When: Sunday, 10 a.m., Reliant Stadium, Houston
Records: Seahawks 5-7, Texans 5-7; but the Seahawks have won two in a row while the Texans have lost their past four
TV: KCPQ/13 (Ron Pitts, John Lynch)
Radio: 710 ESPN-AM and KIRO-FM/97.3 (Steve Raible, Warren Moon, Jen Mueller)
Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck vs. the Texans’ pass rush: Hasselbeck is still sore from last week, when he was sacked five tackles, hit eight other times and took a knee to the back while scrambling that aggravated a bruised throwing shoulder. The Seahawks’ ability to throw the ball deep – or even intermediate, at times – has been hampered by Hasselbeck not having time to go through his progressions. The Texans have 19 sacks – the league average is 26.3 and only the Chiefs (17) and Jaguars (12) have fewer. Hasselbeck’s blockers can’t allow the Texans to get well this week, and that will include the ability of RBs Julius Jones and Justin Forsett and FB Justin Griffith to pick up blitzing LBs DeMeco Ryans and Brian Cushing, as well as LT Sean Locklear containing DE Mario Williams (six sacks).
One to watch
Seahawks CB Marcus Trufant vs. Texans WR Andre Johnson: With TE Owen Daniels and leading rusher Steve Slaton on injured reserve and QB Matt Schaub playing with a dislocated left shoulder, that lone star on the Texans’ logo could represent Johnson. Trufant has been under fire – from opposing QBs and the officials – since joining the team for the Week 8 game against the Cowboys in Dallas. He has been penalized eight times in six games – six for pass interference, three of those against the Cowboys. Last week, the Texans went to Johnson on six of their first nine pass plays and 17 times total in the game.
Fun to watch
Seahawks OLB Aaron Curry vs. Cushing: Curry was the first linebacker selected in the April NFL draft (fourth overall) and is third on the team with 55 tackles. Cushing, the 15th pick overall, leads the Texans – and all rookies – with 102 tackles. Which will be the best rookie linebacker on the field Sunday? “That’s something in the back of my mind,” Cushing said this week.
This will be the first time the Seahawks have played at Reliant Stadium. In fact, the last time the Seahawks played in Houston was in 1994, against the old Houston Oilers. … The only other time the Texans and Seahawks met was at Qwest Field in 2005, when the Seahawks rushed for a franchise-record 320 yards (141 of it, and four touchdowns, by Shaun Alexander) in a 42-10 victory. … Forsett is looking to score a touchdown in his fifth consecutive game. He leads the club with five, all coming in the past four games. … It was at Reliant Stadium that Seahawks WR Deion Branch had a 10-catch, 143-yard performance to win MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXVIII while with the New England Patriots. … The Texans are looking for their six consecutive win at home against NFC teams, a streak that goes back to the 2007 season. … The Texans produced a season-high four sacks in last week’s loss to the Jaguars, while the five sacks of Matt Hasselbeck by the 49ers tied his season high. … FS Jordan Babineaux leads the Seahawks with 87 tackles.