Houston Texans 34, Seattle Seahawks 7
How many ways can you describe crap without using the actual word? How about starting with Seattle and ending with Seahawks, because that is exactly the way they played in Houston on Sunday. They played as badly as I felt while I sat watching the big screen in a local sports bar nursing a Guinness.
Once again the ‘Hawks toyed with my feelings and broke my heart. Their first two-game win streak preceded this little road trip disaster. Voices told me not to get my hopes up, to understand that it’s a road game, starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, that the offensive line was still about as strong as a wet paper bag, that Matt Hasselbeck would be on the ground more than on his feet, but did I listen? No, I didn’t. Once again the fan goggles went on and a team that seemed about as attractive as ten day old road kill took on the prom queen veneer.
This game was over exactly 15 seconds in when Texans quarterback Matt Schaub hit Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson for a 65-yard touchdown pass while the Seahawks defense was mentally still putting their tray tables up and seat backs in an upright position for landing. Houston hit Seattle in the mouth repeatedly, putting up 24 points before Seattle got a first down and that came in the second quarter thanks to a roughing the passer penalty. The Seahawks didn’t get a first down without help until just before the two-minute warning.
The Texans offense worked so well that Andre Johnson had 10 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns at halftime. Yes, he only had one more catch for nine yards in the second half but that doesn’t make the pill any less bitter. When the Texans punter doesn’t actually have to put a helmet on until mid way through the third quarter, the defense as a whole has failed.
Marcus Trufant was able to jump one of the uncountable slant routes that Johnson ran for an interception but Seattle’s offense gave the ball back two plays later when Hasselbeck was intercepted by Texans safety Bernard Pollard on a dump off pass. Trufant returned his interception for 4 yards. Pollard went 70 yards and a touchdown.
1. Andre Johnson. Watching him running routes and catching just about everything thrown to him reminded me that although we don’t seem to hear a lot of press about him, Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league. He shined against Marcus Trufant, the Seahawks top corner all through the first half. Seattle was able to keep him down a little in the second half but the damage was done and Houston was more interested in running the ball at that point.
2. Matt Schaub. 29 completions on 39 attempts for 365 yards. Two touchdowns, one interception.
3. John Carlson. As a receiver, at least. Carlson caught the only Seahawks touchdown and finished the game with three catches for 24 yards. Not too impressive, I know, but I am really struggling to find anything good to list here for the Seahawks.
1. Seahawks offense. Just plain offensive. With 3:24 left in the first half, before the lone scoring drive, Seattle had four punts and one first down to its credit.
2. Seahawks defense. They’re getting worse as the season goes along.
3. Hasselbeck. I like Matt Hasselbeck. A lot of fans are putting the problems on him, as always happens with the quarterback, which isn’t fair. This is not all his fault. Having said that, he did not have a good game. When he wasn’t being rushed and/or sacked, he was rushing a lot of passes. It’s not surprising when his line either gives him days in the pocket or milliseconds. There is no in between.
1. Seahawks coaches. At one point during the game, head coach Jim Mora was screaming at the defense. I think one or two players looked up at him and shrugged but for the most part, no one noticed. Mora even challenged his offense, going for it on fourth down more than once when in field goal range. I don’t know if he has lost the team completely or not but if the players’ body language on TV was accurate, Mora is on very thin ice considering the Seahawks are looking for their new general manager at this very moment.
2. Seneca Wallace. I am done with Wallace. He seems to be regressing as a player every time he touches the ball. I don’t know if he can still play quarterback in this league but he should not be trying to play the position in Seattle anymore. He sacked himself again when he ran out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage. This makes the third or fourth time Wallace has managed this feat. How many quarterbacks run out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage without even attempting to throw the ball away? Not that Wallace didn’t try to throw the ball away, no; the one time he attempted that, he was flagged for intentional grounding. I think it’s time to try the rookie, Mike Teel, as the backup for once. There is no way he can do anything stupider than Wallace has done so far this season.
3. The center position. I understand Seahawks center Chris Spencer has a broken hand and is snapping the ball with his left hand, but there is no reason to have four fumbled snaps in one game. That is a season total, maybe two seasons but one game is a joke. Here’s an idea: Seattle drafted Max Unger in the draft. He was a four-year starter at center at Oregon and is a hell of a lot more familiar with the zone blocking concept than Spencer. Why not switch them around? You can’t tell me that a one handed center isn’t more of a liability than a rookie.
4. John Carlson and the offensive line. Mario Williams is the real deal as a defensive end. So tell me the logic of trying to have Carlson block him one on one? Even better, explain to me how Williams can run a simple stunt and run right past left guard Rob Sims? The offensive line is a shambles.
Tim Ruskell resigned as the Seahawks general manager last week. After the way the Seahawks have fallen apart since the Super Bowl in 2005, I’m surprised he didn’t find his desk on fire when he came in to clean it out.
His replacement is a hot topic in Seattle. Former head coach Mike Holmgren is a leading candidate but nothing is certain. The players and coaches should realize that whoever comes into that front office, none of their jobs are guaranteed especially on a team that hasn’t had a winning season in two years.
Part of the problem is coaching, part is on the execution. It’s hard to tell where the line between the two is drawn but clearly something has to change or the Seahawks, and their fans, will be enduring more of the frustrations that have enveloped this team the last two years.