By Matthew Asher
Scratch one more team off the undefeated list. While Seattle started out the season 4-0 for the first time in franchise history, the Indianapolis Colts made sure the Seahawks didn’t go to 5-0, defeating the Hawks 34-28.
If you were to look at the statistics of this game before knowing the final outcome, it would appear as though Seattle was in complete control. After all, Seattle gained more first downs, won the time of possession battle and had two players run a combined 30 times for more than 100 yards each. When those things all happen in your favor, the odds are that your team is going to finish the game on the winning side. But this time it was not to be for the Seahawks.
Seattle’s first half defense gets an A-
The Seahawks did a great job of limiting Andrew Luck and the rest of the Colts offense throughout the first 30 minutes of the game. The Indy ground game was ineffective. Donald Brown, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Trent Richardson ran for a combined 29 yards on nine attempts in the first half, averaging just 3.2 yards per rush.
Luck completed just five of 13 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown came off of a 73-yard pass to T.Y. Hilton who caught just one additional pass in the first half. Take away the long scoring pass and Luck didn’t even break the 25-yard mark. With one of Indy’s touchdowns coming on a special teams play, Seattle’s defense limited the Colts to 10 points in the first half.
Seattle’s second half offense gets a D+
Russell Wilson finished the game completing 15 of 31 attempts for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The problem was he did most of that damage in the first half. Wilson completed just six of his 15 passing attempts in the second half for 82 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
In the first half Wilson and Marshawn Lynch ran 19 total times for a combined 130 yards. By the end of the game, the duo picked up 74 more yards on 11 additional attempts. While each man gained 102 rushing yards, Seattle had to settle for field goals in the second half.
Seattle’s special teams get a C.
This isn’t so much a critique on the special teams because Seattle’s offense was unable to score touchdowns in the second half. There was only one bad play that the Seahawks special teams committed, but it was a costly one. Seattle was leading 12-7 in the second quarter, after already scoring a safety earlier thanks to their special teams blocking a punt, and was looking to add another three points. Steven Hauschka’s field goal was blocked and returned 61 yards for a Colts touchdown, and more importantly, a 10-point swing.
Hauschka himself isn’t to blame for this loss as much as the offense is for having to rely on him. Other than the one blocked field goal, Hauschka finished the day making his other six kicks, four field goals and two PATs for 14 total points. The problem was that the three field goals he made in the second half were the only points Seattle picked up.
With the pressure of an undefeated season now over for the Seahawks, Seattle will travel back home to face their fourth and final AFC South opponent of the season, the Tennessee Titans.
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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.