3 critical keys for Steelers defense vs. C.J. Stroud and the Texans today

Steelers must do these three things effectively to come away with a victory on the road today.
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Take advantage of a poor rushing attack

The Texans are 28th in the league in rushing. The Steelers are 29th in the league in rushing defense.

Who's actually bad here?

The Steelers can argue that the grueling lineup of Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb and Josh Jacobs skewed their numbers a bit, but that's not to say Pittsburgh hasn't been in its own way. Miscommunications in the middle of the defense have been prevalent all season long, though it is improving.

Last week the Steelers held the Raiders to just 69 yards on the ground. That's a nice improvement, even if it didn't skyrocket them up the rushing defense leaderboard. To be fair, the Raiders have yet to surpass 70 yards on the ground, and last week was the most they've gained this season so far.

Conversely, the Texans began the season against the Ravens, Colts, and Jaguars defenses. Other than Baltimore, not the most feared run defense in the league. Houston has yet to surpass 100 yards on the ground in a game, though in their first two contests, they did fall behind early.

Dameon Pierce is struggling to find the magic he had as a rookie and only has 100 yards on 40 carries and a single touchdown. Devin Singletary came over in free agency and isn't making much of a difference. Tie in the poor offensive line before even considering the injuries, it's not overly surprising that teams would stack the box and force the rookie quarterback to win with his arm.

Taking everything into account, it's safe to say the Texans rushing attack isn't good and that this should be the perfect opportunity for the Steelers to shore up their communication and continue to improve against the run.