Every four years when the Seahawks show up on the schedule, invariably, I find myself thinking "remember the last time these two teams played?" The games have been memorable to say the least and the 2017 game was one of the greatest games I've ever seen, unfortunately, it didn't end with a Texans win. Seahawks star QB Russell Wilson brought Seattle back from behind on a last minute drive to win 41-38 in an incredible football game.
In 2017, we said that same thing. "Remember the last time?" 2013 was the last time the Seahawks were in Houston and it was also their Super Bowl championship season. The Texans dominated the future World Champs until Wilson brought the Seahawks to within a score at 20-13. They then got that score to tie the game on the most gut punchiest of the gut punch pick sixes from star DB Richard Sherman. The Texans succumbed in overtime on their way to finishing with a 14 game losing streak, changing the organization in innumerable ways. Even in 2013, there was plenty of "remember that last one?" when the Texans played one of their greatest games in history in 2009, destroying Seattle 34-7 in front of their home crowd at NRG Stadium.
The point in looking back is that based on shared, past expenses, when these two teams meet, something wild is going to happen. The Seahawks are coming off of a 30-23 upset win over San Francisco but have struggled to finish games and score on the road. Over the past three road games, the Seahawks scored a total of 25 points. It's been a struggle to score points for each offense but I'm hoping for more Seahawks struggles on offense when they arrive this Sunday.
It should be interesting - it always is, actually, when these two combatants get together. As such, let's get to know the Seattle Seahawks, a team that hasn't been to Houston since 2013.
2021 Schedule (4-8)
Week 1 - W @ Indianapolis Colts 28-16
Week 2 - L Tennessee Titans 33-30
Week 3 - L @ Minnesota Vikings 30-17
Week 4 - W @ San Francisco 49ers 28-21
Week 5 - L Los Angeles Rams 26-17
Week 6 - L @ Pittsburgh Steelers 23-20
Week 7 - L New Orleans Saints 13-10
Week 8 - W Jacksonville Jaguars 31-7
Week 9 - L @ Green Bay 17-0
Week 10 - L Arizona Cardinals 23-13
Week 11 - BYE
Week 12 - L @ Washington Football Team 17-15
Week 13 - W San Francisco 49ers 30-23
Week 14 - @ Houston Texans
Week 15 - @ Los Angeles Rams
Week 16 - Chicago Bears
Week 17 - Detroit Lions
Week 18 - @ Arizona Cardinals
Seahawks OFFENSE (in 2021 regular season)
Rushing Yards Per game - 97.0 ypg (24th in the NFL)
Passing Yards Per game - 201.3 ypg (27th)
Total offense per game - 298.3 ypg (31st)
Turnovers lost - 10 (5 Fumbles lost, 5 INT)
Expected Seahawks starting offense for Week 14
QB - Russell Wilson
RB - ADRIAN PETERSON
WR - D.K. Metcalf
WR - Tyler Lockett
WR - Freddie Swain
TE - Will Dissly
LT - Duane Brown
LG - Kyle Fuller/Damien Lewis
C - Ethan Pocic
RG - GABE JACKSON
RT - Brandon Shell
Key Offensive Non-Starters
RB - Travis Homer (ran a fake punt 73 yards for a TD last week v. San Francisco)
WR - DEE ESKRIDG
TE - GERALD EVERET
WR - Penny Har
RB - DeeJay Dallas
Italics - Rookie
ALL CAPS - New to team in 2021
Keys to winning v. the Seahawks Offense
- We meet AGAIN?!? - It'll be odd to face Seahawks RB Adrian Peterson. The last time we were on the road, The Texans faced Peterson as a member of the Titans. Now, three weeks later, the Texans will face Peterson as a member of the Seahawks. He's not the Peterson of old and the Texans were able to eliminate his runway openings in the first meeting, but in short yardage situations, Peterson is a hammer and can still pound it for touchdowns and first downs in those situations. Now, his health? That's a different question altogether.
- That said… the Seahawks running game did struggle mightily and has for most of the 2021 season. In that win over the 49ers, the Seahawks did have 146 yards rushing, but 73 of those yards came on a Travis Homer fake punt touchdown run. They finished with 25 carries for 73 yards and a long run of 12 yards that came from QB Wilson. It's imperative that the Texans front eliminate any substantial run game to force Wilson and the Hawks offense to become one-dimensional.
