The 2-0 Houston Texans came into Heinz field against a 1-1 Pittsburgh Steelers team that struggled to stop the Buccaneers pass defense in week 2. The recipe for Coach Bull was simple, or so he thought. The Houston Texans offense was surprised from the very first snap. The offensive line of the Houston Texans was overpowered and manhandled for majority of the game. Deshaun Watson was pressured on more throws in this game than he saw in both week one and week two games combined. The Houston Texans were unable to adjust on offense and the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to capitalize on each of the Texan’s mistakes.
Deshaun Watson threw his first interception of the season and it was into triple coverage. Brandon Cooks had gotten behind the defense on a crossing pattern, but Deshaun Watson drove the ball towards the sideline enabling the defense to recover quickly and intercept the ball. This interception led to a Steeler touchdown and the momentum of the game favored the Steelers all throughout. Deshaun Watson has thrown for thirteen touchdowns this season and we have seen the Texan’s passing offense prevalent the first three games this season. The surprise of this game came from the lack of production out of reigning MVP Javian Hawkins. Coach Bull is very precise at implementing a game plan that includes Javian Hawkins, but he only had 30 yards on the ground and another 30 yards through the air. The offense was unable to make up for the absolute garbage play of the defense. The Texan’s offense turned the ball over five times (three interceptions and two fumbles.) The Steeler’s offense was gifted favorable starting position on most of their offensive drives. The Steelers offense drove down the field and took advantage of the lack of athleticism at the linebacker position of the Texans. The Texans are absolutely missing defensive end J.J Watt, they allowed the Steelers to rush for over two hundred yards and pass for over three hundred yards.
Coach Bull is going to have to head into practice this week and try to emphasize a better scheme on defense. He has to figure out what his defense is good at based on the eleven players that they have on the field. In the game against the Steelers, we saw both of their pass rushing linebackers stuck in coverage. Bradley Chubb and Jacob Martin are flashy fast players that can get after the quarterback but they have been ineffective in defending the pass. The Steelers heavy personnel was able to get behind the Texans linebackers routinely this game.
In the first three games of the season, the defense of the Houston Texans is giving up the most yards in the league and is in the bottom two for passing and rushing yards given up. The Texans are in the middle of the pack for points given up and that attributes to their tenacity to force turnovers. Outside Linebacker Jacob Martin was granted the edge threat ability and he was able to get around the offensive line to sack and force Garner Minshew to put the ball on the ground. Defensive Tackle Tyler Davis was able to recover the fumble and race down the field. Tyler Davis was quickly fatigued from the run and had zero energy as he inched towards the goal line. He was able to juke out a Steelers player that was coming down the field and fall into the end zone. Tyler Davis has been a part of two huge plays in back to back weeks and is proving that being selected in the first round was a smart choice by the Texans. The Texans face a struggling Denver Broncos team in week four. The Broncos statistically have one of the leagues worst offenses and a struggling defense that is bottom ten in the league in yards given up.
Week 4 Negotiations –
J.J Watt – $42.8M total over two years*
Gareon Conley – $32.9M total over three years*
The Texans were able to finalize a massive deal with Bradley Chubb. The deal was worth $127M over seven years. Bradley Chubb will see $18M of that total next season. The Texans wanted to secure their best pass rusher who they hope will perform up to what they paid him. The Texans are still up in the air on the future of J.J Watt. He is still injured and unwilling to come down on the price of his contract. Gareon Conley has played well the first three seasons and his desired deal will pay him roughly $10M a year. That number is not awful, but the Texans will have to manage their cap this season and not everyone on the roster this season will be able to see the field next season with the Texans.