Merry Christmas everyone! The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Houston Texans 34-6 in a game that was never in doubt. With this win the Steelers clinch a first round bye in the playoffs and are still in contention for the number one seed. The Steelers are usually involved in nail-biters so it was nice to have a lopsided score. This would’ve been a fun game if the Texans had some of their best players but they’ve been decimated by injuries so bad that they were using their 4th string quarterback tonight. Let’s look at the winners and losers:
Joe Haden/Artie Burns
Joe’s back! In his first game back from a broken leg, he wasn’t spectacular but his presence was sorely missed in the secondary. Artie Burns has been horrible in Haden’s absence, and he was good tonight. He even had an interception in the end zone.
Hilton had 3 sacks in the game, something that hasn’t happened from a defensive back since 2005. The Steelers have been using Hilton in blitzes all season and he has a great knack for getting to the quarterback.
Heyward had 2 more sacks bringing his season total to 10. He’s having an All-Pro year, yet he was left off the Pro Bowl roster. This is more idiotic than NFL officiating.
I have this theory that Bryant only sees himself as a number 1 wide receiver, and that’s why he was so terrible when Antonio Brown was playing. Bryant had another solid game, getting 3 catches for 60 yards on 4 targets. On one of those catches, he was short of a first down but fought multiple defenders to get the first down. That is something he simply wasn’t doing earlier in the season.
McDonald is another player that returned from injury that was sorely needed. Ben loves to use the tight end as a checkdown and having a good pass catcher like McDonald will help the offense greatly.
Roosevelt Nix/Justin Hunter
It’s nice to see two players who either do grunt work or hardly play get involved in the offense. Both players had a touchdown and showed that hard work pays off.
No one got injured! The game was such a blowout that a lot of backups got to play, including quarterback Landry Jones.
The only bad part of the game was the defense giving up 176 yards rushing, including 108 yards to Alfred Blue. Considering the Texans’ pass offense was non-existent, there’s no excuse for giving up this many yards.