The Ben Roethlisberger made two touchdown passes for 226 yards and the Pittsburgh Steelers secured a week off in the playoffs by crushing the Houston Texans 34-6 on Monday.
Roethlisberger varied his targets well and the Steelers (12-3) beat the Texans (4-11) even if they were without receiver Antonio Brown, the NFL scoring leader.
“I know everyone was thinking of Antonio’s absence and the players wanted to fill his shoes, but no one can do it,” Roethlisberger insisted. I simply told them to be the best version of themselves. ”
The Steelers led 20-0 at the half and took advantage of two Texan turnovers. Le’Veon Bell added a 10-yard touchdown late in the third quarter as rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster advanced to 34-6 with a 18-yard touchdown for a fourth-quarter major.
“It just shows all the ammo we have on the attack and all the players have played well,” said Bell. Ben did the games he had to do and I was able to play good games on the third try. It was really a complete team effort. ”
Bell concluded the game with 14 runs for 69 yards while Smith-Schuster picked up six balls for 75 yards.
“This is an important day for us,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. It was our last game away, we had a 12th win and a bye for the second round of the playoffs. These are positive things, but it’s simply the result of our focus on opportunities. ”
Texan quarterback TJ Yates completed seven of his 16 passes for 83-yard flyovers. He started a touchdown pass. Yates made his second consecutive start for the Texans, who have lost their last five games and eight of their last nine. He replaced Tom Savage, who suffered a concussion.
Yates briefly left the match to be assessed for a concussion and his replacement, Taylor Heinicke, suffered one in his only offensive series.
“It’s disheartening,” Texan head coach Bill O’Brien said of his squad’s bad streak. It was a difficult year. ”
Roethlisberger was replaced by Landry Jones with six minutes left. The match was already out of reach.
The Texans’ only happy moments came in the fourth quarter, when DeAndre Hopkins made a spectacular catch in the end zone to score a three-yard touchdown. It was his 13th reception for a major, an NFL summit.
The Steelers took the lead 10-0 in the first quarter when Roethlisberger joined Justin Hunter for five yards for a touchdown.
The Texans tried to retaliate after a great 48-yard run from Alfred Blue, but Yates saw his pass intercepted in the end zone.
The visitors added a touchdown on a one-yard Roosevelt Nix run and Chris Boswell made a 36-yard field goal to score 20-0. The Steelers were no longer threatened.