NFL News - December 8th, 2009 - Written by John
A season that promised new beginnings has proved to be same as usual for the Houston Texans. The team seemed destined for improvement after being projected to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but has done nothing to maintain momentum after starting the year.
The Texans could have won six games by Week Nine for the first time ever, but lost back-to-back games when kicker Kris Brown missed game-tying field goals.
They were sent to the back of the AFC South with four-straight losses to divisional opponents, but finally get a break from the conference this week when they host the Seattle Seahawks.
It's a relatively high number for a team that has only one convincingly once this whole season, a 31-10 win over the Buffalo Bills in the middle of the schedule. But Seattle hasn't necessarily been a flower, either. It won last week at San Francisco, the best win of the year so far, on the two touchdown passes by Matt Hasselbeck. But the Seahawks only gained 292 total yards and surrendered a career day by Niner quarterback Alex Smith. Seattle has only won four of their last 11 games, and are 1-5 on the road.
Houston quarterback Matt Schaub has been considerably better in his career than Smith, with his 3,449 yards already being a career-high, and is on pace to crack 4,000 yards for the first time in his career. and will likely benefit from a Seahawk defense that ranks 25th against the pass.
Leading rusher Steve Slaton is still questionable for the game due to a neck stinger he suffered two weeks ago. Chris Brown was the starter last week alongside Ryan Moats, but the pair only ran for 56 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and threw an interception on a halfback pass.
Seattle is led by Justin Forsett out of the backfield after the sophomore ran for more than 120 yards yards in Weeks 10 and 12, the first time the team got a 100-yard rusher since the opener.
The game will also feature two of the league's premier receivers. Houston's Andre Johnson is third in the league with 1,044 yards and six touchdowns, while Seattle's T.J. Houshmandzadeh has 669 yards and three scores.