By Dave Thomas
Some NFL losses are tougher to take than others.
With that said, last Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss at home to the Seattle Seahawks was painful on a number of fronts for the Houston Texans.
Leading 20-13 in the fourth quarter and looking to ice the game, the Texans saw a seven-point lead disappear, only to lose to the 4-0 Seahawks in overtime. The loss dropped Houston to 2-2 after the first month of action.
While the loss was painful mentally, the Texans also got a little battered on the physical front, specifically starting quarterback Matt Schaub.
It was the University of Virginia product who was marching the Texans down the field when trouble struck. Schaub (31-of-49, 355 yards, two TDs, two interceptions) was looking to connect with tight end Owen Daniels, but Seattle corner Richard Sherman had other ideas.
Sherman picked off Schaub, racing 58 yards to the house for the game-tying score (with the extra point). After neither team could end it in regulation, Seattle’s Steven Hauschka ended it in overtime with a game-winning 45-yard field goal.
On both the drive where Sherman picked off Schaub and the following drive where Houston could not move into position for a potential game-winning kick, Schaub was pummeled several times, leaving some Houston fans likely wondering if backup T.J. Yates may need to be called into action.
Although Schaub (sacked four times on the day) finished the game, he likely needed to ice down a number of body parts afterwards.
Cushing Suffers Concussion in Loss
The news on the medical front was even worse for Houston linebacker Brian Cushing, who ended up suffering a concussion in the loss (his status for Sunday’s game versus San Francisco is not known yet).
Cushing (six solo tackles versus Seattle), who recently signed a lucrative contract extension with the Texans, missed the remainder of the 2012 season following game five when he tore an ACL.
Looking to bounce back after consecutive losses to Baltimore and Seattle, the Texans now prepare for a Sunday night visit to the Bay Area, meeting the defending NFC Champion 49ers.
Niners Tied With Arizona for Second Place
After suffering back-to-back losses to Seattle and Indianapolis, the 49ers will look to send Houston to its third straight defeat.
San Francisco, currently tied with Arizona for second place in the NFC West, is led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick. To date this season, Kaepernick has passed for 856 yards (five touchdowns, four interceptions), with his top target being former Raven Anquan Boldin (372 yards receiving). On the ground, veteran running back Frank Gore leads the 49ers rushing attack with 295 yards rushing.
In a 35-11 win over the St. Louis Rams last Thursday evening, San Francisco was led defensively by corner Tarell Brown and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (six solo tackles each). The 49ers recently lost All-Pro outside linebacker Aldon Smith, presently getting treatment for a substance abuse problem. According to the team, Smith is on an indefinite leave of absence from the squad.
Sunday’s game at Candlestick Park marks only the third time Houston and San Francisco have met on the field, with each team winning a game.
For more Houston Texans news and updates, visit Houston Texans Central.
Dave Thomas has been covering the sports world since his first job as a sports editor for a weekly newspaper in Pennsylvania back in 1989. He has covered a Super Bowl, college bowl games, MLB, NBA and more. His work can be found on Examiner.com.