HOUSTON – To call a loss the worst of the season for the Seahawks is saying quite a bit.
Seattle, after all, had lost six games by double digits this season prior to Sunday. The Seahawks have been embarrassed at home by division rival Arizona, they’ve been blown out on the road in Indianapolis, Dallas and Minnesota, and they’ve blown big leads on two occasions.
But for all the miserable moments the Seahawks have had this season, Sunday’s 34-7 loss to the Houston Texans might have knocked an already low bar down another wrung.
“I’m very discouraged right now,” Seahawks coach Jim Mora said. “I’m as discouraged now as I’ve been in any game probably in my career.”
The Seahawks came into Sunday’s game thinking they had started to turn things around. They had won two straight, and two weeks ago won on the road for the first time this season. And Seattle was playing Houston, a team that had lost four straight and was seemingly headed in the wrong direction.
Instead, the Texans, who came into the game with the same 5-7 record as the Seahawks, handed the Seahawks a more thorough beat down than did NFL elites such as Indianapolis and Minnesota.
“That momentum definitely hit a road block,” Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “We came out feeling pretty good, knowing it was a challenge, knowing that we had to play well, trying to answer one of the issues we’ve had: playing on the road. And we just fell flat on our face. We didn’t do it at all. Not even close.”
The Seahawks’ latest loss, which killed whatever extremely slim playoff hopes they still had, started about as poorly as possible, and Seattle never recovered. On the first play from scrimmage, Texans receiver Andre Johnson – also known as the player the Seahawks talked all week about needing to stop – blew past Marcus Trufant and caught a Matt Schaub pass for a 64-yard touchdown.
When the Seahawks got the ball following that score, Hasselbeck was hammered on the first play, an incomplete pass, setting the stage for another woeful offensive performance that caused Mora to call out his offensive line after the game and threaten that changes could be coming.
Schaub and Johnson stayed busy by shredding Seattle’s defense. Schaub finished the first half 24 for 28 for 336 yards and two touchdowns. Both touchdowns went to Johnson, who had 10 catches for 184 yards in the half as Houston built a 24-0 lead.
The Seahawks made it 24-7 just before halftime by putting together their one successful drive of the day. Seattle got the ball when Craig Terrill blocked a field goal attempt, then drove 84 yards on six plays for its only score of the game, a 4-yard Hasselbeck pass to John Carlson. The Seahawks had three plays of 22 or more yards on that possession.
The Seahawks finished the game converting one of 14 third-down attempts, averaged 2.6 yards per carry on the ground, and of the 63 plays they ran, 15 went for negative yards.
“We just, for probably the last four, five, six weeks, we can’t do anything on offense,” receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. “Nothing.”
And the offense wasn’t alone in struggling, as was evident in Schaub’s and Johnson’s numbers. The Seahawks defense did come away with two turnovers, though those didn’t result in any points, and for the third time this year the defense did not record a sack.
Even special teams added a few forgettable moments by allowing a blocked punt, a few lengthy returns, and by struggling in the punt return game.
In the end, Sunday’s game was best summed up by running back Julius Jones:
“It was really a pathetic, pitiful performance.”
Texans 34, Seahawks 7
Hou—A.Johnson 64 pass from Schaub (K.Brown kick)
Hou—FG K.Brown 29
Hou—Moats 4 run (K.Brown kick)
Hou—A.Johnson 17 pass from Schaub (K.Brown kick)
Sea—Carlson 4 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick)
Hou—FG K.Brown 31
Hou—Pollard 70 interception return (K.Brown kick)
|Total Net Yards||282||450|
|Time of Possession||26:24||33:36|
RUSHING—Seattle, J.Jones 10-39, Forsett 9-26, Burleson 1-2, Hasselbeck 2-0, S.Wallace 2-(minus 5). Houston, Moats 10-43, Foster 13-34, C.Brown 3-7, A.Johnson 1-3, Schaub 1-(minus 2).
PASSING—Seattle, Hasselbeck 24-35-1-247, S.Wallace 0-1-0-0. Houston, Schaub 29-39-1-365.
RECEIVING—Seattle, Branch 5-33, Houshmandzadeh 4-52, Forsett 4-47, Burleson 3-50, Butler 3-34, Carlson 3-24, J.Jones 1-4, Griffith 1-3. Houston, A.Johnson 11-193, Foster 4-54, Anderson 4-49, Dreessen 3-22, Leach 3-16, Walter 2-17, Jones 1-11, Moats 1-3.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Houston, K.Brown 26 (BK), 48 (WR).
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