Fun time is over for Deshaun Watson and the newly-electric Houston Texans offense. Now comes a truly difficult test. The Houston Texans will take the show on the road against the Seattle Seahawks in one of the most hostile and difficult environments in all professional sports.
Let’s see how the BRB staff feels about the team’s chances...
Tim: Seahawks 27, Texans 24.
I'm very tempted to flip those scores and to give the Texans a win here. Instead, I'll err on the side of homefield advantage and Seattle's secondary, both of which I expect to frustrate Deshaun Watson a bit. I expect this to be an entertaining game in which the visiting Texans fall just a bit short.
UPDATE for Diehard Chris’ prediction
Given the nature of the HUGE and self-inflicted distraction Bob McNair has brought on his team (regardless of his intent or your view of people being too sensitive or whatever - this is entirely his fault), I’m changing my pick to Seahawks 31, Texans 20. This will be a huge distraction and it will affect the on-field product. Hopefully for only one game?
(original prediction) Diehard Chris: Texans 26, Seahawks 24.
If you ever read my predictions, you KNOW I’m not a mindless homer. I just don’t think this Seahawks defense is as scary (for this incarnation of the Houston offense) as some believe it is. I very rarely pick the Texans to win games in which they are heavy or even mild underdogs - especially on the road. I’m much more concerned with how the Texans’ defense will fare against the Seattle offense than how Houston’s offense will play. Houston can run on this defense. But we all know how the Texans seem to turn themselves inside-out against mobile quarterbacks.
Call it crazy, call it being blinded by the ultra-hot beam of positive feelings emitting from Minute Maid Park - I just think the Texans pull this one out late. As evidence of how I actually might be losing my mind, I’m predicting a late game-winning field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn. If you know me at all, you know I loathe kickers no matter how good they are. I can’t even get with a Houston Texans kicker.
So yeah, I’ve lost it.
Luke Beggs: Seahawks 24, Texans 14.
I think this will be an excellent test of Deshaun Watson and the Texans’ offense. This Seahawks defense has a really good front seven that does very well at taking away the shorter passing game, which is the Texans’ bread and butter right now. Once that goes away, Watson has to contest a pass rush that won't give him extra time and a secondary which can lock down the deeper parts of the field. I think the Texans find a way to score, but I don't think it'll be able to outdo Wilson and the Seahawks O, especially with a weakened Texans D.
Titan Matt Weston, Slanderer of Blade Runner (but Lover of Blade Runner 2049) and a Huge Fan of the Texas Rangers, Who Somehow Just Gave Up Another home run to the Astros in the Final Series of the Regular Season... a Huge Fan of the Texans Rangers, Who Are Nice Enough to Have a Statue of HOUSTON ASTROS GREAT Nolan Ryan in Their Very Own Stadium (for Some Reason Wearing a Rangers Cap - Can’t Figure That One out): Seahawks 31, Texans 14.
This is the Texans’ acid test. This is them staring at their palm to see if they are still hallucinating. They are playing against a good offense, the first good offense they have had to face since losing both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus for the year. Against the Cleveland Browns’ diseased passing attack, they dominated, but it's not close to the challenge Russell Wilson brings.
It's expected that Texans’ offense is going to have to carry the defense to wins for the rest of the year. They have had some great games. But these great games came against three of the worst passing defenses in the NFL, and Houston has struggled against above average defenses.
The Seahawks have a top five defense. After Sunday’s game, everyone will have a better understanding of the Texans. How this defense will perform moving onward. How the offense really looks against good defenses. Entering Week 8, there are still questions. Entering Week 9, there probably won't be any.
BFmf’nD: Seachickens 38, Texans 17.
We've played some really crappy football teams this year, aside from the Chiefs and Glitter Kitties and kinda the Cheatriots, so I'm having a very difficult time playing a scenario where this game winds up with a happy ending. The Seahawks are playing great ball, and with our defense so banged up, we are going to have a hard time exploiting their biggest weakness, a sieve-like offensive line.
UprootedTexan: Seahawks 21, Texans 17.
I don't think the Texans have it in them to pull off the upset; Wilson is throwing like someone stole his nanobubbles and I don't think our secondary can cope with the number of targets available to him.
That said, this is the first really big test of the New Model Offense (yay, history references!) against an established defense, not just Cleveland or Tennessee or some such nonsense.
Mike Bullock: Texans 38, Seahawks 35.
People compare Deshaun Watson to a young Russell Wilson but Watson is better. He's Wilson 2.0.
Seattle's offensive line has no answers for #ClowneyComin’. Wilson does enough to keep it close until Watson pulls another amazing game out of thin air and Houston leaves Seattle the way the ‘Stros left LA.
Capt. Ron: Texans 28, Seahawks 24.
I won't stop believing.
Not a lot of love for the good guys this week, understandably. For whatever reason, I’m feeling oddly positive about this game. How do you see it going, dear readers? Please give us your predictions in the comments section below!