As the Game Turns, Week 3 vs Houston: Hilton Reverses Momentum

NFL.com

By: G.Stryker, Twitter @SNStryker and Instagram @SNStryker
SteelerNation.com

 

Every game is like a soap opera with a pivotal moment where victory is decided. Not always the game winning play, but a play that determines the outcome, and if it went differently, a different result could happen. So each week we will explore the exact moment of drama where the game pivots on: As the Game Turns.

 

Momentum in a football game is important. Sometimes it takes a big play on offense, a big return, or a turnover to reverse fortunes. This past Sunday, it happened late in the game where the defense again showed why it is elite.  

Deshaun Watson was having great success extending plays with his mobility to make plays down the field to pick up chunks of yardage. After jumping out to a 21-17 lead to end the half, the Houston Texans found it difficult to move the football against the Pittsburgh Steelers as they adjusted to more man coverage in the second half. Houston’s first 2 drives were 3 and outs ending in quick punts. Their third drive however, was the best drive of the second half.  

Watson hit 2 big pass plays for 14 and 34 yards, the 2nd toss landing them with a 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 38-yard line. TJ Watt jumps in the backfield to stuff a toss sweep at the point of possession for a 5-yard loss. An incompletion sets up 3rd and 15 from the 43-yard line. Understanding this is probably 4 down territory, Ola Adeniyi flushes Watson out of the pocket and he rushes toward the sideline keeping his eyes downfield. TJ Watt pressures Watson forcing him to throw to a receiver he believes is open. Instead, the top defender for this game (and possibly the season), Mike Hilton steps in front of the receiver to pick off the pass and swing momentum back Pittsburgh’s way.  

With the score 21-20 favoring Houston, they were looking to put points on the board to extend their lead. Instead, the turnover ended up being a true reversal of fortunes, as the Steelers marched the other way with a 12-play, 39-yard drive that ended in a James Conner touchdown. After converting a 2-point conversion to JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Steelers regained the lead at 28-21. Strong defense forced another 3 and out and the offense salted the remaining 4:47 off of the clock to preserve the win.  

Mike Hilton made a lot of plays to help the Steelers win this football game, but none of them was bigger than his interception below, to regain momentum.  

 

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