For the 12s: Houston Texans

Joe Jurevicius, a receiver who played for the Seahawks prior to 2012, scores in a 2005 matchup versus the Texans

For the 12s is a recurring installment at Seattle Sportsnet. Every week we’ll preview the Seahawks’ upcoming opponent, with each gameday primer geared towards those individuals who have been fans of the Seattle Seahawks since no earlier than 2012.

Big news in Seattle!

Your Seahawks made a noteworthy move this week, signing veteran defensive end Dwight Freeney to shore up a defensive front that recently lost Cliff Avril to a season-ending injury. While many 12s may recognize him as a journeyman who bounced around the league throughout the duration of their fandom, Freeney was actually really good prior to 2012!

A seven-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team in the 2000s, the 37-year-old established his Hall of Fame career as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Freeney’s wisdom and unquestioned talent should be a welcome addition to a Seahawks defense that will be facing a tough task this Sunday.

The Houston Texans come to town and are certainly no pushover. Though their brief 15-year history makes Houston the youngest franchise in the league, they are coming off two consecutive division championships and are a perennial power in the AFC, which is a conference in the NFL in which the Seahawks used to play.

Though they entered 2017 with a number of questions on the offensive side of the ball, rookie Deshaun Watson has seemingly provided all the answers since seizing control of the quarterback position halfway through the season opener.

In his first year out of Clemson, Watson has been a sensation, emerging as one of the most prolific passers in the league. The 22-year-old is an easy guy to root for with a backstory that will amaze and inspire. In an interesting twist of fate, Watson grew up in a home that was furnished through the charitable foundation of Warrick Dunn, a running back who starred in the NFL before 2012. Following in the footsteps of his hero, Watson has used his status to give back to the community in his first few months as a pro.

Watson’s No. 1 target in the receiving corps is DeAndre Hopkins, a superstar wideout who, like his quarterback, also attended Clemson University. Not to be outdone, Seattle once rostered one of the most notable Clemson alums in NFL history in the form of Charlie Whitehurst, a quarterback who played for the Seahawks prior to 2012.

Though he was championed as Seattle’s quarterback of the future, Whitehurst’s only notable moment in the Emerald City came when he led the team to a divisional crown and a postseason berth late in the 2010 campaign. A backup for his entire two-year tenure with the organization, Whitehurst was pressed into spot-start duty for two weeks that season due to an injury to starter Matt Hasselbeck, who himself was a quarterback that played for the Seahawks prior to 2012. These days, however, the Seahawks no longer feature any quarterbacks who played for the team in the pre-2012 era.

The Texans are coached by Bill O’Brien, who is the only Ivy League graduate to coach an NFL team. O’Brien attended Brown University which, coincidentally, is also the alma mater of one John William Heisman. Heisman was a standout college football player and coach who lived his entire life prior to 2012. Credited as one of the pioneering innovators of the game, Heisman is also the namesake of the award given annually to the nation’s top collegiate football player, the Heisman Trophy.

Winning the Heisman Trophy is such a uniquely rare achievement that the Seahawks, in their 41-year history, have only ever rostered one recipient of college football’s greatest honor. That distinction belongs to University of Miami product Gino Torretta, a quarterback who played for the Seahawks before 2012.

Over the course of his entire NFL career, Torretta appeared in just one regular-season game, a 1996 battle between our beloved Seahawks and the hated Oakland Raiders. Though he only attempted 16 passes in his lone NFL contest, one of his five completions landed in the hands of Joey Galloway and was taken in for a touchdown. Joey Galloway was a wide receiver who played for the Seahawks prior to 2012.

The Texans and Seahawks have only clashed thrice throughout their respective histories, with Seattle getting the best of their interconference foes twice in that span. In the inaugural matchup between the two in 2005, Shaun Alexander, a running back who played for the Seahawks before 2012, exploded for 141 rushing yards and four touchdowns. In 2009, Houston triumphed behind the dynamic duo of quarterback Matt Schaub and wideout Andre Johnson. And of course you all paid witness to the 2013 bout.

Houston will look to even the series this weekend, while our Seahawks will hope to extend their all-time record against the Texans to 3-1.

In other news, we recently learned that For the 12s is now being distributed as required reading for new hires at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. We couldn’t be prouder to welcome new 12s into the fray with all the info every 12 needs to be the 12est 12s possible. Thank you to Amazon, and thank you to all the 12s who won’t stop 12ing!

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