By Matthew Asher
With wins over Jacksonville and Houston, Seattle now travels to Lucas Oil Stadium for their third of four straight games against the AFC South. This time they take on the 3-1 division leading Indianapolis Colts. On paper this one looks tough to predict, because both teams rank in the top 10 in several key offensive and defensive statistics.
While not overpowering, the Colts have done a good job on offense because they don’t turn the ball over and control the clock. They hold the ball for about 32:42 each game and currently are plus-six in the turnover department, the fourth least in the league. Seattle has the slight edge, controlling the ball 32:50 and is plus-seven in turnovers, the third least.
The Colts average 26.2 points each game, the eighth most. They also rank in the top half of the league in total yards with 373.8 yards and 149.5 rushing yards, the 10th and 12th best, respectively. With Andrew Luck at quarterback, it’s surprising that the Colts haven’t been a juggernaut passing the ball. They currently are the 10th worst team when it comes to passing for an average of 224.2 yards each game.
Luck certainly hasn’t had it easy in the first quarter of the season, but he hasn’t been horrible, either. He’s completed 64.1 percent of his throws for 918 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions for a respectable quarterback rating of 91.9.
Four Colts have caught more than 10 passes and two of the players have gained more than 200 receiving yards. Reggie Wayne leads the team with 22 receptions for 300 yards. Both he and Coby Fleener have two touchdown receptions apiece. T.Y. Hilton has pulled down 16 passes for 205 yards.
On the ground game, the biggest news was the trade to get Trent Richardson. As a Colt, he’s run for 95 yards and two touchdowns. For the season he has exactly 200 rushing yards. Indy’s other running back, Ahmad Bradshaw has picked up 186 rushing yards and two touchdowns as well.
While both teams have good offenses, this one should be decided by the defenses. Both the Hawks and Colts may rank in the top 10 regarding offensive scoring, but both defenses rank in the top five in limiting scoring.
The Colts allow just 12.8 points a game, 307.2 total yards with 200.5 coming through the air, the fifth, eighth and seventh best in the league, respectively. Just like on offense, Seattle again has the slight advantage on defensive statistics. The 11.8 points given up, 300.2 yards of total offense and 191.2 passing yards are the second, sixth and fifth least in the league, respectively. Indy’s only “weak point” on defense is the running aspect where they give up 106.8 yards, the 15th least. They have the edge over Seattle who gives up 109 yards on the ground.
Kickoff is scheduled for 10 am PDT.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.