6 Players to Watch Against the Steelers
After a upsetting loss against the New Orleans Saints, the Texans are back to the drawing board looking for their third win of the season against the defending AFC champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Texans will have a tough task to pick themselves up off the ground and forget what happened in New Orleans, and put up a good game to prove they are not the same Texans teams from previous years. The Steelers boast one of the most complete defensive units in the NFL and have two of the best in Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, who are prepared to give the Texans offense fits.
Here are six Texans players who could figure into the outcome of the game.
1. Matt Schaub- He has taken some big time heat for his performance against the Saints, but Schaub was 22/39 for 373 yards and three touchdowns and one costly pick. The Texans lost the previous game as a team, but it always falls back on the quarterback. Schaub has a chance to get the fair weather Texans fans back on board and lead the team to a much-needed victory. He needs to continue to distribute the ball to all of his receivers and stand tall against the always deadly Steelers’ pass rush.
2. Arian Foster- He has said he could have gone against the Saints, and it looks like he might be healthy heading into Sunday. If Foster can come back at full strength, he can give the Texans offense a confidence boost and make the offense even more complete. Ben Tate has done a great job in his three games, but the Texans are a much better team with Foster on the field, running and catching the ball. It would be good to see Foster get the bulk of the carries on Sunday, but caution would be good to see shown by Gary Kubiak, knowing this is only the 4th game of the season.
3. Connor Barwin- Barwin has been relatively ineffective off the edge for the Texans and it is time for him to show he can play this position. Only one sack to his credit, Barwin needs to provide some needed pressure, instead of getting blocked by only one blocker. If Barwin can get pressure on the quarterback, he will help the Texans defense get better, and in the 3-4 defense pressure is needed from the outside linebackers. As of now only Mario Williams is the only one doing it on a consistant basis, Barwin needs a good showing against the Steelers.
4. James Casey- After a break out game last Sunday, it will be interesting to see if he can build on that success. Teams are now going to be focusing on him as an offensive threat, but he is going to have to overcome this and prove he can be an option in this offense as the season carries on. More importantly is his ability to block with Arian Foster coming back, because the Texans might be inclined to run the ball more. Casey is going to have his hands full blocking one of the best linebacker corps in the NFL, there is no better time to prove he can handle the blocking part of the fullbacks job than this weekend.
5. J.J. Watt and Antonio Smith- We put these two together because they will be one in the same when facing a depleted Steelers offensive line. Watt and Smith will have a chance to dominate the line of scrimmage and cause some serious issues for the Steelers’ offense and Ben Roethlisberger on game day. Roethlisberger is a big target, but it even tougher to bring down, and both Watt and Smith have a chance to cause some serious disruptions in the backfield. They could stop the running game and cause Roethlisberger move from his spots and throw on the run. This could be a big game in the making for the two defensive ends on Sunday.