A recap of the Seahawks’ 34-7 loss to the Texans in Houston on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Andre Johnson. The Seahawks talked all week about containing the Texan’s big, big-play wide receiver. But when it came time to do it, they were left almost speechless. Johnson caught 11 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald has caught more passes against the Seahawks this season (13), but no one had come remotely close to that yardage total.
Sure, Matt Schaub was the one who threw Johnson all those passes, and he did complete 29 of 39 for 365 yards – despite having his left shoulder separated last week. But Johnson was a beast, especially in the first half when he caught 10 balls for 184 yards – and on the first play, when he went 64 yards for a score.
“He played well, and he made big plays,” said cornerback Marcus Trufant, who had problems staying with Johnson all afternoon. “I didn’t play one of my best games, and I’ll be the first one to say that.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Where to start? At the beginning. On that first play of the game, when Johnson ran past Trufant to take a pass from Schaub that turned into a 64-yard touchdown. That one play told anyone what they needed to know about this day.
“We played quarters coverage and he just ran by our guy,” coach Jim Mora said. “He’s an outstanding player.”
Defense: Since we’re talking tone-setters, why not go with the Texans’ first defense play of the game. Rookie linebacker Brian Cushing blitzed and drilled Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck as he was releasing an incomplete pass. That’s how the rest of the game went for Hasselbeck, and his blockers.
“I’m not happy with our offensive line,” Mora said. “I’m not happy at all with them. And if we can make moves to make us better up there, we’re going to make them. Because it’s unacceptable for our quarterback to stand back there and get hit the way he did today.”
Special teams: Kris Brown was about to kick a 26-yard field goal that would have given the Texans a 27-0 lead. But defensive tackle Craig Terrill got such a good push that he was able to deflect the ball with his elbow. The Seahawks took over at their own 16-yard line and drove 84 yards in six plays to their only touchdown – Hasselbeck’s 4-yard pass to tight end John Carlson.
“It gave us a spark,” Terrill said. “But it was just one of those days.”
At most NFL stadiums, they unfurl a huge American flag on the field before the National Anthem is sung. Not at Reliant Stadium. They had a Texas state flag – in three sections – as three sisters sang “God Bless Texas.” Then it was time for the National Anthem, with just a regular-sized flag held by a member of the color guard.
What was up with the center exchanges between Chris Spencer and Hasselbeck? The snap was fumbled twice, and others were, well, less than ideal. Spencer is snapping left-handed, because he has a cast on his right hand to protect a fractured thumb.
“Which he’s had on for what seems like forever,” Mora said of Spencer’s cast. “I’m not quite sure why he’s still got a cast on his hand, but he does. And that is a factor. That is a big factor. You see it affecting our shotgun snaps. You saw it affecting a lot of running plays today. The timing of our offense has to be crisp and when you can’t get the snap to the quarterback you’ve got no chance of having a successful play.”
Mora’s entrance – and exchange – to start his news conference. First, he emerged from behind a black curtain. Then, before taking any questions, he said he’d spend the next two days looking at making changes on the starting offensive line and the remaining three games evaluating which players deserve to be part of the team next season.
“We going to take a microscope and look at everything,” he said.
Wide receiver Nate Burleson (ankle) and linebacker Aaron Curry (hip) had to be taken off the field on a cart. Burleson is scheduled to have a magnetic resonance imaging test Monday to determine the extent of his injury and how long he might be sidelined.
Curry said he was feeling better in the locker room. Asked if he has ever had a hip pointer before, he offered, “If this is a hip pointer, no.”
Curry was injured when middle linebacker David Hawthorne slammed into him while both were trying to make a tackle.
“I’m just glad he didn’t break my hip,” Curry said.
Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh also had to leave the field after being drilled by Texans strong safety Dominique Barber. But Houshmandzadeh was OK in the locker room.
Then there was Hasselbeck, who had a huge ice bag strapped to his right shoulder and a wrap on his writs in the locker room.
“We didn’t protect Matt a lick,” Mora said. “I’m not going to say he’s OK, because no one can stand there and get punished the way he did and be OK.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“Our execution right now is just not very good. If you come out and play like that you’re going to get embarrassed, and that’s what happened today.” – Hasselbeck