After week three of the NFL season, some can’t wait to make predictions on how the rest of the season will play out, which includes some positive buzz about the Seattle Seahawks. It’s true that the Seahawks are 3-0 and have so many things going right for them: a dominating defense, a tight secondary, a talented and smart quarterback – frankly, they look so great, improving with each game, that it’s difficult not to put the cart before the horse, as the saying goes.
But before any one starts talking about the postseason, as coach Pete Carroll would say, the Hawks will take one game at a time. This Sunday, they face the Houston Texans. The Texans are in the AFC South and don’t meet the Seahawks often. Here are three things to know about the Texans going into Sunday’s matchup.
1) What A Difference Four Years Makes
The last time that the Hawks played the Texans was during week 14 of the 2009 season. The Texans hosted the Hawks and they dominated, winning 34-7. That Seattle squad was a much different team, with a completely different roster (remember QB Matt Hasselbeck?), coaching staff and energy. Seattle was rebuilding back then and clearly the team has made strides. But for Houston, they have continued to build on a solid foundation with players like QB Matt Schaub, RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson, who led the Texans then and continue as the core of their team four years later.
2) Texan Player To Watch: J.J Watt
Aptly nicknamed J.J “Swatt” for the way he defends the line of scrimmage and bats passes, this defensive end is really entertaining to watch. Only his third year in the league, Watt was the 11th overall pick by the Texans out of Wisconsin in 2011. Last season, his personal highlights included 81 tackles (69 solo) during the regular season, most sacks in a single season in the franchise (20.5), most passes defended by a defensive lineman in a single season (16), and AP Defensive Player of the Year. And if 2012 wasn’t already a banner year for Watt, he topped it off with a photo op with another Houston favorite, Yao Ming (sports fans, check out the photo yourself, it’s a good one!). Watt will likely be the biggest challenge for Seattle’s offense on Sunday.
3) Game Prediction
The Texans currently are 2-1 on the season, in a three-way tie for first place in their division with the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans. They’re coming off a bad loss against the Baltimore Ravens 30-9. Against the Ravens, Schaub was a top performer in passing, completing 25 of 35 passes for 194 yards, but had no TDs, one interception and a QBR of 17.8. The Ravens’ defense held the Texans to a scoreless second half, so look for the Seahawks, who are considered the top team in defense, to shine even brighter. As for the QB matchup, Schaub could be considered by some to be an underrated QB, as his overall numbers this season look solid on paper. But his QBR is low, and he doesn’t make good decisions or take care of the ball, especially when blitzed. Schaub doesn’t run with the ball at all, while Seattle’s Russell Wilson not only will rush, he scrambles out of the pocket to makes plays where he can. Wilson’s got the upper-hand on Schaub, so too are the Seahawks favored over the Texans. However, it won’t be easy, as this road game will likely be their toughest so far this season.