Steelers' defense steps in to play takeaway in the second half
Houston’s halftime adjustments seemed all for naught as CJ Stroud threw his first interception, a pick-six courtesy of Keanu Neal.
Suddenly, the Texans were on their fourth drive with next to nothing to show for it, down 17-3. Houston kept running its offense as usual though, feeding Pierce to set up manageable third downs. Stroud was then able to find Woods over the middle to get near midfield. Two plays later, though, Stroud’s second interception falls into the hands of Minkah Fitzpatrick as he forced one to Woods in double coverage.
Houston kept fighting when the Steelers began their next drive, getting Murray in for another sack on Pickett. Facing 3rd-and-19, Pickett threw the ball away as the Steelers went three-and-out on just their third drive of the game.
Houston’s next drive starts a bit more promising as Pierce picked up a third and one. Stroud leaned on Woods exclusively. His eighth catch saw him break a few tackles to get the Texans inside the 40. The third quarter ends with the Texans just outside of the red zone at the 21.
Two plays later, Stroud squeezed an 11-yard touchdown into Woods to get the Texans back into the game. Steelers lead 17-10 needing a better drive than their last to ice the game.
Harris immediately picked up a first down, breaking tackles along the way as the Steelers looked to bleed some clock. The next three plays fail to even gain three yards, though. The Steelers punt the ball away to the Texans on another poor drive.
The Texans began a critical drive with 3:33 on the clock at the 25-yard line down a touchdown. After finding his tight end Dalton Schultz for a first down, Stroud forced another pass to Woods and Cole Holcomb came away with the third interception of the game.
The Steelers went for the jugular, tossing a slant to Pickens to get into the red zone immediately. A Harris first down run on the next play took the clock down to the two-minute warning. On 3rd and 7, Pickett dropped back and found Pickens wide open in the middle of the endzone to seal the victory.
Houston, playing for pride at this point, allowed Stroud to put the ball up to try to make some magic. After missing his first three throws, he found Nico Collins for 9.5 yards, turning the ball over on downs.
Pittsburgh gave Harris one last carry to pick up a first and burn the Texans’ last timeout. After a couple of Pickett kneel downs, the Steelers won the game 24-10.