The Houston Texans were extremely competitive against the Seattle Seahawks in the first half and looked like the team that started 11-1 in 2012. Matt Schaub only threw one interception and immediately made it up with two passing touchdowns. Randy Bullock made both of his field goal attempts in the first half, and Arian Foster was finally beginning to look like himself, gaining over 50 yards on the ground in the first half. Andre Johnson was making even Richard Sherman look human, and in general the outlook was pretty great for the Texans as they entered the locker room for halftime. And if the game had just ended there, then I think all of us would be much happier. But instead there was a second half, and that’s when it all fell apart.
The Seahawks still allowed Schaub to throw well, and the Texans looked like they could come out of this game with a win all the way through the third quarter. Sure Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch were evading tackles a little bit more than I would have liked, and yes the Seahawks had managed to get another field goal, but in general it still looked like a winnable game. But then Brian Cushing went down with a concussion, and that’s when the momentum completely swung in Seattle’s favor. They scored 14 straight unanswered points in the fourth quarter and tied up the score with a little over two minutes left in the game when Schaub threw one of the worst passes in his career that Sherman was able to intercept it and return 58 yards for a touchdown.
Schaub has some of the worst luck in the NFL when it comes to throwing interceptions. Before the start of the 2013 season, he had thrown just eight pick-sixes in his entire career. He’s now thrown three in four games and had another returned to about three yards from the goal line, which was then immediately converted into a touchdown by the San Diego Chargers‘ Philip Rivers. Schaub is not in good shape here, and though the Texans have no replacement for him, he could be writing his ticket out of town very quickly.
But even more demoralizing than this loss to the Seahawks–which though not hoped for, was slightly expected–is the loss of Cushing, the best linebacker the Texans have and the heart and soul of the defense. The Texans managed to keep Seattle to just 23 points in this game, allowed only 15 first downs (Texans had 26), kept Lynch under 100 yards rushing and sacked Wilson five times. But 17 of the Seahawks’ points came in the fourth quarter or overtime, when Cushing was already out of the game. The Texans need him back as soon as possible, even if it’s just for morale. The good news–if there can be good news in an injury–is that Cushing suffered a concussion and not a torn ligament or something. He’ll undergo the NFL’s concussion protocol and has the potential to be back next week if he progresses through it like Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins did.
The Texans next face the San Francisco 49ers, who haven’t looked like the 2012 version yet. But they did tear up the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, so they could be back to 2012 form next week. Be sure to keep up with the Houston Texans feed here on Rant Sports as we continue to break down the Texans’ loss to the Seahawks and preview the upcoming game against the 49ers throughout the week.