We’ll start with this column from Jerry Brewer who says that as the Seahawks prepare to face the Texans Sunday, they might also consider Houston a cautionary tale of a team whose window may have closed quickly.
As Brewer writes:
If the Seahawks don’t yet understand how fleeting top-dog status can be in the NFL, they need only consider the Houston Texans over the past year.
Eleven months ago, the Texans had arrived as the NFL’s best team. They destroyed the Baltimore Ravens 43-13, similar to Seattle’s 42-13 blowout of San Francisco last December or its 29-3 Niners beatdown two weeks ago. The victory over Baltimore gave the Texans a 6-1 record, and by early December, they would improve to 11-1.
The Texans looked like a Super Bowl team: balanced offense featuring running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson, top-notch defense led by the league’s best performer, J.J. Watt, and plenty of star power in its prime. Houston was so good that, with four games remaining in 2012, it had already earned a second consecutive playoff bid and set a franchise record for victories in a season.
But the NFL has a way of dismantling the anointed. Even when you’re rolling, you’re not that far ahead of the pack. New England, the team that never goes away, blew out the Texans 42-14 last December, and Houston ended the year with three losses in four games. The Texans went from thinking about byes and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs to being in the wild-card game. They won a home playoff game over Cincinnati but lost 41-28 at New England in the divisional round.
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Here’s a link to Russell Wilson mic’d up during the Jaguars game;
— Seahawks.com writes about the team’s speed on defense;
— Seahawks.com also wraps up some of the news of the day;
— Here’s a preview from CBSSports.com;
— NFL.com wonders if anyone in the NFC West can compete with the Seahawks;
— A Houston CBS TV station takes a look at the Seahawks;
— ESPN.com looks at keys to the game;
— The AP provides a capsule look at the game;
— Houston safety Ed Reed says the game is a possible Super Bowl preview;
— Foster says he’d be happy to carry the ball more;
— A Houston Chronicle columnist says the key for the Texans is to run, run, run;
— The struggling 49ers got a much-needed win at St. Louis last night, but in the process also revealed further flaws in a Rams’ team shaping up to be one of the more disappointing in the league.
And here are a few links courtesy of the Houston Texans PR department:
Foster in full support of APU, NCAA protest (B. Smith)
Bum Phillips seeks donations to help deaf children (J. McClain)
Switch from linebacker to defensive line suits Montgomery (D. Robertson)
Hopkins proving worth early for Texans (J. McClain)
Andre Johnson focused on playing Sunday (D. Sidhu)
Duane Brown practices with first team on Thursday (D. Dougherty)
Gary Kubiak: Headset issues no excuse in defeat (D. Dougherty)
Andre Johnson: ‘I plan on playing’ (D. Zangaro)
CBs miss practice, expected back Friday (D. Zangaro)
Wilson, Watt missed playing together (D. Zangaro)
Ben Tate is best in the league after contact (T. Ganguli)
Reed: Teams may meet in Super Bowl (T. Ganguli)
Andre Johnson feels like he’ll play (T. Ganguli)
Houston offense looks to rebound against Seattle (K. Rieken)
Texans WR Johnson limited at practice (Sports Xchange)