The 3-0 Seattle Seahawks travel to Houston this week, who are still reeling from a baffling 30-9 loss to Baltimore last week. Seattle’s defense has stymied opposing offenses thus far, creating turnovers and setting quarterback Russell Wilson up with prime field position. Matt Schaub’s dismal performance against the Ravens ought to have guys like Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas chomping at the bit to grab a pick-six this Sunday.
Seattle’s defense mustn’t get complacent before game time, though. Despite the drubbing in Baltimore, the Texans sit at No. 7 in offense and No. 2 in defense (No. 9 in rushing, No. 2 in passing). Don’t expect Russell Wilson to light it up at Reliant Stadium this week, as J.J. Watt is sure to be a disruptive force, especially in wake of Seattle’s loss of Russell Okung.
Brian Cushing and future Hall of Famer safety Ed Reed will also prevent a repeat of last week’s offense performance. That’s not to say that the Texans are going to force Wilson to throw three interceptions. No, no, Wilson’s too good for that. But he will have to deal with pressure all day, and will thus have less time to make those nice throws to Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice. So, naturally, it’ll be up to Seattle’s aggressive defense to carry the load in Houston.
Richard Sherman is set to cover perennial Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson, Schaub’s favorite target thus far. Johnson did suffer a bruised shin and is listed at day-to-day, but Texans coach Gary Kubiak knows Johnson is the only guy capable of posing a threat to Seattle’s golden secondary of Sherman, Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Brandon Browner. The Johnson-Sherman matchup is sure to be a key factor, but given how phenomenal Sherman was covering San Francisco’s Anquan Boldin in Week 2, Sherman shouldn’t have a problem.
Arian Foster is averaging about four yards a carry, and you can bet Houston would like to establish the running game to set up some play action to penetrate that Seahawk secondary. Seattle’s front seven has already faced elite rushers like Frank Gore and Maurice Jones-Drew, and they were absolutely stifled by Brandon Mebane and company. Expect the same result versus Foster.
With defense leading the way for Seattle three weeks into the season, it’ll be up to them yet again in Week 4 at Houston. Let’s be honest, though: Seattle’s defense has got this one in the bag. Matt Schaub is an inconsistent pocket passer, and he will undoubtedly be sacked several times and throw at least one interception. Houston’s defense will keep the game close and exciting, but Wilson and Marshawn Lynch will dominate time of possession and gradually penetrate Houston’s defense, putting the game out of reach by midway through the fourth quarter.
Prediction: Seattle wins 24-14