Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wrap-up: Texans 17, Steelers 10
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers' 17-10 loss at the Houston Texans:
What it means: The Steelers finish their roughest stretch of the season with a 2-2 record. Pittsburgh started the season with three road games in the first four weeks. So, the Steelers have beaten two then-winless teams (Colts and Seahawks) and have lost to two likely playoff teams (Ravens and Texans).
Thumbs down: The Steelers' run defense. Arian Foster, who has been slowed by a hamstring injury this season, ran for 155 yards on 30 carries. After the Steelers tied the game at 10, Foster broke a 42-yard run for a touchdown. Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu and linebacker LaMarr Woodley missed tackles on Foster despite being unblocked on the cutback side.
No comeback this time: Ben Roethlisberger, who has 27 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter, couldn't bring back the Steelers. He overthrew Antonio Brown and was intercepted with 10 seconds left in the game, ending the Steelers' last chance.
Pressure treatment: The Steelers' offensive line, which has three different starters since opening the season, struggled as expected to keep a safe pocket. Even Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey allowed a sack in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger was sacked a season-worst five times and finished 16-for-30 for 206 yards.
Injuries: The amount of injured players continue to increase for Pittsburgh. Defensive end Aaron Smith (foot), running back Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring) and outside linebacker James Harrison (eye) all left the game with injuries.
What's next: The Steelers return home to play the Tennessee Titans.