Week 6 Game Recap: Houston Texans 10, Seattle Seahawks 42
What you need to know
Some good news for David Carr is that he survived most of the first half without taking a sack until Grant Wistrom blindsided him with just over a minute left in the half. Give credit to head coach Dom Capers for making some changes in the offensive line and calling plays that require Carr to make short drops and quick releases. Carr was sacked twice more, on consecutive plays late in the fourth quarter when his o-line had thrown in the towel.
The Texans showed a few glimmers of hope, but most were punctuated by their inexperienced offensive line committing penalties. In all, the Texans’ offense was penalized eight times, nullifying rushing plays of 24, 12 and nine yards and putting David Carr and his offense in holes that they couldn’t escape.
With WR Andre Johnson on the sidelines nursing a calf strain, Jabar Gaffney was targeted 13 times, making ten grabs for 87 yards. Since David Carr seldom had time to look for secondary receivers, it’s safe to assume that Gaffney is the primary downfield focus in Johnson’s absence. WR Corey Bradford was targeted eight times, catching half of them for 38 yards. RB Domanick Davis was the only Texan to find pay dirt in this game.
Shaun Alexander would play every game during prime time if the NFL would let him. He put on the type of exhibition that we’ve come to expect from him under the lights, running over and around tacklers almost at will, rarely going down with first contact. Alexander, who typically favors running behind the Pro Bowl left side of his line, apparently confused the Texans by scoring three of his four rushing touchdowns off the right side. His final touchdown of the game came after a Texans’ sack left the Seahawks with a second and goal from the 24 yard line. Alexander accelerated around the right side, breaking three tackles en route to the painted lawn, punctuating another spectacular game. With the game far out of reach, he became a spectator mid way through the fourth quarter. He finished with 141 rushing yards on only 22 carries (for those of you without a calculator handy, that’s nearly 6.5 yards per carry.)
This game was never really a contest and consequently, QB Matt Hasselbeck and HC Mike Holmgren played it close to the vest. Hasselbeck threw only 20 passes, completing 14 of them for 168 yards and a touchdown. His lone interception came in the waning seconds of the first half when he tried to force a short pass in to Peter Warrick.
Wide receivers Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram are still sidelined with their respective injuries. Joe Jurevicius and Peter Warrick started and received the majority of work in their absence, garnering half of Hasselbeck’s targets. Jerheme Urban seems to have leapfrogged D.J. Hackett as the third receiver.
What you ought to know
|QB David Carr, Pass: 19 - 33 - 179 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 12 - 0|
Carr is working hard to simply survive the Texans’ offensive line shake-up. Though they committed drive-killing penalties, the revamped o-line managed to keep Carr out of harm’s way for most of the contest, allowing only three sacks. While it’s not enough to win games, it is a small victory and bodes well for the near future as Carr has proven that he can be effective when given some time to find receivers.
The Texans once again tried to make Davis the focus of their offense, feeding him the ball repeatedly early in the game. He was handed the ball on the Texans’ first five offensive plays, but penalties on both sides of the ball nullified all but one carry, including a 24 yard run. Unfortunately for Davis owners, the Texans were forced to all but abandon the running game as Seattle jumped out to a huge lead and forced David Carr to the air. Davis made a highlight reel play when he caught a screen pass, shed a half-hearted tackle and danced the sideline 27 yards for a touchdown.
Morency’s catch of an attempted screen pass was ruled a lateral. His other carry came on a fake punt where he gained 12 yards for a first down.
Wells caught one of two targets for a 16 yard gain, but was otherwise not a factor.
Gaffney’s ability to get quick separation from defenders made him David Carr’s primary target in this game. He had no real touchdown opportunities, as the Texans did not run a red zone play.
Bradford was the Texans’ second leading receiver in this game, reeling in half of his eight targets for 38 yards.
The number three wide receiver doesn’t get many opportunities in this struggling offense.
The tight end is not a fantasy factor in this offense.
Brown hit from 39 yards midway through the second quarter and missed from 56 yards as the clock wound down to halftime.
The Seahawks had a pair of 100 yard rushers for the first time since 1988, a pretty good indication that the Texans’ rush defense didn’t do much of a job. Shaun Alexander was able to pick his way through Houston’s defensive line and into the secondary repeatedly, and once he got there, he broke a few more tackles for good measure. Seattle’s offensive line opened up holes large enough to allow 251-pound reserve fullback Leonard Weaver 21 yards on four carries. In short, the Texans’ rush defense was overpowered and undermanned, giving up 321 total rushing yards in this game.
LB Troy Evans intercepted Matt Hasselbeck with about 30 seconds left in the first half, giving Houston its first defensive takeaway of the season. The Texans also recorder three sacks of Matt Hasselbeck, two of which appeared to come on missed assignments. Otherwise, Hasselbeck completed nearly 75% of his 20 passes for 168 yards and an easy touchdown. Hasselbeck could have done much more damage against this unit, but simply didn’t need to air it out to win this game.
Hasselbeck played the type of game that makes Seahawks fans happy, but fantasy owners pull their hair out. He completed 14 of 20 pass attempts for only 168 yards and an easy touchdown to Joe Jurevicius. He scrambled for positive yardage three times, two of which resulted in first downs. Unfortunately, the lopsided score of this contest made the passing game virtually unnecessary after halftime and Hasselbeck attempted only six passes in the entire second half.
Alexander had another career game under the lights, racking up 141 yards on only 22 carries and scoring four times. His yardage came in chunks and he was stopped for a loss only once. He showed his rare blend of quickness, power and finesse, using defenders to regain his balance when necessary and running around them when it wasn’t. He truly made it look easy. With a big lead, Alexander’s evening ended midway through the fourth quarter.
Morris had a clutch 17 yard run on third and 15 when the game was still somewhat in contention. The balance of his production came in garbage time.
The 251 pound fullback spelled Maurice Morris in the fourth quarter.
|RB Mack Strong, Rush: 1 - 16 - 0, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)|
Strong had a key 16 yard run on third and long allowing the Seahawks to sustain their opening drive and eventually score a touchdown.
It appears that Warrick has learned enough of the Seahawks’ playbook to be a factor. He led Seattle with 53 receiving yards on three catches, using his legs to gain most of his yardage after the catch.
Jurevicius saw six targets, the most of any Seattle wideout in this game and capitalized by scoring the Seahawks’ only receiving touchdown. He continues to look like a solid WR.
Urban was targeted three times in the first quarter and showed excellent concentration in reeling in a 24 yard lob pass and keeping his feet in bounds.
Stevens caught both balls aimed his way for 28 yards.
The Seahawks had little problem finding the end zone and consequently, used Brown for only extra points.
Time and time again, the Seahawks stacked the line with eight, nine and even ten defenders, making Domanick Davis’ evening difficult. Seattle had no reason to respect the Texans’ passing offense, so they didn’t. The result was an 18 carry, 40 yard day for Davis, the Texans’ most potent weapon.
Seattle’s pass defense allowed David Carr to complete only 50% of his 22 first half passes, applying decent pressure, but recording only one first half sack. They softened only slightly in the second half as the Texans continued to struggle offensively, playing from their customary far behind position. The Seahawks did give up what appeared to be an unnecessary touchdown to Domanick Davis on a screen pass. It looked like Davis would run it out of bounds after minimal contact from a Seahawk defender, but Davis kept his footing and followed the sideline 27 yards to pay dirt.