- But, there IS Wilson - There aren't many teams in the league that haven't been victimized by the greatness that is Russell Wilson. Even though the Texans face the Seahawks every four years, Wilson has still been a major thorn in the side of the Texans with improbable comeback wins in each of the past two meetings. In 2013, his playmaking and creativity led Seahawks to a win, while in 2017, he delivered time after time from the pocket in a 41-38 win. He's not on quite the run he was in each of those years, but he's so dangerous with the ball in his hands at all times on a football field that nothing should be taken for granted. There can be no relaxation when #3 takes a snap, no matter when, or what, the situation is.
- The Best duo in football? - There's an argument to be had that WR D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett aren't even the best WR duo in their own division and I'd love to have the discussion with NFC West fans. Now, I think Metcalf/Lockett make up the best duo, Hop/Kirk, OBJ/Cooper Kupp, Aiyuk/Samuel be damned, so to speak. Regardless of the pecking order in their own division, Metcalf and Lockett can take over a game at any point. Metcalf's last time at NRG Stadium started with a 75-yard catch and run for a touchdown in the Texas Kickoff game against Texas Tech in 2018. When I say "run", I mean fly! He's one of the fastest big people I've ever seen. Then, there's Lockett. The last time the Texans faced the Seahawks, Lockett, a third year WR at the time, lit up the Texans with six catches for 121 yards. It's hard for a secondary to have ALL the answers for a duo like this. So, keep them in front. Tackle them successfully after every catch. Not simple, but it has to be done to win this game.
Seahawks DEFENSE (in 2021 regular season)
Rushing Yards Allowed Per game - 120.4 ypg (11th in the NFL)
Passing Yards Allowed Per game - 275.8 ypg (32nd)
Total offense Allowed per game - 396.2 ypg (31st)
Turnovers generated - 13 (7 INT, 6 Fumble recoveries - Seahawks are +3 in TO margin)
Expected Seahawks starting defense for Week 14
DE - Kerry Hyder/Carlos Dunlap
DT - Bryan Mone
NT - Poona Ford
Leo - Rasheem Green/Benson Mayowa
OLB - Darrell Taylor
LB - Bobby Wagner
OLB - Jordyn Brooks
CB - Sidney Jones
S - Ugo Amadi (Pro Bowl star Jamal Adams will miss the rest of the season)
S - Quandre Diggs
CB - D.J. Reed
Key Defensive Non-Starters
DT - AL WOODS
Leo - L.J. Collier
LB - Cody Barton
Italics - Rookie
ALL CAPS - New to team in 2021
Keys to winning v. the Seahawks Defense
- No Adams - The loss of the leader of the defense won't help the 32nd ranked pass defense. Pro Bowl S Jamal Adams had surgery earlier this week on his shoulder and will certainly miss this matchup with the Texans. Now, Adams is best the closer he is to the line of scrimmage, but he was such a factor on the blitz that without him, Texans QBs should have time to riddle the secondary that has struggled to keep teams under 300 yards passing.
- As such… - Throw it deep. Take shots. Let it fly. No matter how you call it, the Texans need to let it all hang out throwing the ball down the field. That's it. Find the explosives and take advantage of a scaled down secondary.
- The Best There Is - In 2012, I fell in love while studying former Utah State star LB Bobby Wagner. I knew that he could be a Pro Bowl player and a key player on an NFL defense. But, he's even exceeded my high expectations. Now, in his tenth season, he remains the leader for this defense, alongside Jordyn Brooks, and plays with such smarts, short area quickness and outstanding tackling ability. I love to watch him ball but will hate to see him on Sunday, trying to stop this Texans offense.
- Young Taylor - Two years ago at the 2020 Senior Bowl, I had a blast catching up with some of the most dynamic young rushers in the game. Jon Greenard was a favorite of mine and became a Texan. I talked with former Michigan star Josh Uche, who became a Patriot, but the one player that I was sure was going to become a Texan was my first interview that week - former Tennessee star pass rusher Darrell Taylor. He missed the on field work due to an injury, but he made such an impression in his Tennessee career that he was drafted in the middle of the second round. He missed 2020 with those injuries but has generated 5.0 sacks this season to lead the Seahawks. The Seahawks only have 19 sacks and Taylor has over 25% of the entire team total. The Texans edge protectors will have their hands full stopping this young, up-and-coming edge rusher.
Check out the best photos from the Houston Texans Thursday practice.