Houston, owner of the NFL’s worst offense, continues to search for its first win of the season when it visits Seattle and the league’s top offensive unit.
The Texans are the NFL’s only winless team and are off to the worst start in their four-year history due in large part to an offense that averages a league-low 213 yards per game.
Houston has scored 44 points in four games, a total almost matched by Seattle in its 37-31 win over St. Louis on Sunday.
“As far as the records go, that has to be thrown out the window for right now when I go talk to the guys when I’m trying to get them encouraged and get them pumped up and ready to play,” Texans quarterback David Carr said. “We have to lock it up, run the right route. I’ll hit you and then we’ll worry about the record later.”
Houston converted none of its 13 third downs in last week’s 34-20 loss to Tennessee, couldn’t come up with a takeaway and remain the only team without one. The Texans have a turnover margin of minus-8.
“It all begins with the takeaway/giveaway,” coach Dom Capers said. “Anytime you go four games and don’t get a takeaway and you’re minus-8, it really doesn’t make a whole lot of difference what else you do. Statistics prove that it’s awful hard to win when you don’t get a takeaway.”
The offense’s task could be even more difficult this week as wide receiver Andre Johnson is not expected to be unavailable because of a calf strain.
Johnson, a Pro Bowler last season, was in for two plays against Tennessee before going to the bench. After the game he acknowledged that he’d been slowed by the injury for a couple of weeks.
Houston’s defense isn’t playing well either, allowing 346.3 yards per game, and will be trying to stop a Seattle team that leads the NFL in total offense with 396.8 yards a contest.
The Seahawks took over sole possession of first place in the NFC West on Sunday, racking up 433 yards in the victory over the Rams.
Helping fill the void left by injuries to receivers Darrell Jackson (knee) and Bobby Engram (ribs), Joe Jurevicius caught nine passes for 137 yards and a touchdown for Seattle. Shaun Alexander ran for 119 yards and a pair of scores, and Matt Hasselbeck threw for 316 yards and two TDs as the Seahawks won for the third time in four games.
“I wouldn’t say we didn’t miss a beat, it’s not the same with those guys out,” Hasselbeck said. “But we all had confidence (that other guys) would play well … and they played great.”
Jackson had surgery Wednesday to repair cartilage damage in his right knee, and Engram is listed as out for this game.
Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said that Jackson will remain in Florida—where the surgery took place—for another week and have one more examination before returning to Seattle to rehabilitate the injury.
“I can’t tell you how long it’s going to be. The cartilage and scopes typically can be two weeks, guys come back in two weeks, sometimes it’s longer,” Holmgren said. “We just have to see how it is.”
This is the first meeting between these teams since the Texans joined the NFL in 2002.