Same old Texans? Not this time.
A week after allowing 23 fourth-quarter points in a loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Texans limited the Pittsburgh Steelers to three points in the fourth quarter of a 17-10 victory at Reliant Stadium. They limited the defending AFC champs to a total of 32 yards on their last four drives, and
“Now, we believe when we play a game, we aren’t the underdog,” said defensive end
Foster ran 30 times for 155 yards, the most by any player against Pittsburgh since 2003, in his return to the starting lineup from a hamstring injury. The Texans lost
“That’s something we pride ourselves on as an offensive line and tight ends, fullbacks, everybody,” left guard
The Texans overcame nine penalties for 61 yards, including two that nullified touchdowns by cornerback
“That just tells you we weren’t going to let anything get in our way today,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “We knew there were going to be some tough breaks in the game. A lot of times when those things happen to teams, they can’t overcome them. But that wasn’t the case today.”
With Johnson out, tight end
On the Steelers’ first drive, linebacker
Midway through the second quarter, Johnson was injured on a 13-yard catch as the Texans were driving down the field. The Texans wound up settling for a 25-yard field goal by
Roethlisberger then drove the Texans down the field in a two-minute offense, completing a 40-yard pass to wide receiver Mike Wallace along the way. But the drive was all for naught as safety
Despite a sack by
After a three-and-out by the Texans, Kubiak gathered the entire offense on the sideline in the bench area and lit into the players with a fiery speech. The Steelers then tied the game on the first play of the fourth quarter with a 26-yard field goal.
The Texans responded with a five-play, 85-yard drive that produced Foster's go-ahead touchdown. Daniels had two key first downs on the drive, a nine-yard grab followed by a 30-yard catch down the left sideline.
“We came out probably a little flat; just didn’t look the same type of urgency,” Daniels said. “Didn’t look the same as we did in the first half – didn’t look the same to Kubs, so he came over and let us know about that, and we listened.
“I’ve never been a coach who cared as much as he does about his players and care about the game. It means so much to him. He’s a great coach and he knows the right things to say at the right time.”
The Texans’ defense ratcheted up the pressure on the next series. Nose tackle
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu tackled Foster twice in the next three plays to force a three-and-out. The Texans notched two more sacks on the next drive on consecutive plays, first by Smith and then by Williams. After yet another three-and-out by the Texans, the defense forced a turnover on downs when Barwin batted down a pass on fourth-and-seven at the Houston 45-yard line.
The Texans got the ball back with 2:33 remaining and a seven-point lead. They punted to Pittsburgh with 1:02 on the clock. Rookie
It looked like Joseph quashed the Steelers’ comeback hopes on the very next play. He picked off Roethlisberger and ran the ball into the end zone for a touchdown, but the play was called back on a roughing-the-passer penalty on
Pittsburgh drove to its own 40-yard line, but Allen picked off Roethlisberger with 10 seconds remaining on a deep pass intended for wide receiver Antonio Brown. That sealed the game and allowed the Texans to kneel out the clock on their victory.
“We’ve talked about mental toughness,” Texans chairman and CEO Bob McNair said after the game. “Physically, we have been tough enough, but mentally, sometimes we haven’t. Hopefully, this is an indication that that mental toughness is there.”