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What to watch for in Texans-Steelers 'MNF' tilt

After Sunday's slate of last-minute, game-winning drives, Monday night's game features the NFL's most dominant defensive player against a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Here's what to watch for as the 3-3 Houston Texans travel to Pittsburgh to do battle with the 3-3 Steelers.

  1. Why not start with the obvious? J.J. Watt almost single-handedly wrecked the Colts' top-ranked offense in the second half of last week's game. He turned a 24-0 first-quarter laugher into a nail-biter for Indianapolis. NFL fans have a chance to enjoy the exploits of a player who will go down in history as one of the all-time greats.
  1. Watt's excellence shouldn't overshadow Arian Foster's return to 2010-2012 form. Despite missing one game and being held to six yards in his first game back from a hamstring injury, Foster is behind only DeMarco Murray and Le'Veon Bell in rushing . Two of the NFL's top three backs will be squaring off on Monday night.
  1. The Steelers are instigating a youth movement this week. Second-round defensive end Stephon Tuitt will make his first start, with Cam Thomas moving inside to replace injured nose tackle Steve McLendon. Pittsburgh's scouting department graded Tuitt as a top-10 talent entering the 2014 NFL Draft. ESPN's Lisa Salters reports fourth-round wide receiver Martavis Bryant will see his first NFL action versus the Texans. The 6-foot-4 Bryant could replace Markus Wheaton or a struggling Justin Brown in red-zone packages.
  1. Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins will see plenty of former Texans nickelback Brice McCain in this game. Cortez Allen, who was rewarded with a lucrative extension prior to the season, has been benched for poor play. Moving back outside, McCain could be a liability against the Texans' imposing duo.
  1. Texans No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowneyis inactive for the evening's contest. It was doubtful the pass rusher would play anyway, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, via a source close to the player. On the bright side, Clowney ran at close to full speed while testing the knee in pre-game drills. He's on track to play at Tennessee next week.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 7 game, and breaks down Peyton Manning's record-breaking night. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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