The Steelers fell to 2-2 on the season after losing 17-10 to the Houston Texans today down in Houston. Texans running back Arian Foster ran for 155 yards on the afternoon on 30 carries, including a go ahead 42-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The Steelers had problems with the Texans offense right off the bat as quarterback Matt Schaub led the Texans on a 19 play scoring drive to start the game that ended with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Owen Daniels.
The Steelers were aided by several first half penalties by the Texans in the first half and the biggest one nullified a touchdown return of a blocked Shaun Suisham field goal as the half expired. The Steelers were down only 10 points at the half as a result of the penalty. The Texans ran 38 offensive plays in the first half compared to just 20 by the Steelers and rushed for 120 yards compared to the Steelers 28. Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson left in the second quarter with a right hamstring injury and did not return to the game after catching 4 passes for 36 yards.
The Steelers started off the second half strong as they drove 74 yards for a touchdown to close the lead to just 3 as running back Rashard Mendenhall culminated the drive with a 3-yard run off right end and it was aided by a nice block by tight end David Johnson. Mendenhall left in the second half with a hamstring injury after 9 carries for 25 yards. Isaac Redman and Mewelde Moore combined for 60 yards rushing in the second half, but it was not enough as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was under heavy pressure in the pocket for most of the game and sacked 5 times in total.
Antonio Brown led all Steelers receivers with 5 catches for 68 yards. He was targeted 10 times on the afternoon and Roethlisberger just missed him for a touchdown before the Steelers settled for the blocked field goal to end the first half.
The Steelers defense was blown off of the ball most of the game, but mustered up a few key stops in the second half. Perhaps the biggest play the Texans made in the second half was a 30-yard completion to Daniels on 1st and 10 from their own 28 yard-line. Steelers linebacker James Farrior could not keep up with Daniels on the play and Foster scored his long touchdown on the very next play from scrimmage. They were the 2 biggest plays the Steelers defense allowed all day and shifted the momentum the Steelers had built back to their side.
The Steelers defense was led by safety Troy Polamalu who finished with 8 total tackles with one being for negative yardage. The Steelers recorded no sacks and no turnovers on the day and have just 1 turnover through 4 games now.
I will post more of my game observations after I go back through the game this afternoon. Feel free to post yours below in the comments.