The Steelers look to start 3-1 or better for the first time since 2020 when they travel to Houston and take on the Texans. In preparation for Sunday’s contest, we spoke with Scott Barzilla of Battle Red Blog to ask five questions on what to expect from Houston in Week 4.
1. C.J. Stroud has been fantastic this season, but he’s yet to face a defense quite like the Steelers’ unit. Are you confident that he’ll continue to protect the ball the way he has?
I think there is a high probability that Stroud throws his first pick this week. I think he can still be effective but the key will be getting the ball out quickly. Ironically, the Texans are honoring J.J. Watt on Sunday with his brother in town. Both Watts are similar in that they can single-handedly wreck a game. Our line is still beat up, but it’s the interior line that’s more the issue. If Stroud walks out with zero turnovers we might win this game.
2. Who should Steelers fans be more worried about- Nico Collins or Tank Dell? And what to both bring to the table?
Dell to me is the greater threat. He can catch the deep ball and create yards after the catch. Collins has been good on the sidelines and in intermediate routes but is not the same level of deep threat. The question will be whether Stroud has the time to look downfield on Sunday.
3. With Derek Stingley not playing, who is someone in the defensive backfield Kenny Pickett will have to keep tabs on?
Steven Nelson is playing like a Pro Bowler right now. He’s not an elite corner but he is the closest thing to it. The Texans have actually done a good job shutting down the number one receiver in each offense. The depth isn’t quite there so Pickett should succeed if he has the discipline to go to his second or third read.
4. Do you think the Texans have found their long-term head coach in DeMeco Ryans?
I think so. He reminds me of a young Mike Tomlin in many ways. The key will be what happens when people from his staff get plucked. However, he has a leader of men quality to him that some coaches just don’t have. If he can have Tomlin’s career I’ll sign up right now. I’ve always admired Tomlin just because he gets the most out of his teams. Ryans has the same kind of upside.
5. The over/under for this game is 42 on DraftKings. Are you leaning towards the over or under?
I’ll lean over but Vegas has set it at a challenging number. I foresee garbage points from one of these teams and I think that’s the difference. I’m leaning 24-20 in favor of the Steelers, but I am a lot more optimistic than I was at this time last week. They are similar teams that have similar strategies and those games are always fun to watch. It shows you exactly where your team is.