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

K. Pierre-LouisNov 28 06:52p

The Seattle Seahawks placed LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) on Reserve/Injured Friday, Nov. 28.

Jerick McKinnonNov 28 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) has officially been listed as doubtful for Week 13. McKinnon has already said that he will not play.

Latavius MurrayNov 28 04:42p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will not play in Week 13 after failing the final test of the concussion protocol Friday, Nov. 28.

Arian FosterNov 28 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Week 13 after being limited in practice Friday, Nov. 28.

Charles ClayNov 28 04:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee, hamstring) did not practice Friday, Nov. 28, and could miss Monday night's game versus the New York Jets.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 28 03:32p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was limited during practice Friday, Nov. 28, and will be a game-time decision for Week 13, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Arians [ More ]

Ray RiceNov 28 03:02p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension and is eligible to play immediately, according to a source.

Jordan ReedNov 28 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) took part in a full practice Friday, Nov. 28, but is questionable for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Dwayne AllenNov 28 02:52p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed practice all week and is officially out in Week 13 against the Washington Redskins.

Jerick McKinnonNov 28 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) said he has been ruled out for Week 13.

William MooreNov 28 02:22p

The Atlanta Falcons activated SS William Moore (shoulder) from the Active/Reserve/Injured list Friday, Nov. 28. The team also waived OT Cameron Bradfield.

Julius ThomasNov 28 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is in attendance for practice Friday, Nov. 28, but is not participating in drills.

Arian FosterNov 28 01:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is expected to play in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans, according to head coach Bill O'Brien. O'Brien has been pleased with the [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 28 10:02a

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) said he's highly unlikely to play in Week 13 Sunday, Nov. 30.

Marshawn LynchNov 27 11:52p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch had 20 carries for 104 yards in a 19-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, Nov. 27.

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group