2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Seattle faces Houston looking to improve to 4-0

By KRISTIE RIEKEN - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-26 15:01

HOUSTON (AP) - The undefeated Seattle Seahawks are already feeling this could be a special season, and improving to 4-0 for the first time would be another huge move toward that end.

``We have a lot to prove every time we step out and this is just another stepping stone, the next team in our way,'' said Seattle safety Earl Thomas, a key to the Seahawks' top-ranked defense.

That opponent is Houston, and the Texans are no slouches on defense either. Houston (2-1) is second to Seattle in yards allowed in the NFL.

The Seahawks are 3-0 for the sixth time in franchise history and the first time since 2006. Their defense is also the stingiest on the scoreboard, limiting teams to just nine points a game.

Coach Pete Carroll is using the experience he gained in leading so many outstanding teams at Southern California to help teach the Seahawks how to handle their early success, and outside expectations.

``We had those No. 1 rankings year after year after year,'' Carroll said of his time at USC. ``You become comfortable with that and that's where you want to be. You want to get to the point where you understand why people talk about you as they do, and then you want to constantly remember that you live up to that.''

Naturally, a key to Seattle's early success has been that staunch defense, which has been a force at forcing turnovers. The Seahawks are tied for second with a plus-6 turnover differential.

``It's a winning formula in itself,'' Carroll said. ``We do it because it's the single-most important factor to winning for us. Our numbers have kind of proven that out.''

Both teams have good reason to feel great about their defenses, but recognize they'll have to improve on offense to contend for a championship.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said going against the top defense in the NFL every day in practice has helped the offense get better. He hopes that will help in dealing with Houston this week.

``This game's going to be a huge game,'' Wilson said. ``It's one of the teams that obviously is a `Super Bowl contender,' and is a team that's got a lot of talent and everything.''

Five things to know about the Seahawks-Texans game:

CARROLL & CUSHING: Houston linebacker Brian Cushing played for Carroll at USC from 2005-08.

``He was ... a very influential person to me at a critical stage in my career and in my life,'' Cushing said. ``A guy that's helped me tremendously to grow up as a person and a football player.''

Carroll had plenty to say about his former player, and joked about how hyper-competitive he has always been before raving about his play.

``Really one of the best players we ever recruited,'' Carroll said. ``He had such a great all-around ability that he could do a ton of things. The fact that he's continuing to do it is no surprise to me. He's a great team member.''

SECOND(ARY) TO NONE: Perhaps the biggest strength of Seattle's defense is its secondary. Carroll liked Houston coach Gary Kubiak calling him a ``secondary guy'' this week.

``If you've got guys that can play out there and hang up play after play after play with any receiver you throw out to them, it allows you to do things defensively scheme-wise that really is an asset,'' Carroll said. ``I've been a defensive back guy forever.''

Seattle's defensive backs are not only skilled, they're big. Three of the four starters in the secondary are 6-foot-3 or taller. Kubiak said Seattle's safeties ``look like linebackers.''

BADGER BROTHERS: Wilson transferred to Wisconsin from NC State in 2011. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt's last season with the Badgers came in 2010; he declared for the draft after his junior year.

Wilson has since met Watt and said the two had a talk about what might have been at the Pro Bowl last February.

``Me and him were just joking that if he had stayed his senior year, we probably would have won the national championship,'' Wilson said. ``I missed playing with him.''

Watt, the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, agreed.

``It sure would have been fun,'' Watt said. ``I wish I would have known he was coming.''

MARSHAWN'S SUCCESS: Seattle's Marshawn Lynch has piled up more yards rushing than any player since Week 9 of 2011 with 2,741 yards. Lynch leads the NFL with 16 games with at least 100 yards rushing since 2011.

He has ran for at least 100 yards in 16 of his last 28 games and set a career high by posting 10 100-yard games last season.

Lynch, who ran for a career-best 1,590 yards in 2012, has 210 yards rushing with two touchdowns this season.

