The Matchup: TEXANS (0-2) at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-0)
Day/Time/Where: Sunday, 12 p.m., Heinz Field
TV: KHOU, Ch. 11
What’s at Stake: There is no question that the Texans have had the most difficult start to the season of any team in the NFL. In the first two weeks, they have faced the defending Super Bowl champs, and last year’s AFC No. 1 seed along with two of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. It doesn’t get any easier this week with a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the undefeated Steelers. But the Texans can’t afford to go 0-3 if they want to repeat as AFC South champs and compete for top seed. The Steelers are playing well and must continue to do so in order to keep in step with AFC North rival Baltimore.
What to Watch For: Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has yet to make the same connection with of the receivers as he had with departed DeAndre Hopkins. Will Fuller showed some promise in Game 1, but was virtually non-existent perhaps due to an undisclosed injury. Brandin Cooks and Kenny Stills must establish themselves as go-to receiving targets for Watson in order to open up the offense. Defensively, the Texans have yet to seem natural in first-year defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver’s scheme. The unit has been inconsistent against the run. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is showing signs of his old self after coming back from last year’s season-ending injury.
The Bottom Line: The Texans are in desperate need of a win. This is the week when Deshaun Watson gets in synch with his receivers and Duke Johnson and David Johnson will also have big games rushing the football. Once the Texans offense gets rolling and limits the defensive exposure, they will be on their way to their first win of the season.