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Dynamic safety duo Jalen Pitre, Jimmie Ward start first game together, force a pair of fumbles in win


For the first time this season, the Houston Texans had their starting safety duo of Jalen Pitre and Jimmie Ward on the field together. Pitre returned for Sunday's 30-6 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing two games with a chest injury. Ward, in his tenth NFL season and first with Houston, made his Texans debut in Week 3 after dealing with a hip injury to start the season.

"It was awesome having those guys back," Will Anderson Jr. said. "We feed off each other, the rush and the coverage goes together. Coach talks about it, we talk about it. We do our job up front, they eat. They do their job in the back, we eat. Everybody is just working together. Having those two guys back, high-energy guys, guys that's going to run through a brick wall for whoever is out there on the field. They always got their brothers' back, having two guys like that on the field is really special and a big blessing for our team."

Ward finished with four tackles and forced a fumble against Steelers WR George Pickens in the first quarter. Pitre had a pair of tackles and also forced a fumble, his career first, following a third-quarter tackle on Steelers RB Jaylen Warren in the backfield. Kenny Pickett recovered but only after a loss of eight yards on the play.

"Coach kind of threw me a layup," Pitre said. "Called a blitz off the edge. Just trying to go full speed and execute the play call that he called and it was free and seeing the running back right there and just try to wrap up and make the play."

In the Week 4 victory, Houston's defense held the Steelers to 225 net yards off offense, 0-of-2 inside the redzone and 0-1 in goal-to-go situations. Pittsburgh's offense didn't advance past mid-field until the third quarter and then were held to just a pair of field goals.

"Oh, it meant the world to be back out there with them savages," Pitre said. "You know, just being back out there with the team, it was real fun, good energy. And I feel like we're continuing to build that camaraderie and continue to get better as a whole."

After back-to-back wins, Houston holds a 2-2 record on the season and will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons in Week 5.

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