Line: Steelers -3

A pair of 3-3 teams face of on Monday night football. If the Steelers are going to continue to alternate wins and losses like they have so far this season then they are going to win this win after taking a loss last weekend. Former head coach Bill Cowler and former star receiver Hynes Ward were both critical of the team, calling them soft while speaking as analysts for television coverage. Head Coach Mike Tomlin handled the criticism with the same poise and perspective he handles all of his responsibilities. He referred to what other people say as “elevator music” yet still paid respect to what Cowler and Ward meant when they were part of the organization. That attitude is why there will be no panic in the Steelers despite a wildly inconsistent start to the season. The Texans have been a feast or famine team as well this season. They fell behind early during last weeks lost to the Colts and they were able to battle back. The problem is that having to come back from early deficits can wear a team down and that’s what happened last weekend. The defense needs to be able to get stops early on and not allow teams to always play from ahead.

The Steelers have always been a team that runs the football on offense and stops the run on defense. While the defense has struggled the offense has certainly ben able to run the football. Starter Leveon Bell has 542 yards on the ground and is one of the most productive backs in the NFL. He will eventually be subject to disciplinary action for a preseason marijuana arrest, however it appears that it wont happen until after the season. The offense will have to do a much better job in the passing game in order to give the offense some balance. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 17 times this season, which is the second highest total in the NFL. The offensive line is will need to do a much better job in pass protection. Roethlisberger himself will also have to play better and avoid turning the football over at all costs.

The Texans have a different situation at quarterback where veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is asked to manage the game as opposed to go win the game like Roethlisberger does. He has been a major disappointment so far and will need to improve his overall play of the team is going to make a playoff run. The strength of the offense is undoubtedly running back Arian Foster who has 542 yards and 5 touchdowns in only 5 games. If he can manage to stay healthy he is arguably the best running back in the NFL. The best player on the teams defense and probably in the entire NFL is defensive lineman J.J Watt who has had another dominant season with 20 quarterback hits and 4 sacks. He has also lined up at tight end on offense and caught a touchdown pass.

Pick: Steelers -3

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