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Originally published December 13, 2009 at 1:12 PM | Page modified December 13, 2009 at 10:00 PM

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Texas-sized loss for Seahawks

Houston quarterback Matt Schaub passes for 336 yards in the first half as Texans defeat Seattle 34-7 in the most lopsided loss of the Seahawks' season.

Seattle Times staff reporter

HOUSTON — Cornerback Marcus Trufant let receiver Andre Johnson run right past him on the Texans' first offensive play, failing to get so much as a hand on his opponent.

That description of Houston's 64-yard touchdown pass doubled as a description of exactly what happened Sunday at Reliant Stadium.

The Seahawks couldn't touch Houston. Not the way they played Sunday, and the result was a 34-7 loss that stands as Seattle's most lopsided defeat of the season. Given the number of abject blowouts Seattle has suffered this year, that is really saying something.

"If you come out and play like that, you're going to get embarrassed," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said.

Any momentum Seattle summoned with consecutive wins? Gone. Any outside shot at the playoffs? Finished. The dim hope of finishing above .500? Kaput.

Seattle lost more yards in penalties in the first quarter than it gained on offense, trailed by 24 points before it gained a first down and the Texans defense scored the same number of touchdowns as Seattle's offense. Each had one.

If this was a race, the Seahawks would have been lapped. If this were Little League, the mercy rule would have been in effect.

But in the NFL, it was a beating so bad it left blisters.

"I'm as discouraged now as I've been in any game of my career," coach Jim Mora said, "but that doesn't mean we are going to stop fighting, kicking and scratching."

Mora was willing to question everything after the game, from the performance of his offensive line to whether Trufant is healthy to why center Chris Spencer still has a cast on his right hand.

He did not cast doubt on his team's effort, though.

"The effort is not a question with our team," he said. "We try hard, but we should not be commended for that."

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There's no danger that Seattle will be complimented for much of anything it did Sunday. Defensive tackle Craig Terrill blocked a field goal in the second quarter, and Seattle then drove 84 yards on a drive that concluded with a 4-yard touchdown pass to John Carlson.

That was pretty much the full extent of any forward progress Seattle showed in a game in which 15 of their 63 offensive plays moved backward.

This wasn't an undefeated Colts team that routed the Seahawks. This wasn't Brett Favre, Ragnar and the Minnesota Vikings. This was the Houston Texans, a franchise that has never made the playoffs and had lost four in a row coming into the game.

Houston quarterback Matt Schaub passed for 336 yards in the first half. Johnson had 184 yards receiving in the first half.

Johnson finished with 193 — third-most by any Seattle opponent — and he did it without catching a pass in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Seattle struggled with one of the most fundamental aspects of the offense: the snap. Three of them were botched.

The Seahawks also gave up three sacks, including two in the third quarter. Hasselbeck left the game for a few plays when he was hit by Texans linebacker DeMeco Ryans, a hit that jarred the right shoulder that he injured last week against San Francisco. Hasselbeck jogged off, but stopped short of the sideline, coming to his knees. He got up and made it to the bench.

"I am more just disappointed than I am physically hurt," Hasselbeck said. "I'm kind of at a loss for words. It's just a really bad performance by us today, and it's going to be one of those weeks where it's going to be uncomfortable and a lot harder than normal, and there's going to be more scrutiny.

"That's probably what we need right now."

Hasselbeck came back. His team, however, did not.

In the fourth quarter, Mora eschewed all punts and field-goal attempts. It didn't change the outcome. In fact, it didn't even change the score in what wound up being the largest blowout in a season that has been filled with them.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

Not half bad
Houston QB Matt Schaub passed for 336 yards in the first half, tied for the third-highest total in a single half since the NFL began tracking the statistic in 1991:
Yards Player Date Opp.
346 Drew Brees Nov. 4, 2007 Jaguars
345 Tom Brady Oct. 18, 2009 Titans
336 Steve Young Oct. 18, 1992 Falcons
336 Matt Schaub (right) Dec. 13, 2009 Seahawks

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