HOUSTON (AP) — The Seahawks used their vaunted defense to force overtime, and Russell Wilson and the offense finished off the Houston Texans to give Seattle the first 4-0 start in franchise history.
Steven Hauschka kicked a 45-yard field goal in overtime to give the Seahawks the 23-20 victory.
Houston (2-2) failed to score on two possessions in overtime and also lost linebacker Brian Cushing to a concussion. The Seahawks got the win on their second drive in overtime after rallying from a 20-3 deficit.
A key to the winning drive came when Doug Baldwin caught a 7-yard pass and Kareem Jackson was penalized for unnecessary roughness for dumping him into the ground. That got Seattle in field goal range and Hauschka’s kick came four plays later.
The Seahawks rallied to tie it at 20 on an interception return for a touchdown by Richard Sherman in the fourth quarter. The NFL’s best defense held Houston scoreless after halftime.
Houston’s Matt Schaub threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions and failed to move the offense effectively in overtime.
Wilson finished with 123 yards passing and a touchdown, and Marshawn Lynch had with 98 yards rushing and another score.
Sherman intercepted a pass for Owen Daniels and returned it 58 yards to tie it 20-20 with less than three minutes remaining. Schaub was pushed down as he threw the pass and remained on the grass on his hands and knees beating the ground with his fists as Sherman became the third player to return one of his passes for a touchdown this season.
The Seahawks marched downfield with a 14-play, 98-yard drive capped by a 3-yard scamper by Marshawn Lynch to get within 20-13 in the fourth quarter.
They were driving again when Johnathan Joseph stepped in front of a pass intended for Jermaine Kearse to give Houston the ball before Schaub’s costly interception.
A fumble by Ben Tate in the third quarter gave the Seahawks the ball on the Houston 21. But they couldn’t manage even 1 yard before bringing on Hauschka for a 39-yard field goal to cut the lead to 20-6.
The Texans punted on their first drive and Schaub was intercepted on the second one. The pickoff was a crazy play: the throw was first bobbled and deflected by Daniels, then bounced off two Seahawks before Earl Thomas grabbed it just inches from the ground.
The Texans went up 7-3 when Garrett Graham ran untouched into the end zone on a 31-yard reception from Schaub. They extended the lead on a 5-yard touchdown reception by Arian Foster. Tate had a 22-yard run early in that drive and Daniels grabbed a 21-yard reception on third-and-6 to keep it going.
Cushing forced a fumble by Lynch on Seattle’s first play after Houston’s touchdown and Terrell McClain recovered. Houston settled for a 22-yard field goal after the offense stalled, making it 17-3.
Randy Bullock added another field goal at the end of the second quarter for a 20-3 lead at halftime.
Hauschka’s 48-yard field goal put Seattle up 3-0 in the first quarter.