The Houston Texans might have more on the line than any other NFL team in Week 3 when they visit the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

A loss would drop the Texans to 0-3, severely hurting their chances of reaching the playoffs. With four AFC South titles over the last five seasons, failing to make the postseason for Houston would be a massive disappointment.

All 0-2 starts aren’t created equal. There’s a big difference between other winless teams and the Texans, who’ve been forced to play the league’s top Super Bowl contenders.

The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs beat Houston 34-20 in the opener. The Baltimore Ravens, who had the NFL’s best record last year and lead the AFC with a plus-49 point differential, took care of the Texans 33-16 in Week 2. 

That’s not to say Houston has played well—far from it. The Texans have barely been competitive in the 2020 season, trailing by two scores for the entirety of the second half in both games. 

Deshaun Watson has been somewhat underwhelming. The quarterback’s offensive line has done him no favors. The absence of DeAndre Hopkins has been noticeable. Houston ranks 17th in yards per play and 19th in opponents’ yards per play.

What does that mean for the Texans’ chances in Pittsburgh? 

The Steelers are 3.5-point favorites for Sunday’s game, according to the betting odds compiled by OddsShark. The over/under is 45.

Pittsburgh is undefeated with a pair of victories over mediocre opponents. The Steelers beat the New York Giants 26-16 in Week 1, followed by a 26-21 victory over the Denver Broncos, who were forced to play Jeff Driskel at quarterback for most of the Week 2 contest.

Even if Houston is headed for a disappointing season, they should be the best team Pittsburgh has faced, thus far.

Ben Roethlisberger has an impressive 107.1 passer rating, but the Pittsburgh offense is near the middle of the pack in both yards per play and scoring. J.J. Watt had two of Houston’s four sacks against Baltimore, possibly a sign that he will be a major factor at Heinz Field.

T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree and the rest of the Steelers’ pass rush could give the Texans problems. Watson might have to break out a special performance to help Houston pull off the upset. 

After two straight losses to open the season, the two-time Pro Bowler is due for a big afternoon.

Watson hasn’t posted a passer rating of 90.0 or better yet. He’s never gone three straight games without reaching that mark in his NFL career. 

Don’t be surprised if Watson carries Houston to its first win of the season.

Prediction: Houston over Pittsburgh, 23-20

Deshaun Watson Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans reacts against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images