A stress-free football game by the Pittsburgh Steelers was high on the list of things that fans wanted for Christmas and it appeared that Santa delivered. Pittsburgh got off to a fast start against the Houston Texans and did not let up until the game was over. Once the final horn sounded, the Steelers would leave town with a 34-6 victory and clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
Chris Boswell would get the scoring started when he kicked a 34-yard field goal with 10:40 left in the first quarter to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead. Almost four minutes later the Steelers would add to that lead when Ben Roethlisberger would connect with Justin Hunter on a 5-yard touchdown pass that made the game 10-0.
It would be more of the same in the second quarter for Pittsburgh. Roosevelt Nix rushed up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown to make it a 17-0 Steelers lead. With under a minute left Boswell would strike again, this time with a 36-yard field goal and Pittsburgh would enter the half with a 20-0 lead over Houston.
The lone score of the third quarter came when Le’Veon Bell took the ball from 10-yards out and gave the Steelers a 27-0 lead. The Texans would score their lone points of the day on an incredible catch by DeAndre Hopkins from T.J. Yates. Pittsburgh would answer that on the very next drive when Roethlisberger threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
The Steelers defense toyed with the Houston offense all day long. They would collect a total of seven sacks, with Mike Hilton leading the way with three. Artie Burns would collect the lone interception of the day, which occurred in the back of the end zone to keep the Texans off the scoreboard in the first half.
With Antonio Brown out for the rest of the regular season, it was great to see Pittsburgh play a complete game and not play down to an inferior opponent. The Steelers will host the Cleveland Browns next week to wrap up the regular season. While the game may not seem like much, a win over Cleveland and an upset of the New England Patriots by the New York Jets, would give Pittsburgh home field advantage in the playoffs.
Overall Record: 12-3
Next Game: Sunday December 31 vs. Cleveland Browns 1:00pm CBS