Grading the Seahawks at the Colts:
The Seahawks hopes of an undefeated season came to an abrupt end in Indianapolis Sunday afternoon as the Seahawks lost to the Colts 34-28.
The game was one of the most exciting games of the NFL weekend, but in the end the magical comeback that the Seahawks completed against Houston wasn’t to be.
Even in the loss, there are many bright spots for the Seahawks as well as many downsides. This game proved the importance of capitalizing on momentum as well as the importance of finishing drives off with a Touchdown vice Field Goals.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense was finally able to score on their opening drive of a game, it was a field goal but at least the offense was able to score right off the bat. Wilson had a huge game as he moved the offense with more than just his arm as he rushed for 102 yards on 13 rushes. Wilson was able to avoid pressure as the Colts secondary and linebackers continued to drop back throughout the game and open up running lanes for Wilson. Wilson’s numbers again didn’t pop off the chart, but he continuously moved the team down the field as he passed for 210 yards on 15 of 31 passing with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception which came on the 4th down near the end of the game.
Running Backs: B
Marshawn Lynch finally reached the century mark as he rushed for 102 yards on 17 carries, most of which came in the first half. Lynch broke numerous tackles as he assisted Wilson in moving the Seahawks up and down the field at will. Lynch also had a huge one handed catch that Wilson nearly threw away only to have Lynch palm it and pull it in for a 5-yard gain. Marshawn is not normally known for his hands also had a key 3rd down drop that seemed to kill the momentum as Seattle was trying to keep the ball away from the suddenly unstoppable Colts offense in the 4th Quarter.
Wide Receivers: B-
The Seahawks receivers only had 15 catches in the game and again struggled to create separation against the pesky Colts secondary. Zach Miller was on the sidelines for this game but his replacement Luke Willson was solid as he had 2 catches for 28 yards. The Seahawks receivers were lead by Doug Baldwin who had 5 catches for 80 yards followed by Golden Tate who caught 5 passes for 61 yards which was mostly yardage gained after the catch. Tate did have a big drop on the sideline as Wilson escaped pressure and hit Tate before he stepped out of bounds but Tate bobbled the catch and it was ruled incomplete; Tate was, however, able to find the end zone for the first time this season. Jermaine Kearse again went up over the top of a defender as he pulled in a 28-yard touchdown strike from Wilson. Sidney Rice still seems to be bothered by his knee as he was clearly limping a few different times and he was unable to create any separation on his routes.
Offensive Line: C+
The offensive line seemed to play better this week as they only gave up two sacks totaling only a loss of 5 yards. Although, Wilson was able to scramble away from pressure on numerous plays, which was evident as he rushed for 102 yards. This pieced together offensive line clearly is much stronger creating holes for the running backs than it is trying to create a pocket for Wilson. Lynch had huge holes to run through in this game, especially in the 1st half.
Defensive Line: B
The Seahawks defensive line put a lot of pressure on Andrew Luck in the 1st half as they were able to get a sack from Bruce Irvin, who returned from his suspension this week and then they also got a sack from Chris Clemons who also caused a fumble as he struck the ball out of Luck’s hands and he hit him.The defensive line clearly wore down in the 2nd half as the Colts went to the hurry up offense and it really worked against the Seahawks strengths. Brandon Mebane lead all of the defensive lineman with 5 tackles as he gave solid push up the middle throughout the game.
KJ Wright lead all linebackers with 9 tackles in the game as he was all over the field trying to tackle the pesky Colts receivers. Bruce Irvin, who is now predominately playing linebacker had 4 tackles with a sack and a huge tackle for a loss early in the game. I obviously don’t know any of the defensive play calls but the linebackers seemed to constantly be a step behind as the middle of the field was open all day for the receivers to snag the passes that Andrew Luck was throwing to them as he ran for his life. Bobby Wagner had an off day according to his standards as he only had 2 tackles and numerous missed tackles throughout the game.
The Seahawks secondary had a rough game this week as is was beat on numerous deep balls. Whether it was the confusion between Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman on the 73-yard Touchdown pass to TY Hilton or when Brandon Browner was just flat out beat to the corner of the end zone by Hilton. Without sounding like a biased fan this game became a game of pink and it became a game of pink not because of the pink shoes or the pink wristbands that the players wore in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, but because of the pink flags that were thrown all over the field. It seemed as though every incomplete pass was just a waiting game for the reaction of the team and the Legion of Boom as they were called for multiple pass interference calls that consistently went against them. The secondary did get pushed around in this game and the Colts seemed to confuse the Seahawks the most when they would go into their bunch formations which lead to multiple 1st down in crucial points of the game.
Special Teams: B
The Seahawks special teams had a solid game again as Steven Hauschka kicked five field goals and hit four of them. His lone miss was not your normal miss as it was blocked and then returned for a huge game-swinging touchdown. The Seahawks punt block team had a huge block in the 1st quarter that rolled into the end zone and eventually ruled a safety when Jeron Johnson jumped on the ball and it moved around in his grasp as he slid out of bounds. Between the blocked field goal which lead to 7 points and the blocked punt which lead to 2 points but a 5 point swing special teams played a huge role in the outcome of this game.
This was a tough loss for the Seahawks as they went from being up 12-nothing and seemingly on their way to a blowout win to being down 6 in the final minutes of this eventual loss. The Seahawks were able to move the ball with ease at times but if they still desire to take this team to the next level this will have to stop settling for field goals and start turning 12 points off of field goals in 28 points off of touchdowns. The Seahawks had a solid game with contributions from all over the field but they were beat by the big play all day long and at the end of the day they couldn’t overcome all of the quick points that they spotted the Colts.