Well, last Sunday wasn’t very fun. But did anyone really think the Seahawks would leave Indianapolis with a victory?
Peyton Manning is playing as good as he ever has during his career right now. That’s saying a lot, considering Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks of this era. Through four games this season, he has completed over seventy percent of his passes and thrown for over 1,300 yards. Coincidentally, the Colts are one of the few remaining undefeated teams in the NFL.
The Seahawks are still struggling through injuries and are still without starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The offensive line is a mess. Some of the best defenders on the team continue to nurse various injuries. And slowly but surely, this season seems to be heading the direction of last year’s “aberration”.
Seneca Wallace is an outstanding athlete; he is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league. But he isn’t going to win you a football game with his arm. Without a running game or help from the defense, the Seahawks will not finish above .500 with Wallace under center.
The offensive line has to get healthy and develop some continuity. All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones continues to rehabilitate a surgically repaired knee and Sean Locklear is out with a high-ankle sprain. That leaves Ray Willis, a mauler with unrefined pass-protection skills, at right tackle, and Brandon Frye, an inexperienced, physical player who was cut by Miami just weeks earlier, at left tackle.
The interior of the line doesn’t look much better.
The early retirement of Mike Wahle left the Seahawks short-handed and inexperienced. Rob Sims was moved back to left guard and rookie Max Unger was forced into a starting position on the right.
Rob Sims suffered a strained oblique against Chicago, but he injured his ankle against Indianapolis. He’ll at least miss a couple of weeks, thrusting Mansfield Wrotto into the starting left guard position.
With all of that said, would it matter if Matt Hasselbeck returned to the lineup? Especially with a fractured rib; at least Seneca Wallace has enough mobility to get himself out of trouble in the pocket.
Against Indianapolis, Seattle rushed the ball 19 times and only averaged 2.6 yards per carry. That is to be expected, especially behind an offensive line filled with reserve players and rookies.
To make a long story short, the Seahawks have to get healthy up front before they can expect any production offensively. Matt Hasselbeck is a better option than Seneca Wallace, but I’m not sure he has the mobility to survive a heavy rush from opposing defenders. And the Seahawks can’t continue to average less than 3 yards per carry.
Am I upset about the loss the Indianapolis? Sure; the Seahawks couldn’t get anything going offensively and the defense looked like a bunch of high school players against Peyton Manning. But everything that happened on Sunday wasn’t unexpected.
The defense is missing All-Pro cornerback Marcus Trufant, linebacker Leroy Hill, and Lofa Tatupu is struggling through a hamstring injury. Aaron Curry is only a rookie, and Josh Wilson’s injury has forced Kelly Jennings into the starting lineup.
The defense has struggled up front as well. Brandon Mebane missed the game in San Francisco and Red Bryant was inactive against Indianapolis. And only adding to the mess, Patrick Kerney was injured against the Colts and could miss some time, depriving Seattle of another good defender.
It wasn’t surprising that Peyton Manning and the Colts picked apart Seattle’s defense. Whenever Manning got the ball, the Colts marched down the field and found a way to score. Even with just over a minute remaining in the first half, the Colts drove 78 yards on nine plays and scored a touchdown with three seconds left.
I think Seattle deserves a mulligan on this one. Peyton Manning is great and the Colts can play with anyone right now. Last week, they embarrassed the Arizona Cardinals 31-10.
The Seahawks must re-group and find a way to win a few games to salvage this season. Hopefully some of the injured players can heal quickly and get back on the field, because the NFL season is going by fast.
Chicago was an obvious must-win game heading into Indianapolis, but the Seahawks just weren’t healthy enough to pull it off against the Bears. At 1-3, the Seahawks can’t afford to drop anymore winnable games.
This team returns to Seattle next week and has to find a way to win against the Jaguars. With or without injuries, the Seahawks have to earn some desperation wins heading into the bye-week.
Or we could be looking at another injury-riddled, 4-12 season.