A look back and a look ahead to the week that was and the week that will be for the Seahawks:
Anatomy of a 34-7 loss to the Texans in Houston on Sunday
Jon Ryan’s right leg: The punter? Again? That’s right, and it actually has more to say about the way Ryan did his job than how the rest of the team performed. Seven punts. An average of 49.0 yards, with a net of 41.0 and a long of 62. That’s good stuff no matter how you manipulate the numbers. Ryan is fourth in the league in average (47.3) and seventh in net average (40.0). Kicker Olindo Mare might be right: Ryan is having a Pro Bowl season.
Matt Hasselbeck’s aching body: Another repeat selection. But again, necessary. The focus all week was protecting the passer. Instead, Hasselbeck was hit on the first play of the game, later knocked out of the game briefly and generally took a beating. Not surprisingly, coach Jim Mora put the entire starting line on notice in his postgame comments.
Justin Forsett’s opportunistic feet and hands: The too-short runner/receiver/returner continues to come up big when plays come his way. Forsett had a 41-yard kickoff return, a 42-yard pass play and a 9-yard run. In the end, he produced 73 of the team’s 282 offensive yards on 13 touches (nine carries, four receptions) and 89 of the 126 yards in the return game on four chances (three kickoffs returns, one punt return).
Andre Johnson in space: The focal point for the defense all week had been containing the Texans’ big, big-play receiver. Then he goes for a 64-yard touchdown on the first play of the game, en route to a 10-catch, 184-yard, two-TD first half. Johnson had only one catch for 9 yards in the second half, but it was an adjustment too late.
The week ahead
Q: How can a team that played as poorly as the Seahawks did in Houston on Sunday be a seven-point favorite this week?
A: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming to Qwest Field. The 1-12 Bucs, who have been held to seven or fewer points in three of their past four games and yielded 20-plus points in 11 of 13 games.
But then this is yet another week where the Seahawks must be more concerned about themselves than their opponent. Will Mora make changes on the O-line, as he threatened after the game? Will whatever combination the coaches put out there be able to do a better job of protecting Hasselbeck, and opening holes for Julius Jones and Forsett? Will the defense will able to get more pressure on rookie Josh Freeman than it did against Texans QB Matt Schaub (no sacks, two QB hits)? Will the special teams continue to improve?
The Seahawks hope to answer those questions this week.