Published: Tue, December 26, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

Steelers rout Texans to clinch playoff bye

Steelers rout Texans to clinch playoff bye

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn't want to take any chances late against the Houston Texans.

Hilton and Heyward led a stellar defensive effort as the Texans (4-11) were held to 227 yards of offense.

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The Texans will be hoping Deshaun Watson provides that next season while the Steelers are moving on to more immediate goals. The first was interception in the end zone after missing a wide open Braxton Miller in the end zone the play before and then a sack fumble in the second quarter that put the Texans in a deeper hole. Brown is not expected to play in the Steelers regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns. The drive ended with zero points, and Pittsburgh's less-depressing field position has helped spark a scoring drive Ben Roethlisberger has pushed deep into Houston territory. The only thing that will allow Houston to keep it close is if the Steelers get up big and take their foot off the gas they could let the Texans creep back into it to pull within two touchdowns. What they didn't need is T.J.

Bell finished with 14 carries for 69 yards and Smith-Schuster had six receptions for 75 yards. If Pittsburgh can secure one of the top two seeds in the AFC, the team will lock up a bye during the wild-card round and get an extra week of rest before beginning its playoff run. After their epic contest on December 17 won by the Patriots in controversial fashion, the rematch is nearly a certainty.

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