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Texans-Seahawks an unfamiliar matchup


The Seahawks' defense has had problems with big, physical receivers like Andre Johnson, says's Clare Farnsworth.


Clare Farnsworth of joined Nick Scurfield of to preview the Week 14 Texans-Seahawks game at Reliant Stadium. Farnsworth, who previously wrote for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is in his 31st season covering the Seahawks.

Nick Scurfield:The Seahawks have never played at Reliant Stadium and have only played the Texans once, back in 2005. What seems to be the general perception of the Texans from the locker room in Seattle, and what have the players been saying about coming down to Houston?

Clare Farnsworth: A lot of them are excited about coming down to Houston because it's the first time a lot of them are going to play in Reliant Stadium. There is a small contingent here of guys not only from Texas, but the Houston area. There's D.D. Lewis, a backup linebacker; Cory Redding, one of their defensive linemen; Jordan Babineaux, their strong safety who just this week got his second consecutive game ball for the effort against the 49ers, is from Port Arthur. They're all really looking forward to that. It's been an educational process this week preparing for the Texans. Like you said, the Seahawks and Texans haven't played since 2005, and that was up in here in Seattle. A lot of the names are new to them, a lot of the matchups and numbers and all that stuff. It's a team that they don't play very often, so they've had to do a little bit of extra work this week to get prepared for this game.

Nick Scurfield:From your discussions with the players, what seems to be jumping out to them about the Texans?

Clare Farnsworth: Obviously, there's Andre Johnson. When you lose Steve Slaton this week, and then with Matt Schaub playing with a bad left shoulder and of course the tight end going on injured reserve earlier, Johnson is a guy they have to be very aware of. The line kind of is, "He's not just a big-play wide receiver, he's a big wide receiver," and it's those types of physical presence receivers that they've had problems with in the past. They face the Cardinals twice a year with Anquan Boldinand Larry Fitzgerald. They've played Dallas this year, Indianapolis, some of these teams with better wide receivers, and they've had problems containing them, so he's an obvious focus. Then, Matt Hasselbeck,* *their quarterback, who got beat up pretty well last week. He was sacked five times by the 49ers, tying a season high. Hit another eight times. Took a knee to the back and aggravated his bruised right shoulder that he's had for a while, while scrambling. He was asked about a lack of a (Texans) pass rush, and he said, 'Well, they got that one guy, number 90 (Mario Williams. He's got six sacks. That's enough.' He's been impressed with the physical nature and the speed that the front seven of the defense has. But as he says, you kind of have to match the names with the numbers, because he wasn't really familiar with a lot of these guys.


For more, including Farnsworth's thoughts on Hasselbeck's health, rookie linebacker Aaron Curry and the Seahawks' two-game winning streak, click **here** to listen to the full interview in a podcast.

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