Here’s our weekly “First Look” at Seattle’s upcoming opponent:
Seahawks opponent: Houston
Game time: 10 a.m. Pacific Time, Reliant Stadium
Coach: Gary Kubiak, who is 63-56 in his eighth year as Houston’s coach.
Last game: Lost at the Baltimore Ravens, 30-9.
The series: The two teams have played just twice (the Texans entered the league in 2002), each team winning at home, Seattle taking a 42-10 win in 2005 and the Texans beating the Seahawks in Houston 34-7 in 2009.
The early line: Seahawks by three.
Key players: Houston’s offense is keyed by receiver Andre Johnson, who on Monday ranked third in the NFL in receptions with 25 but also came out of the Baltimore game nursing a shin bruise. He was listed as day-to-day. Houston’s defense is led by end J.J. Watt, (above in an Associated Press photo) who was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season with 20.5 sacks. He has three so far this season. Houston has one player with local high school ties — backup free safety Shiloh Keo, who graduated from Archbishop Murphy High and later played at Idaho. Keo has 10 tackles this season.
Houston’s key to success: The Texans enter the season as one of the leading contenders for the Super Bowl in the AFC following 12-4 season in 2012. They have stumbled out of the gates a little bit in 2013, however, falling behind at the half in all three games, scoring just 20 points in the first halves of those contests. Houston has also been undone by turnovers, carrying a minus-three turnover margin into the Seattle game, which ranks tied for 26th in the NFL (Seattle is second at plus-six). Houston, though, has an unquestionably solid defense, ranking second to Seattle in yards allowed (249 per game to 241.7 for the Seahawks) as well as second to the Seahawks in pass defense, allowing just 473 yards in three games.
By the numbers
3-4 — Houston’s record in its last seven regular-season games since beginning the 2012 season 11-1.
6.55 — Yards per pass attempt for Houston QB Matt Schaub, which ranks just 23rd in the NFL. Seattle’s Russell Wilson is second at 9.10.
48-20 — What Houston has been outscored by in the first half this season.