Colts 34, Seahawks 17
Sometimes watching the Seahawks is a beautiful thing, like seeing a gorgeous woman bringing you an ice cold beer on a steaming hot day. Sometimes it’s bad like seeing your great aunt’s granny panties when she bends over to get in her wheelchair.
And then you have games like yesterday against the Indianapolis Colts. Going in, this had all the hallmarks of a great aunt game. With the start time of 10 a.m. Seattle time, a Peyton Manning looking like he was back on his game and a battered Seahawks offense missing Matt Hasselbeck, out for a second game with a rib fracture, and a patchwork quilt for an offensive line, Seattle found out that dear auntie is actually wearing a thong.
Seattle received to start the game. A three and out later, Indianapolis took their first drive straight down the field. Seattle took possession and started well. The drive stalled after eight plays netted a total of nine yards and Seattle punted again. The Seahawks defense made some adjustments and Indy to a three and out. That was the last three and out Indy had until much later in the game.
Down early, Seattle managed two drives that looked very good. Both times the Seahawks were knocking on the door of the end zone like a Fuller Brush Salesman at a vacant house. The end zone was like a family turning off the lights and hunkering down behind the couch.
The play of the game was actually not a play but a drive right before halftime. No, not the Seahawks drive that got them on the board with a field goal to make the score 14-3, I’m talking about what the Colts did in 1:19 seconds between the field goal and the halftime whistle, driving 78 yards in nine plays and torching the Seahawks defense repeatedly.
The Seahawks were looking to go into the locker room with a little momentum and Manning took that away like the Grinch going into Whoville. Coming out of the locker room, the Colts drove down the field again, going 80 yards for another touchdown to basically ice the game. Two late Seahawks touchdowns only make the score look a little more respectable. In reality, it wasn’t ever that close.
1. T.J. Houshmandzadah. Housh looked good, catching eight balls for 103 yards. His best catch didn’t count after Seneca Wallace threw the pass past the line of scrimmage.
2. Deion Branch. Branch had a few good catches and it was good to see him being involved.
3. Lofa Tatupu. Tatupu is another player that has missed a couple of games. He looked a little rusty, not at his usual level.
4. Brandon Mebane. The young defensive linemen showed why he is the best DL the Seahawks have and how much the team missed him against the 49ers.
5. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Bradley was shown reading the riot act to his defense early in the game after they seemed to be completely confused and chirping at each other. It was good to see some passion from a coach.
1. The defensive play calling. Seattle’s defense couldn’t decide whether to be aggressive and rush Manning hard or to sit back and try and take away the receivers. In the end they kept doing whatever worked the last time which gave the Colts too many opportunities to beat it.
2. Injuries. Once again Seattle was hit with an untimely injury. Left guard Rob Sims left the game in the 2nd quarter with an ankle sprain to go with his strained oblique from last week. Left tackle Brandon Frye played through a strained groin he injured last week against the Bears because he was needed and because there was nobody behind him to take over.
3. Cornerback Travis Fisher. I know he’s a veteran that came to the team late in the preseason. I know he would be on the bench if Josh Wilson wasn’t injured but Manning and the Colts burned him more than a stuck toaster. If Wilson doesn’t heal quickly from his high ankle sprain, get used to seeing the slot receiver going right by Fisher if he doesn’t get some safety help.
4. Linebackers. There were a lot of underneath passes and outlet passes to the backs that should have been stopped by the linebackers. Most of the Colts receivers didn’t have a Seahawk near them in the TV screen.
1. Penalties. I know it’s considered a requirement to be a Seahawks fan and complain about penalties but against the Colts, Seattle was rightly called for each one of them. Not only were they legit, they came at the worst possible time every time. Right tackle Ray Willis had two holding calls early that negated gains that had put the Seahawks in the Indy red zone early in the game while Seattle was still in sight of the Colts. Seattle is not a good enough team to shoot itself in the foot and recover.
2. Execution. Part of this can be put down to injuries but Seattle has to do a better job of executing on offense. On defense, Seattle seems to have lost that pack mentality of flying to the ball. Replays showed the Colts defense all flowing to the ball, everyone rushing to chase down the play. On the Seahawks, players were watching, waiting to see if someone else will make the tackle.
3. Sideline. From halftime on, every time the camera panned the Seattle sidelines after the big drive right before halftime, all that could be seen were glum, despondent faces with very negative body language for as far as the eye could see. That spark, that passion was gone early in this one and it was depressing for me, as a fan, to see that. I understand that teams lose, sometimes badly, and I am okay with that. What I cannot and will not accept from my team is for them to give up. The players are professionals and I know they know when a game is a lost cause, so there is no need to dance around and be a cheerleader but it infuriates me to see absolutely no enthusiasm at all. Two late Seahawk touchdowns can be pointed at as not giving up but watching Seneca Wallace throw the touchdown pass and then turned to the sideline without a hint of celebration, which did not inspire me for the future in the least.
It’s a quarter of the way through the season already. Seattle sits at 1-3, in third place in the NFC West behind San Francisco and Arizona. What the Seahawks need is a bye week to heal but before they get there, they play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Arizona Cardinals, neither one a gimme by any means.
Right now the Seahawks are on the lookout for a gorgeous girl carrying a beer but the view has been blocked by a great aunt. Hopefully she will be going home soon to clear the way. Otherwise it may just be too late by the time she does sit down.