Week 14 has arrived, and the Seattle Seahawks (5-7) are still searching for a second victory away from home.
They travel down to Houston, Texas to take on the Texans (5-7) this Sunday.
The Texans are coming off four consecutive losses, two of which were at home, and are looking to get headed back in the right direction.
Seattle is coming off a close victory over division rival San Francisco and for the first time all year appear to be as healthy as they are going to get.
Houston comes into the game with the more high-powered offense (eighth in total yards), powered by their strong passing attack led by quarterback Matt Schaub, which puts up 23.1 points per game.
Matching up against the Houston passing attack is Seattle’s 21st-ranked defense that gives up 22 points a game. The Seahawks are much stronger against the run than the pass, and that works right into the Texans' strengths.
On the other side, Seattle’s 23rd-ranked offense is also stronger through the air than through the ground and puts up 20 points a game. The Texans defense that they are going up against is better against the run than the pass but overall gives up 22 points a game and ranks 16th in total defense.
The Texans will look to spread out the Seahawks defense with their powerful passing attack and establish some balance in the running game. The key for the Seattle defense will be making them one-dimensional and then getting a healthy pass rush to force Schaub into making quicker decisions than he likes.
Also important will be how Andre Johnson is handled, as he is their big threat and leading receiver at 70 receptions going into the game.
Seattle will look to employ the same kind of offensive strategy, taking advantage of their depth at wide receiver to spread the Houston defense out. Houston will try to counter this by trying to jam the receivers and being more physical in general. Mario Williams and the defensive line will look to pressure Matt Hasselbeck all day long as well.
The running game for Seattle, like Houston, has been struggling up to this point, but Seattle might just have a remedy in Justin Forsett.
Forsett, who has outproduced incumbent starter Julius Jones, was banged up last week in practice, but look for the Seahawks to feed Forsett the ball more often as he has certainly earned the opportunity.
This week Jones is healthy again, and after a subpar performance last week, there is no longer the reasoning of losing his job due to injury. Now is the time for Mora to pull the trigger and let Forsett run.
Both teams are trying to turn around their seasons. While the Seahawks had last week’s home victory to build on, they have only one victory on the road. That was coming against NFC West's current dormat, St. Louis. Houston just lost to Jacksonville at home, a team Seattle shut out in Seattle.
The Texans are looking for their first above .500 season in franchise history. The Seahawks are just trying to prove that injuries were the main cause of the last two years' struggles and that they should not be forgotten about so quickly.
That said, it looks like the Texans will be able to snap their losing streak, and the Seahawks will continue their road woes.
Houston 28, Seattle 17