By Jay Betsill
Sunday – September 29 – Noon
Reliant Stadium – Houston
The Houston Texans spent the first two weeks of the 2013 NFL season living on the edge as they became the first team in league history to win its first two games of an NFL season on the final play of the game. In Week Three, they were shoved over the edge as they received a Baltimore beatdown that one might expect to see on “The Wire” at the hands of the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens by the score of 30-9.
Baltimore held the Texans to three Randy Bullock field goals in a 30-9 victory on a day when Ravens legend Ray Lewis was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime and its former safety Ed Reed returned to town as a member of the Texans.
“We love and respect them, but we’re playing to show what our defense is like now without those guys, showing this is a new defense,” cornerback Lardarius Webb said of Lewis and Reed. “We want to be a great defense.”
The Texans will host the Seahawks this Sunday at Reliant Stadium in what will be their first of four games against NFC West teams. For those who see this game as a match-up of Matt Schaub vs. Russell Wilson, Sunday’s contest will actually feature the top two defenses in total defense and passing yards allowed. Houston has given up 249 yards per game, while Seattle has allowed 241.7 yards per game.
“This is a potential Super Bowl match-up,” Reed said. “We had to make a lot of corrections this week, Monday, which we did to get better. You can’t win them all. We know that now.”
Whether this is a potential Super Bowl preview or not, it is too early to say for certain. The Texans, who were favored in Baltimore, but ended up being their own worst enemy as they set a franchise record for penalties (14 for 113) and allowed two non-offense touchdowns in the first half, can not afford to make those types of mistakes against one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Injury news is highlighted by Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (who has been listed as “day-to-day”) and Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant, who could not finish the game against the Jaguars because of back spasms, but is said to be good to go for this week by head coach Pete Carroll.
This game certainly has the chance to be one of the better contests of this early season with the slight edge going to the Seahawks.