Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Indianapolis Colts
- QuarterbackRussell Wilson may not be one of the most picture-perfect quarterbacks in the NFL and there may be several passers who throw a nicer ball, but Wilson is simply a winner. The Seahawks have shown the ability to go on the road and beat tough teams (Carolina and Houston) in the fourth quarter and overtime to keep his team undefeated.Andrew Luck should be primed for this game against another member from the outstanding quarterback class of 2012. Luck has been excellent himself this season and he has played with confidence because he’s got a rocket arm and he is a powerful runner himself. If head coach Chuck Pagano would let him cut loose and throw deeper more often, the Colts would be even better.
- OffenseThe Seahawks may be the best team in the NFL and they have done it the old-fashioned way. Marshawn Lynch is a hard-driving running back who is not afraid to run over linebackers. Golden Tate can go downfield and get the ball if the Seahawks want to throw deep, while tight end Zach Miller can be a key third-down weapon if Wilson looks in his direction.The Colts traded for Trent Richardson prior to Week Three in an effort to have an effective running game, and the acquisition appears to have helped the offense. Not only is Richardson a threat, it appears to have sparked Donald Brown. Reggie Wayne is still the receiver that Luck wants to find when the game is on the line. He caught five passes for 100 yards and a TD vs. the hapless Jaguars.
- DefenseThe Seahawks are going to make something happen on defense every week to help the team win the game. It’s not always going to be as dramatic as cornerback Richard Sherman’s interception and return for a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the unit will always do something. Defensive end Cliff Avril can turn the corner and pressure the quarterback while Bobby Wagner is a superb tackler.The Colts have plenty of speed on defense and they were able to cause problems for the Jaguars with their ability to get into the backfield. Nobody was more effective than outside linebacker Robert Mathis who recorded 3.0 sacks against Blaine Gabbert. Cornerback Darius Butler had an interception return for a touchdown and he also had six tackles.
- Special TeamsThe Seahawks have excellent coverage on their special teams because they stay in their lanes and are solid tacklers. Steven Hauschka made 3-of-3 FG attempts against the Texans and hit the winner in overtime. Jon Ryan gets excellent height on his punts.The Colts are also solid in their special teams play, but not quite at the level of the Seahawks. Placekicker Adam Vinatieri continues to perform consistently as he made all three of his attempts vs. the Jaguars. Pat McAfee averaged 46.0 yards on his three punts, including a long of 60 yards.
This is a sensational game that means a lot to both quarterbacks. The Seahawks are playing to become the dominant team in the league, while the Colts have already beaten the 49ers and would like to do the same thing to the other NFC West top dog. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor