There is a sense right now that this game is a "must win" for the Houston Texans against one of the top teams in the NFL in the Seattle Seahawks. There is plenty of doubt surrounding the Texans right now heading into week four of the season, especially with the Matt Schaub led offense. The defense has some work to do, and they will be tested by one of the more talented younger quarterbacks in the league in Russell Wilson.
There will be no shortage of star power on the field for both teams and this Sunday could be a big game in for which direction the Texans season could head. We talked about some Texans to Watch earlier in the week and our friend from the Houston Press, Sean Pendergast, put out his Gameday Battle Drink article for Sunday's game. Also, Claire, put together her weekly Know Your Opponent article about the Seahawks and got some good information and breakdown on the Seahawks.
- The Seahawks offensive line has some injury issues, and the Texans defense line has a chance to be game changers on Sunday. Three of the five starters for the Seahawks offensive line look to be sidelined for the game on Sunday.
- Want defense? There will be plenty to go around on Sunday with 1st and 2nd ranked defenses in the NFL.
- The Seahawks offense is very similar to the Texans offense especially in their thinking with run plays and boot actions off of those plays. The Texans defense will be facing an offensive system they have seen since the start of camp, so this could be a good thing for the home team. The knowledge the Texans have of the Seahawks offense, Wade Phillips can come up with a good defensive plan to stop their offense. With the likes of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch the Texans will be tested from the get go on Sunday.
- What Gary Kubiak will show up on Sunday will be a situation to watch. With the some spotty play calling and what some would call the "conservative" approach to the game there is a real spotlight on the head coach more than ever. His team will have to put together a good game against the Seahawks and it will all fall on how Kubiak sets the tone early. The pattern the Texans have fallen in as a sputtering offense has been an issue since late last season, and it all comes down to turnovers. If Kubiak can get all three phases going early, starting with the offense, it could end up being a good day for the Texans.
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- When will the Texans offensive line show up, the one that dominates games when needed. The Texans offensive line has struggled and the only one who has been having a top-notch season is center Chris Myers. If it is not a break down in pass protection it usually comes to missing blocks in the run game and getting defenders on the ground. The offensive line is not short of talent, but the lack of execution in technique is what is really hurting the group as a whole.
- The thought of not having Duane Brown and Andre Johnson, who are both game time decisions, could prove to be a big problem for the Texans. Two of the core players for the Texans offense are big pieces for what the Texans want to do, but not having them could lead to some trust issues that Kubiak has already shown with his back up players. It showed last week against the Ravens, and against a more aggressive Seattle team the absence of two of the better players for the Texans only will make things tougher against the offense.
- Match Up Watch
Texans' Young Wide Receivers vs. the Legion of Boom
If Andre Johnson can't go, it will put DeAndre Hopkins, Keshawn Martin, DeVier Posey and Lestar Jean against the best secondary in the NFL. The physical style of Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor will be a test for the Texans and the young but talented group. This could be a big problem for quarterback Matt Schaub and how much he is willing to force the issues against the Seahawks. This will be a key matchup for the Texans and how they handle their passing game.
- The Texans' Must...
Slow the game down and run the football from the first whistle efficiently. Arian Foster and Ben Tate must rush the football at least 30 times combined and force the Seahawks front seven to win the game.
Contain Russell Wilson and hit him when they get the chance. The Seahawks move Wilson and the pocket to help be a dangerous quarterback. The defense will have to keep contain on rollouts and keep gap integrity in normal pass rush situations.
Find a way to create turnovers on defense and come up with a big play on special teams to give themselves a chance to win this game.