The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their 15th regular season game of 2017 Monday on the road against the 4-10 Houston Texans and not surprisingly, the visiting team opened Week 16 as a 10-point favorite, according to vegasinsider.com. However most sportsbooks currently have the game listed anywhere between 9.5-points and 8.5-points.
The Texans, who lost 45-7 on the road to the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Sunday, will likely be quarterbacked once again on Monday by T.J. Yates as usual starter Tom Savage is still dealing with the effects of a concussion that he suffered a few weeks ago. In the Texans loss to the Jaguars, Yates completed just 12 of his 31 total pass attempts in that contest for 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception. For the season, Yates is now 26 of 57 passing for 303 yards with three touchdowns and the one interception. He’s also been sacked five times in limited playing time.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is the Texans biggest offensive weapon as he enters Week 16 with 92 catches on the season for 1,313 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is currently responsible for 38.5% of all receiving yardage on the team this season.
The Texans ground attack is led by running back Lamar Miller, who has rushed for 796 yards and 3 touchdowns this season on 220 total carries. Miller, by the way, is also second on the Texans in receptions behind Hopkins with 35 catches for another 317 yards and 3 touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the football for the Texans inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney leads his team in total tackles with 83. Outside linebacker and former first-round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney leads the Texans in sacks with 9 entering Week 16. Clowney’s two forced fumbles on the season is also tied for the team-high in that statistical category.
While Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph leads his team in total passes defensed with 9, safety Andre Hal leads Houston in interceptions with 3. Hal, like Clowney, has also forced two fumbles so far this season.
The Texans defense has forced 16 total turnovers this season while their offense has given the football away 25 times in total.
In their last eight games the Texans have registered a 1-7 record and that’s mainly a result of them losing rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson for the season to a knee injury in Week 9 and defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus to season-ending injuries much earlier in the season.
The Steelers lead the all-time head-to-head series with the Texans 3-2. The last time the two teams met was during the 2014 season and the Steelers won that home game 30-23. The Steelers last trip to Houston in 2011 ended in a 17-10 loss, however.
Since the opening of the line earlier this week there has been no change to an initial over/under of total points for the Week 16 contest of 44. The Christmas day game between the Steelers and Texans will kick off at 4:30 PM ET (3:30 Local) and will be broadcast live on NBC, the NFL Network and Amazon.steelers_texans_week_16