HOUSTON — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was 20 of 29 for 226 yards passing and two touchdowns as Pittsburgh clinched a first-round playoff bye with a 34-6 win over the Houston Texans on Monday.
Despite lacking Antonio Brown, the N.F.L.’s leading receiver, who sat out with a calf injury, Roethlisberger threw passes to six players as Pittsburgh (12-3) romped past the lowly Texans (4-11).
The Steelers led by 20-0 at halftime after taking advantage of two turnovers by the Texans. Le’Veon Bell added a 10-yard scoring run late in the third quarter, and the rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster made it 34-6 with an 18-yard touchdown grab in the fourth.
Bell finished with 14 carries for 69 yards, and Smith-Schuster had six receptions for 75 yards.
Quarterback T.J. Yates was 7 of 16 for 83 yards and a touchdown for the Texans, who lost their fifth straight game and for the eighth time in nine games. Yates made his second straight start…