The last time the Seattle Seahawks played the Houston Texans in Houston, Seattle was on its way to a Super Bowl and the Texans went from 2-0 to 2-14. This year the Seahawks are almost destined to finish last in the NFC West, while the Texans are a miserable 2-10. Not exactly a marquee game on the schedule.
Seattle still has the slimmest of playoff hopes while the Texans are literally the only team mathematically eliminated from contention entering Week 14. The Seahawks haven’t won back-to-back games this season and haven’t won a road game since beating the 49ers in September. Houston is clearly in tank mode and are riding with Davis Mills the rest of the season over Tyrod Taylor.
We wish this game had more relevance and interest but we can’t control that. Still, Jeremy Brener of Battle Red Blog took the time to answer my questions for this week’s 5 Qs and 5 As. Enjoy!
1.) This season has been pretty terrible and everyone knew the Texans would be terrible... but has this season been worse than fans had anticipated?
The losses haven’t been surprising. Davis Mills struggling as a rookie hasn’t been surprising. The one thing that’s caught me off guard is all these “disciplinary” benchings. Justin Reid, Desmond King and Zach Cunningham have all been healthy scratches, and those three are arguably the best players on defense at their respective position. Cunningham was benched twice and received minimal playing time during some weeks, ultimately leading to his release earlier this week. That’s been the frustrating part, and it doesn’t make your team an attractive destination for free agency. Not that the Texans were already an attractive place for free agents to go, but all of this makes it that much more difficult to attract free agents. It’s a mess, but it could be a lot worse I guess?
2.) What have been the bright spots and pleasant surprises in an otherwise grim looking season?
Kamu Grugier-Hill has gotten a chance to shine, and he’s made the most of it. Last week, he set the franchise record with tackles in a game with 19. His success helped make the Cunningham cut more reasonable I guess? Not that the Cunningham cut was reasonable, but the Texans won’t be scrambling for someone to replace him. Other than that, defensive end Jonathan Greenard has eight sacks in his second season. The Texans usually don’t hit on Day 2 draft picks, but Greenard looks like a hit so far. Brandin Cooks is also on pace for 1000 yards, so that’s fun too.
3.) Seahawks fans are curious to know how Jacob Martin has performed for the Texans since he was traded to the team in 2019. Is he looking like someone the Texans should re-sign?
Jacob Martin has been one of the better front seven players for the Texans since he arrived in Houston. He’s second on the team in sacks with four, and he’s definitely someone the team should look to retain. It’s crazy in hindsight, but the Clowney trade actually might’ve gone in the Texans’ favor.
4.) If we assume that DeShaun Watson is never going to play a down again in the NFL (or at least not for Houston), I think it’s more likely than not that the 2022 Texans Week 1 starter isn’t on the roster right now. What route do you think the Texans go to find a new starting quarterback and which QBs would intrigue you most from either the Draft or through realistic free agency/trade?
When you draft a quarterback in the first round, I usually like to think of it as a timer to get your team to the Super Bowl because then you have the ability to pay the rest of your roster. It’s how Seattle made it to two Super Bowls during Wilson’s rookie contract. Since then, the Seahawks haven’t been able to pay enough talent outside of Wilson to maintain a contending roster. The Texans are nowhere near ready for that, so free agency would be the route I’d go in. The Texans should look for a veteran looking to prove themselves, similar to Tyrod Taylor this year. Players that come to mind are Gardner Minshew, Mitch Trubisky, Sam Darnold (if they can swing him in a trade), Drew Lock (another trade possibility), or even running it back with Taylor. It’s also possible that the team drafts a quarterback as another project alongside Mills that they could turn to.
5.) David Culley really never had much of a chance with this roster and really the dysfunction within the whole organization. With that said, do you see a possibility where Culley ends up being immediately fired after this season?
We’ve seen a few one-and-done coaches in the NFL, but given the current direction of the franchise, it doesn’t make sense to let Culley go. It’s not like the next guy you get is going to turn things around and make things a lot easier. Culley is doing his job, tearing this thing down, and hopefully leaving this place better than he found it for the next coach. Firing Culley would simply mean paying another person to not coach your team.
Thanks again to Jeremy for answering my questions! Hopefully the Seahawks both win and a 4th quarter/overtime comeback is not required like the last two times they played Houston.