12/20/17-Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans

By: Mike Pelaia

The Steelers are certainly coming out of an extremely tough loss at the hands of the New England Patriots this past Sunday and now they must travel to Houston on Christmas day to take on the Texans.  On paper this matchup looks like an easy win for the black and gold but then you never know what can happen in the NFL.

The Steelers are going to need to get over the lost and concentrate heading into Houston in order to regain the momentum and get things turned back around.  They have shown resiliency all season long, now we’ll see if they can do it again.

Here Are The Keys To Victory:

  1. The Steelers will need to keep JaDaveon Clowney away from Ben Roethlisberger.  Clowney is turning into a sack master and is an extremely disruptive player.  The O-line needs to keep Ben upright.
  2. Someone, anyone, needs to step up on place of Antonio Brown. My expectation is that JuJu Smith-Schuster will be the guy to do so.  Don’t count out Martavis Bryant He has shown when he’s on that he’s more than capable of being a top receiver.
  3. The secondary is going to have to find a way to stop DeAndre Hopkins. He is a top receiver in the league and handful to reckon with. Can Artie Burns get the job done?
  4. I think the Steelers need to jump on the Texans early. The best way to cure the hangover of a tough loss is to come out swinging early and often in your next game to ensure confidence is flying high. Keeping the game close for a while may rattle the confidence of the troops.

Here Are A Few Things To Watch:

  1. I want to see who steps up for Brown or how the Steelers game plan to do so. Will there be a heavier dose of Le’Veon Bell?
  2. Even though JJ Watt won’t be playing, I think his brother TJ Watt is going to be amped up to play in front of his big brother’s home crowd. How will he perform?
  3. I’m interested in seeing how Marcus Gilbert plays after missing the last four weeks due to suspension.
  4. All eyes should be on the Patriots and Jaguars on Sunday as those two teams still determine where the Steelers seeding falls, along with the Steelers themselves.

I think the Steelers will have an easy time in Houston and enjoy their Christmas holiday with a 34-17 victory.


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