Monday Night Preview: Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Tomlin
Mike Tomlin watches from the sidelines in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

At 3-3, the Steelers are in a must win situation on Monday night as they enter a tough three game home stretch vs. the Houston Texans.
Houston is a much improved team and has a very strong defense that is capable of disrupting the Steelers offense with ease. It won’t be an easy game on Monday night and should the Steelers fall to 3-4, their playoff hopes will take a serious hit along with it.
Here are the Keys to A Steelers Victory:
•    They must contain JJ Watt. Watt is the best defensive player in the league, capable of blocking passes, sacking the QB, stuffing the run and scoring touchdowns on big defensive plays. The Steelers will need to chip him, double him and do whatever they can to keep him as far away from the line of scrimmage as possible.
2. The defense needs to stop Arian Foster and make Ryan Fitzpatrick beat them. Fitzpatrick has faced the Steelers in the past as a member of the Bengals but he’s not a big threat. It’s all about containing the run game.
3. While it’s important to stop the run and force Fitzpatrick to throw, the black and gold can’t let Andre Johnson make the big plays. The secondary needs to keep him in front of them and hit him immediately after he catches the football.
4. The Steelers’ offense must run the ball effectively. LeVeon Bell needs to go for 100 yards.
Here are a Few Things to Watch:
•    Big Ben-He’s had a few bad outings and I look for him to bounce back in a big way.  He will not let the team go down meekly again.
2.  Martavis Bryant-I fully expect this kid to play this week and I believe he can be a true threat on 3rd down and red zone plays.
3. Bryce McCain-He’s starting over Cortez Allen this week. How will the former Texan do?
4. The fans-They’re growing antsy, how will they react if the team starts off slow?
Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at mike@steelnationassociation.com.

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