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NFL Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Face Big Road Test Against Houston Texans

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

All things considered, the season has started out quite well for the Seattle Seahawks. The ‘Hawks have certainly not played mistake-free football, but it would be hard to find anyone that would complain about a 3-0 start.

Losing Russell Okung for several weeks is a blow, but confidence is still high and there is optimism that Russell Wilson will adjust. In addition, other players are getting healthy and it was a very positive sign to see Chris Clemons getting active on the field against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the NFL, there aren’t many opportunities to catch your breath, and now the Seahawks must go on the road for a very interesting two-game stretch. If Seattle could win both of these games, it would make a major statement about their ability to play in front of hostile crowds.

The first challenge is the Houston Texans, who are 2-1 after being hammered by the defending champion Baltimore Ravens. On paper, the Texans are a very good team, particularly on defense. They did give up 30 points to the Ravens, but 14 of those points came on interception and punt returns.

It’s reasonable to assume that the Seahawks are going to work hard to establish the run game with Marshawn Lynch. The Texans are ninth in the league against the run, giving up 91.3 yards per game. Seattle’s running game is 12th in the league at 95.0 yards per contest. The ability to establish the run may be the key to this game.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Seahawks will need to keep Andre Johnson in check and limit the effectiveness of Houston’s running back committee of Ben Tate and Arian Foster. Something tells me that Richard Sherman will volunteer to handle Houston’s biggest threat on the outside.

The Seahawks managed to win their first road game against a good, but not great Carolina Panthers team. Seattle then won a huge game at home against the rival San Francisco 49ers before pounding the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3.

Is this franchise the team to beat? It is time to test that claim on the road.

Todd Pheifer covers the Seattle Seahawks for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @tpheifer, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.