When they last met at Heinz Field on the opening weekend of 2008, a hit by Houston's Mario Williams separated Ben Roethlisberger's shoulder. Today, Big Ben left limping, and Mario again wreaked havoc, though the two events were not directly related.
Unlike the last affair, it was the Texans who claimed a home victory.
The 17-10 final score did not appropriately demonstrate the Steelers struggles in all phases of the game. In a weekly theme, the offensive line failed to hold up against a premier defender, the running game failed to get into any sort of rhythm and the defense gave credence to those who recently proclaimed they were an aging and deteriorating unit.
In the original American space city, Arian Foster rocketed for 155 yards against a Steelers defense that appeared completely out of orbit. Houston took steps toward eradicating the notion that they are unable to close out victories against quality opponents.
Meanwhile, in a contest to test their mettle, the Steelers attempt at a comeback fell short, while their early season struggles continued to manifest themselves.
Can the Steelers get back to playing the championship football that defined their roster in the past half decade? Will the Texans build on today's victory toward becoming serious contenders?
While those questions will remain unanswered, today's contest did provide a few insights that are more certain.
Here are 10 observations from today's game between a historical NFL juggernaut and an upstart franchise looking to eventually earn their first trip to the playoffs.