ANDRE'S ABLE: Houston's Andre Johnson had one of the best games of his career in his only meeting with Seattle. He had 11 receptions for 193 yards and two scores in the Texans' 34-7 win in 2009.

Johnson averages 81.6 yards receiving a game, best in NFL history for players with at least 100 games. He's been particularly good against the NFC with 16 receptions for 285 yards in his last two games.

Johnson has a bruised shin, but Kubiak said he's likely to play this week.

-----

AP Sports Writer Tim Booth contributed to this report from Seattle.

-----

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Sam BradfordApr 24 06:02p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota could be selected by the Philadelphia Eagles if the team could make trades with the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans, according to one draft rumor. [ More ]

Chris PolkApr 24 05:42p

Philadelphia Eagles restricted free-agent RB Chris Polk's tender offer has been rescinded by the Eagles, according to a source. Polk will become an unrestricted free agent and allowed to sign with any team.

Jaiquawn JarrettApr 24 04:52p

New York Jets restricted free-agent SS Jaiquawn Jarrett signed his tender offer Friday, April 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Hakeem NicksApr 24 01:42p

Free-agent WR Hakeem Nicks (Colts) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the Tennessee Titans Friday, April 24.

Justin BlackmonApr 24 12:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is likely done with the Jaguars if he's reinstated into the league, in the opinion of beat writer Ryan O'Halloran.

Adrian PetersonApr 23 05:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson may not be in the Dallas Cowboys' plans after all, according Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports. Robinson said the Cowboys have not spoken to the Vikings regarding Peterson.

Demaryius ThomasApr 23 03:32p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas has decided not to participate in offseason workouts because he does not want to suffer an injury, but general manager John Elway does not [ More ]

Will HillApr 23 03:12p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent FS Will Hill signed his tender offer Thursday, April 23, according to sources. Hill received a one-year deal worth $1.54 million.

Andre EllingtonApr 23 03:02p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington's (foot) injured foot is about 95 percent healed, and Ellington has not suffered any setbacks, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

M. Jones-DrewApr 23 02:22p

Free-agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Raiders) will sign a one-day deal to retire as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars next Tuesday, April 28. He played nine seasons and rushed [ More ]

Victor CruzApr 23 02:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said he believes that he will be ready to play in the season opener next season and play like he did before he suffered the injury.

Justin TuckerApr 23 01:52p

Baltimore Ravens restricted free-agent PK Justin Tucker has signed his one-year tender offer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bear PascoeApr 23 12:52p

Free-agent TE Bear Pascoe (Falcons) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Thursday, April 23. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sam BradfordApr 23 01:53a

The Philadelphia Eagles and QB Sam Bradford have yet to make significant progress on a contract extension sparking speculation the quarterback might be traded again, although head coach Chip [ More ]

Brandin CooksApr 22 11:43p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (knee) spent time training together with QB Drew Brees during the offseason in San Diego. 'Man, I love everything about him, his makeup, [ More ]

Greg JenningsApr 22 06:13p

Free-agent WR Greg Jennings (Vikings) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Philip RiversApr 22 05:33p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers may be losing faith in the organization, according to NFL Network analyst and former Chargers' RB LaDainian Tomlinson. 'The parts around him keep [ More ]

Jacques McClendonApr 22 04:13p

Free-agent OG Jacques McClendon (Jaguars) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Wednesday, April 22.

Adrian PetersonApr 22 02:23p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not expected to be traded by the Vikings unless the team is overwhelmed by an offer from another team, according to a source. [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 22 02:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown said he is not participating in voluntary workouts because he is spending time with his newborn child. Brown said he will report to offseason [ More ]

Marvin LewisApr 22 11:33a

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis signed a one-year extension Wednesday, April 22. He's under contract through the 2016 season.

S. RichardsonApr 21 05:23p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Shaquille Richardson (undisclosed) was released Tuesday, April 21, with a failure to disclose physical condition designation.

Adrian PetersonApr 21 01:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson remains a candidate to be traded, and a source close to the situation believes that if he isn't traded before or during the 2015 [ More ]

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group