Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 46-18 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field:
For the second straight game Seattle’s offense was a no-show in the first half before busting out big-time in the second. With 25 seconds remaining in the first half the Seahawks had just 84 yards of offense, and they finished the game with 477. Seattle maintained faith in the running game and was rewarded with a season-high 194 yards on the ground, and quarterback Russell Wilson had another strong day by going 21-for-26 for 295 yards and a pair of TDs. The Seahawks even unearthed a possible new weapon in J.D. McKissic, who scored two TDs.
After an ordinary first half the Seahawks locked the Colts down tight in the second, holding Indianapolis to a mere 32 yards in the final two quarters after giving up 205 in the the first two. Seattle let the Colts, who came into the game going three-and-out on 38.5 percent of their drives, sustain some drives in the first half, but in the second half Indianapolis essentially went three-and-out or worse on its first four possessions, and by the time the fifth possession arrived the game was over. And Seattle’s defense spiked its performance by scoring two touchdowns of its own.
It wasn’t a great game for Seattle’s special teams. Kicker Blair Walsh missed a 37-yard field goal as time expired at the end of the second quarter, capping off what was a dreary first half for Seattle. Tyler Lockett was a non-factor in the return game, and he let one short punt drop instead of running up to catch it, allowing it to roll another 20 yards and be downed at the Seattle 6-yard line. The best news for punter Jon Ryan was that his services were required just once.
Whatever Seattle’s coaches said at halftime sure did the trick as the Seahawks were a different team coming out of halftime. Seattle was on the wrong side of the video reviews as the Colts got the first four decisions, but the one time Pete Carroll threw his red flag it paid off as Wilson was ruled in the end zone after originally being marked down at the 1. And Seattle sure picked the right time to call McKissic’s number as the speedy back bursted off tackle for a touchdown on his first touch of the game to break an 18-18 tie late in the third quarter.
How critical of a victory was this for the Seahawks? At halftime Seattle was looking at the possibility of starting the season 1-3, and the Seahawks have never made the playoffs when starting 1-3 or worse. But in the second half we saw the Seahawks expected to be Super Bowl contenders for the first time this season. Sure, the Colts didn’t exactly represent the toughest of competition, but the second-half domination is the type of thing that can catapult a team in search of a spark.