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.
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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.