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With such a porous front line as Houston seems to have, not sure how they stop a Steelers pass rush that averages five sacks per game, so expect Pittsburgh to more than cover the spread against these seemingly lost Texans.
Steelers -4 (-110)
We breakdown all NFL week 3 games and give you our predictions and picks for each game.
|Texans vs Steelers Information|
|What||Houston Texans vs Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Where||Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, PA|
|When||Sunday, September 27, 2020; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
The Houston Texans have yet to win in 2020 (note: they’ve played the Chiefs, Ravens, and now the Steelers) so they might have to start this odd season at 0-3, but if they don’t fix their offensive line it could get even worse.
Watch the Pittsburgh Steelers and you can tell their veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger is back healthy and effective, but it’s their killer pass rush that has been turning NFL heads, their D so far averaging a mind-blowing 5 sacks per game.
These two pro football franchises have only ever played each other 6 times, with the Pittsburgh Steelers winning 4 of the games and the Houston Texans winning 2 games.
The Texans offensive line is healthy, they’re just not playing that well, so far allowing their starting and oft-injured QB Deshaun Watson to be sacked four times in each of the first two outings, not a good formula for keeping him healthy.
That’s on tackles Laremy Tunsil and Tytus Howard on the ends, two young players that Houston picked up last year that need to start stepping up and sealing off the edges so that Watson can start to have a pocket to somewhat relax in.
Houston’s inside front consists of center Nick Martin and guards Max Scharping and Zach Fulton, all players who should be familiar with the system and need to be more effective sealing the holes that sacking D-lines are apparently discovering.
Watch the first two Steelers games of 2020 and all you see on defense is T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree making opposing QB life difficult, then add cornerback Mike Hilton’s pressure as well as end Tyson Alualu’s constant attention and suddenly it’s tough for QBs to concentrate on the offensive game plan.
The Steelers rely on Big Ben’s tough offense to outscore their opponents, and that becomes way easier when their defense doesn’t allow the other team’s quarterback to breathe easy or stay on the gridiron.
Five sacks per game, that’s what Pittsburgh is averaging, so if Watson and his shaky front line expect to spend any time on the field, they better figure out a way to stop the Watt and Dupree sack express.
The Rams sure miss their former deep threat WR Brandin Cooks and starting in Week 2 the Texans began to see why, with BC hooking up with QB Watson 5 times in that Ravens game for 95 yards, averaging almost 12 yards per reception.
More of that will be required if this Texans team expects to compete with the Steelers, but it’s tough for a QB to consistently connect if he is spending most of his time scrambling for his life outside the pocket.
Texans defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver had better figure out an answer for protecting Watson and getting Cooks open – succeed at that and it will get the Steelers D back peddling at least.
The Watt brothers, T.J. and J.J., face off in this one, and T.J. will have a chance to outshine his big bro since in 2020 the Steelers are in the habit of sacking multiple times per game.
T.J. Watt leads the league with his 2.5 sacks in two games, and he has also posted 6 quarterback hits, 2 passes defended, and 5 total tackles, with 3 of those being for a loss.
The Watt brothers appear to be healthy, so have fun watching them lead their teams’ defense against each other, but if you’re betting on this one, don’t get too caught up in the Watt family nostalgia since the Steelers are on the upswing right now and the Texans are having all sorts of trouble.
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