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.
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Grab CJ Stroud's first career interception

Stroud has done an incredible job of not forcing the football. His 121 attempts are the most to start a career without an interception. He's protected the football against some rather talented defensive backfields.

Although Pittsburgh's defensive backfield isn't the most talented and is largely suspect in how it's handled top-tier wide receivers, the one thing this defense is proven capable of is creating turnovers in the passing game.

While the strip sacks will be up to Watt and Highsmith in the second key, Minkah Fitzpatrick and company can take full advantage of a heavily pressured rookie quarterback with ease.

Volume also proves to be effective for Pittsburgh as Levi Wallace ate a ton of targets against the Raiders and was largely unproductive in coverage if you ignore the two interceptions he snagged in the process.


One thing favoring Pittsburgh is that the receiving options in Houston are largely unproven or aging. Robert Woods is the number one, but he's far from the dynamic weapon he once was in Los Angeles with the Rams. Tank Dell is a talented rookie in the slot that can score from anywhere, so eyes need to be glued on him. Outside of those two, Dalton Schultz hasn't been super productive in his first season for Houston and Nico Collins has yet to take a big step in his career.

With personnel in mind, Pittsburgh can be hyper-aggressive in their calls against Houston, which is how the Steelers operate best. Pittsburgh has the goons to make the Texans offense one-dimensional and capitalize on mistakes from a young and heavily injured offense.

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