The 11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Houston to take on the 4-10 Texans on the first of 2 Monday night games this week. Both teams are coming off losses last week but are in very different positions. The Texans lost their 4th game in a row by getting destroyed 45-7 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. This was their third loss in a row by at least 10 points. Pittsburgh ended its 4 game win streak with a heartbreaking 27-24 home loss to the New England Patriots. The Steelers blew an 8 point fourth quarter lead, they also blew an opportunity to control home field advantage throughout to the AFC playoffs. To add injury to insult, Pro Bowl receiver Antonio Brown hurt his calf and will be out for this game.

Ben Roethlisberger played well last week finishing with a passer rating of 110. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 281 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His favorite target was JuJu Smith- Schuster who had 6 catches for 114 yards. They had success running the ball gaining 143 yards. Le’Veon Bell led the team with 117 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. He also caught 5 passes for another 48 yards. Brown suffered a lower leg contusion and there is currently no timetable for his return for the regular season. Defensively, they intercepted Tom Brady once and sacked him twice. They gave up an average of 4.4 yards per run as New England gained 77 yards on 19 carries. For the season, the Steelers defense has allowed their opponents to average 19.9 points and 330 yards per game.

Houston struggled on both sides of the ball last week and were losing 31-0 at halftime. T.J. Yates finished with a quarterback rating of 2.3 as he completed just 12 of his 31 pass attempts for 128 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. His favorite target was DeAndre Hopkins who had 4 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown. They rushed for 87 yards with Alfred Blue leading the team with 55 yards on 12 carries. Defensively, they did not force a turnover and sacked Blake Bortles just once. They gave up 138 rushing yards on 38 carries which is an average of 3.6 yards per run. On the year, the Texans defense has allowed their opponents to score an average of 27 points and gain 369 yards per game.

Houston will have home field advantage and is a 9 point underdog. They have gone 7-7 against the spread this season including 3-4 at home. Pittsburgh is 6-8 against the spread this season including 3-4 on the road. The Texans were eliminated from the playoffs weeks ago while the Pittsburgh still has a chance to snag a top 2 seed in the AFC. For the Steelers, their last 4 games have all been decided by 3 points or less and that was before they lost Brown to his leg injury.

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