PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger threw for a pair of touchdown passes and James Conner secured the victory as the Steelers defeated the Houston Texans, 28-21 to improve to 3-0 on the season on Sunday at Hienz Field.
Conner scored from 10 yards out to give the Steelers the lead for good late in the fourth quarter to cap an impressive day rushing for the team. Conner finished with 109 yards on 18 carries along with the score, while rookie understudy Anthony McFarland had 42 yards on six rushes.
Roethlisberger helped the team find the end zone twice in the second quarter, hitting Eric Ebron in the back of the end zone from 10 yards out and then JuJu Smith-Schuster broke loose from 26 yards as the Steelers came back from an early two-score deficit.
The Texans scored twice in the first quarter, as the Steelers defense struggled to contain the Houston passing game. DeShaun Watson hit Randall Cobb from 28 yards out to give Houston a 7-3 lead after an early Chris Boswell field goal. David Johnson then scored untouched from two yards out to give Houston a 14-3 advantage.
After Roethlisberger led the Steelers back to the lead, Watson drove the Texans down the field in just 50 seconds with a touchdown pass to Will Fuller just before the half put Houston ahead once again.
Another Boswell field goal narrowed the gap to one point in the third quarter, before the Steelers went on an epic drive that ended with Conner’s touchdown.
Taking over at their own 21, the Steelers marched 12 plays for 79 over 7:03, twice converting on third down, before Conner found pay dirt. Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster on a slant to give the Steelers a two-point conversion and a seven-point margin of victory.
The Steelers are 3-0 for the first time since 2010, which is also the last time they went to the Super Bowl. Next Sunday, they will visit the Tennessee Titans.
From the Locker Room: Ben Roethlisberger Explains How Steelers Defense Helps Offense
Despite putting up 31 of the teams’s 38 points scored in the Steelers win over the Browns, quarterback Ben Roethlsiberger explained to the media after the game that he didn’t really feel like the offense did that much. And Roethlsiberger’s final stat line points in that direction. The future Hall of Fame quarterback only completed 14 passes for 162 yards on the day.
Roethlisberger also talked about how the strong imposing play of the defense can help the offense have success, even without accumulating a bunch of big numbers.
From the Locker Room: Cam Heyward on Steelers Defense Punishing Baker Mayfield
Cam Heyward spoke to the media after the Steelers dominating win over the Browns. Heyward clarified comments he made prior to the game and explained how the Steelers defense was able to do so well against Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
The leader of the Steeles defense also touched on what message he’s telling the rest of the team about the mindset they should have while sitting at 5-0.
Postgame Show: Steelers Expose Browns, Cement Contender Status
The Pittsburgh Steelers dominated the Cleveland Browns. There’s no better way to describe the game. Host Mike Asti talked with briefly with Steelers fan Michael Santiago of Getty Images, who many in Pittsburgh may know for his photography work, and then pivoted to chat with subscribers during this edition of Pittsburgh Postgame.
The discussion included what losing Devin Bush could mean for the defense, Chase Claypool joining NFL history, JuJu Smith-Schuster not able to be involved in the offensive fun again and even James Conner answering his critics, which have certainly included Mike Asti himself.