  • The gadget play that worked. A reverse pass from Antonio Brown to Lance Moore was good for a second Steelers touchdown, and Pittsburgh had a 17-13 lead with 1:03 left in the half.
  • On the first play following the kickoff that went for a touchback, the Texans eschewed taking a knee for trying to put together a scoring drive. Ryan Fitzpatrick's attempted pass was deflected by Brett Keisel, then it bounced off Lawrence Timmons, before being intercepted by Keisel and returned to the Houston 8-yard line.
  • Two plays after Keisel's interception, the Steelers' alignment created a two-on-one situation in the right flat, and Ben Roethlisberger hit Le'Veon Bell for the touchdown that gave the Steelers a 24-13 halftime lead. The Steelers offense hadn't scored three touchdowns in a game since Sept. 28, but it scored three in 73 seconds vs. the Texans.
  • It was a 32-yard catch-and-run by DeAndre Hopkins, but just before it ended, Mike Mitchell stripped the ball loose. Troy Polamalu picked it up and returned it 13 yards to give the Steelers possession at the Texans' 39-yard line with 4:55 left in the game. The possession ended with a 40-yard field goal from Shaun Suisham that upped the Steelers' lead to 30-16 with 3:04 remaining.
  • The ball bounced around for a bit, but it was Michael Palmer who fell on the Texans' onside-kick attempt, a play that clined the victory for the Steelers.

* It was third-and-6 from the Houston 10-yard line, and after making the first two tackles on run plays Jason Worilds had his hands on Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the Texans quarterback slithered away and completed a 15-yard pass to Damaris Johnson for the first down.

The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Houston Texans at Heinz Field in Week 7.

  • The next time the Texans faced a third down situation, it was a third-and-3 from the 44-yard line, and Arian Foster burst through a hole and raced 33 yards to the Steelers 11-yard line. Two plays later, the ball was in the end zone on a pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Alfred Blue to give the Texans a 7-0 lead with 5:55 left in the first quarter.
  • The Steelers' second possession ended with a turnover with 2:20 left in the first quarter. On a third-and-9 at the Texans 48-yard line, OLB Whitney Mercilus sacked and stripped Roethlisberger and J.J. Watt recovered at the Pittsburgh 46-yard line.
  • On the Texans' first possession of the second half, the Steelers defense rose up and stopped Arian Foster on a third-and-1. Houston's punt team came onto the field, but the Texans snapped the ball to up-back Alfred Blue who ran 7 yards for the first down. The Texans eventually would punt, but this time Shane Lechler's kick was downed at the Pittsburgh 1-yard line.
  • The Steelers finished the first half with no penalties, and through three quarters they had been flagged only twice – one of which was an on-purpose delay of game with the other being a false start. But on the drive that ended with a Texans field goal, Houston was aided by an 11-yard pass interference penalty on Cortez Allen that turned what would've been a third-and-10 into a first down.
  • It appeared as though Antonio Brown had caught a 16-yard touchdown pass to give the Steelers a 30-16 lead pending the extra point. But upon review it was determined that Brown's second foot came down out of bounds. The Steelers ended up settling for a field goal and a 27-16 lead with 5:50 left in the fourth quarter.
  • With the Texans out of timeouts and desperately trying to come back from a 14-point deficit, Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a 22-yard pass to Andre Johnson that became a 37-yard gain when James Harrison was flagged for roughing the passer.
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