Good morning. We’ve got pea soup fog here in Houston and about 50 degrees, so I’m assuming the roof we’ll be closed here at Reliant Stadium. Here’s a couple keys to the game that the Seahawks need to take care of to get a win today.
Run to win – With Houston rank 22nd against the run, I think Seattle will try to run against this athletic defensive front led by Mario Williams in order to slow down the pass rush, so expect to see a heavy dose of Julius Jones and Justin Forsett. Also expect to see some smoke screens and throws out of the backfield to those two.
Contain Johnson – The Seahawks have to be aware of where Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson is at all times. He’s been targeted a league-high 130 times, so the Texans are going to go to him in critical situations. Expect to see Marcus Trufant on Johnson, with a lot of help over the top.Put pressure on Schaub – At 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is a big, strong guy who is willing to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball under pressure. He also has a injured, left non-throwing shoulder, so the Seahawks need to put some hits on Schaub in order to make him spray the ball around and help the defensive backfield.
Win the turnover battle – The Seahawks have done a good job of creating turnovers the lat two games. And on the road it will be even more critical for Seattle to win the turnover battle in order to have a chance to win today.
My story focuses on these two teams facing similar situations on Sunday.
Dave Boling of the TNT profiles Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne.
Greg Johns of the Seattlepi.com predicts a 27-24 win by Houston.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com talks to Marcus Trufant about facing Andre Johnson.
Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting that Tim Ruskell is a potential candidate for the vacant Browns GM position. I’d be surprised if Ruskell winds up there, but weirder things have happened.
Along with Mike Holmgren, Floyd Reese also is a rumored candidate for the Cleveland vacancy.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle breaks down the game here.