For the first time in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks finished the month of September with a perfect 4-0 record-- and they did it in just about the ugliest way possible.
In a game where Seattle trailed by 17 points at the half and nothing seemed to be clicking, the curse of the 10:00 AM start time seemed to be in full effect. There were intermittent flashes of brilliance but Seattle seemed unable to string together anything of significance. J.J. Watt, whose face was dripping with blood throughout the game, was wreaking havoc on Seattle's patchwork offensive line that was missing 3 of it's 5 starters.
Texans linebacker, Whitney Mercilus, was merciless in his pursuit of Russell Wilson, racking up 2.5 sacks on the day. Brian Cushing lead the Texans in tackles and forced a fumble before leaving the game with a concussion. Johnathan Joseph snatched an interception off of a forced pass by Wilson and there wasn't a single offensive possession that didn't feel like an uphill battle for the Seahawks.
Michael Bennett was taken to the hospital after a scary collision that appeared as if he may have seriously injured his neck. Fortunately, results were negative and they are now calling it a lower back injury that seems significantly less serious.
Marshawn Lynch never gave up in this game. Lynch finished the night with 45 yards receiving and 98 yards on the ground, including a 43 yard scamper that may well have qualified as Beastquake 2.0 had it occurred in the CLink.
But it wasn't until Wilson put the game on his shoulders, or more appropriately, on his legs, that Seattle began to turn the tables on Houston. Wilson finished with 77 yards on the ground with key first down conversions that set up the scoring drives that lead to Seattle's comeback.
Houston quarterback, Matt Schaub, threw for 355 yards with a pair of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Throughout most of the game, Schaub was having his way with the Seahawks defense, systematically picking them apart. Had Seattle fallen short, he may well have been the hero in this game, but it was one poor decision he made with his team up 20-13 that swung the momentum fully in the Seahawks favor. Schaub lobbed up a lame duck to his tight end but Richard Sherman saw it coming, leaped up and took the ball 58 yards to the house-- with only one shoe!
Seattle forced the game to overtime and eventually got into scoring position to sneak away with a tough road win. It was hard fought and sloppy, but a win nevertheless. At first, it certainly appeared as if the team hadn't gotten up for the early, east coast game. The players body language was in stark contrast from what we'd seen the previous three weeks-- even on the road in Carolina. When they opened the 3rd quarter with a sack on Wilson-- It looked like more of the same.
Instead this team fought on and believed in themselves. The truth is, there was just too much talent on this Seahawks roster for even a great, playoff-caliber team like the Texans to overcome. This game might not have been pretty and I'm sure the fans will remember this game simply as a victory and not the four-quarter-anxiety-attack that it really was, but this could be a game that we look back on at the end of this season as a major statement game.