The key to success for the Steelers has always been running the football and stopping the run. Today vs the Houston Texans, those keys were in full effect in an opening day beating 38-17 at Heinz Field. The Steelers dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, rushing for 183 yards, and allowing just 75 yards to the lackluster Texans.
Willie Parker took advantage of the O-line pushing around Houston most of the day, rushing for 138 yards and three touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger in three quarters was 13-for-14 for 137 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers went up 7-0 on a Parker run with 5:44 left in the first quarter. They built from there, as Parker went in from 13 yards out with 11 minutes to go in the half to make it 14-0.
Hines Ward then caught a Big Ben TD from 13 yards out after a Steelers interception that pushed the lead up to 21-0. The Texans kicked a field goal to make it 21-3 at the half. Parker and Ward each scored again in the second half, Parker from 4 yards out and Ward catching a 16-yard TD to make it 35-3 late in the third quarter.
Matt Schaub and the Texans offense will have better days, but against the black and gold this was not one of them. Schaub was punished most of the day, as the Steelers got to him for five sacks and two interceptions. He ended the day 25-for-33 for 202 yards and one TD. The Houston running game wasn’t much, as Steve Slaton was the teams leading rusher, going for just 43 yards on 13 carries.
This was the biggest mismatch of the weekend at least in how things played out. The Steelers gave little to Houston, and the Texans didn’t offer much resistance. Pittsburgh looked as good today as they did at any point last season. They will look to keep the momentum next Sunday night when they travel to Cleveland to play the Browns.