CBS Sports’ PITTsburghers are going to need a lot of help to beat the Houston Texans in Week 3 of the NFL playoffs.
But, for now, we know what to expect from the Steelers.
Here’s what we know so far.
Who will win?
After a lackluster 3-14 season, the Steelers are hoping to turn things around and find a winning formula in Week 4.
This game is shaping up to be the best Steelers-Texans game since the 2006 season, when the Steelers defeated the Texans 27-16 in Pittsburgh.
That was the last game the Steelers won in Pittsburgh since 1999.
But this is a much different team.
The Steelers have improved dramatically under new head coach Mike Tomlin.
They have a top-10 offense, a top five defense, and the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL.
They are also loaded with talented young players.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Le’Veon Bell are all back for the first time since their rookie seasons.
Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace will be the No-Prospects’ player.
And they have a defense that has the NFL’s sixth-best run defense.
They also have two of the top-ranked quarterbacks in the game in Ben Roentgen and Tom Brady.
But it’s not all good news.
The Texans defense was arguably the NFL top pass defense last season.
That unit allowed just 19.8 points per game and forced 10 turnovers.
They allowed a whopping 9.5 yards per play in the regular season.
Now, with the Steelers’ offensive line improving, the Texans might be able to get back to their old pass-happy ways.
And with Roethlinberger throwing for 3,200 yards and 22 touchdowns last season, it’s possible that they’ll again give up fewer points than they did last season with Brady and Roentgens.
But the Steelers defense could be a problem for the Texans.
They had the league’s second-best scoring defense last year, allowing just 5.5 points per contest.
And the Steelers have one of the league-worst run defenses, allowing 5.2 yards per carry.
The Titans’ defense was the NFL No. 2 rushing defense last fall, but this season they have the league�s third-worst rushing defense, allowing 4.9 yards per rush.
That�s the Steelers� third-best rushing defense this season.
The problem is that the Titans have allowed more rushing yards than they have scored.
In the two previous seasons the Titans were No. 3 rushing defense and were No 1 rushing offense.
And in 2016, they were No 2 rushing offense and No 1 passing offense.
So the Titans defense could give the Steelers a problem in the red zone.
The best part of this game is that there are so many weapons on offense, but the Titans� inability to get off the field for long stretches last year might hurt the Steelers, especially in the first half.
Quarterbacks Ben Roettgers, Josh Dobbs, and Antonio Callaway have a combined six touchdown passes this season, but they are all on injured reserve.
They could be in danger of not being on the field all game.
In Week 2, Roethlitz scored on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Brown with 8:55 left in the third quarter.
This is the second time the Steelers offense has scored a touchdown in the second half of a game this season after they scored a total of seven touchdowns in the opening three games of the season.
And Pittsburgh also had touchdowns of 39, 36, and 22 yards in the two other games.
In addition to Roethlsberger�s touchdown, the Titans also had a third-quarter scoring drive in the final quarter.
The drive was led by a 31-yard field goal by Brown with 5:48 left.
Roethlysberger threw an interception on third-and-7 with 1:51 left in that drive.
That would have given the Steelers one more chance to score, but Roethlings failed to convert the pass.
That drives me crazy.
What will the Texans do?
In the preseason, the only thing the Texans were good at was running the ball.
In two games, they ran the ball 19 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns.
The offensive line was also excellent.
The left guard, Anthony Castonzo, has been a starter for the last two years and has made a lot more noise than his teammates.
And right tackle Duane Brown was excellent last year.
He played in all 16 games and had a sack, two quarterback hits, a forced fumble, and two passes defensed.
But injuries to starting left tackle Jake Matthews and center Joe Hawley limited him to just four starts in 2016.
The only reason the Texans went to the playoffs with such a big offensive line is because they ran it more than they pass it.
The offense did