SEATTLE —The Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night fell to the Seattle Seahawks, 46-18, in their Week 4 matchup at CenturyLink Field.
What's top of mind for the Colts after falling to 1-3 on the year?FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Two-score underdogs, on the road, in one of the most hostile environments in the league.
From the outsiders' perspective, the Colts had everything working against them heading into Sunday night's game against the Seahawks in Seattle.
But, as they have been able to do the past three weeks now, the Colts were able to seize momentum in the first half of this battle, taking a 15-10 lead into halftime after big plays late in the second quarter by both the defense, and then the offense.
But, for a third straight week, mistakes, blown assignments and penalties reared their ugly heads in the second half, and, by early in the fourth quarter, the game was well in reach for the home team.
Seattle was the aggressor on offense and defense in the final 30 minutes, and they move their record to 2-2, and have serious momentum heading into the second quarter of the season. The Colts, meanwhile, move to 1-3 and hope the friendly confines of Lucas Oil Stadium next Sunday can help get them back on the right track.
Ten seconds. That's all it took for the Seahawks to grab a stranglehold on Sunday night's game.
After the Colts turned a Malik Hooker interception into a 40-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal to tie the game at 18 points with 4:57 remaining, Seattle had an impressive response on its ensuing drive, going 75 yards in just six plays and scoring on a 30-yard touchdown run by running back J.D. McKissic, who made several Indy defenders miss on his way to the end zone.
The Colts couldn't offer a similar response.
Ten seconds later on the clock, the Seahawks were back in the end zone, thanks to a strip sack on quarterback Jacoby Brissett by defensive end Marcus Smith, which was recovered by linebacker Bobby Wagner and returned 21 yards for the score.
At this point, it seemed like all the air had been let out of the Colts' balloon, down 32-18 heading into the final seconds of the third quarter. Seattle would score 12 more unanswered points for good measure the rest of the way.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Sometimes a quarterback throws his receiver open. Sometimes a receiver just goes up and takes what belongs to him.
Both happened on a sensational 18-yard touchdown pass from Brissett to wide receiver Donte Moncrief late in the second quarter.
After an impressive interception by safety Matthias Farley with 3:41 left in the first half, the Colts moved to the Seattle 18-yard line with the clock ticking. They faced a 2nd and 5 when Brissett, lined up in the shotgun, dropped back and looked Moncrief's way along the left sideline, where he was in a one-on-one battle against cornerback Shaquill Griffin.
Brissett threw a back-shoulder dime only where he receiver could make a play, and Moncrief did the rest from there, breaking free from Griffin, leaping in the air and coming down in the end zone to complete the impressive play, and giving the Colts their first lead, 15-10.
It was Moncrief's first receiving score of the season, and the second touchdown toss for Brissett on the year.
Farley made the play of the night for the Colts' defense, nabbing his first-career interception on an impressive play late in the second quarter.
The second-year safety hustled over to cover Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, tipped the ball into the air, and then was able to come down with the catch with both feet barely in bounds to earn the takeaway.
Less than two minutes later, Indianapolis would cash in with that aforementioned 18-yard touchdown pass to take its first, and only, lead of the night, 15-10, heading into halftime.
Farley finished his night with nine tackles, the aforementioned pick and one pass defensed, and now has 29 tackles, one interception and three passes defensed on the year.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
• For a third straight game, the Colts took a lead into halftime. But unlike the past two games against the Arizona Cardinals and the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis had to really withstand some early adversity against the Seahawks, as its starting center left the game with what looked like a serious injury on the second play of the game, and then Seattle's defense earned a pick-six early in the second quarter to go up 10-2. But the Colts would go on a 13-0 run in the final 12:32 of the half to take a 15-10 lead into the locker room, showing some early grit.
• A big part of that success in the first half for the Colts was their ability to mostly keep Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson bottled up around the line of scrimmage. Wilson, as predicted by head coach Chuck Pagano, did indeed escape danger often, but, at least in the first two quarters, the Indy defense stayed disciplined, especially on a play late in the first quarter, when rookie cornerback Nate Hairston brought the quarterback down in the end zone for a safety.
• Adam Redmond deserves a ton of credit for handling a tough situation on Sunday night. As the backup to the backup center, Bond, Redmond had to take over at the position on the third play of the game in one of the loudest environments the NFL has to offer. Redmond didn't go without his struggles early — he had two false start penalties called on him on one drive alone — but he settled in nicely after that. On one play in particular, a screen play early in the second quarter to running back Frank Gore, Redmond showed a nice ability to break free and get ahead of the play and provide a solid block downfield, resulting in a 19-yard pickup. While Ryan Kelly, who has been out the first four games of the season with a foot injury, did return to the practice field this past week and his status moving forward is unknown, Redmond got himself some valuable reps and experience on Sunday.
• Malik Hooker became the first Colts player since Eugene Daniel in 1984 to nab three interceptions in his rookie season when he picked off tipped Wilson pass at the 5:49 mark of the third quarter. Hooker showed off his athleticism on the play, as he had to nab the ball out of the air with one hand before taking off on the return, throwing McKissic to the ground with a nasty stiff arm and getting to the Seattle 24, and setting up an eventual 40-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal.
WHAT WENT WRONG
• The second half, pretty much. Indianapolis had 32 yards and three first downs in the final two quarters on offense. On defense, the Colts allowed four touchdown drives — each of which was 74 yards or more — and 36 total points in the second half, a Seahawks franchise record.
• Tackling was an issue once again on Sunday. The Seahawks would tally 194 yards rushing on the day, including 5.9 yards per carry, and on several of those runs, the Seattle ballcarrier would slip out of the grip of multiple Colts defenders. It seems as though this has been a recurring issue in the Colts' second-half woes the past three weeks.
• Brissett made his first critical mistake as the Colts' starting quarterback early in the second quarter, telegraphing a 3rd down pass Kamar Aiken's way that was picked off by cornerback Justin Coleman, who was filling in for starter Jeremy Lane — who left Sunday's game with a hip injury — and taking it 28 yards to the house for a pick-six, the third such one thrown by Colts quarterbacks this season. Brissett finished his day completing 16-of-29 passes for 157 yards with a touchdown and an interception each, while also running the ball three times for 33 yards.
• The Seahawks entered Sunday night's game with one of the worst run defenses in the league, and were giving up the most yards per carry of any NFL team. But the Colts couldn't find any sort of success on the ground in the contest, running 25 total times for 98 yards — an average of 3.9 yards per carry. Gore, who had absolutely terrorized the Seahawks in his career as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, had 12 carries for 46 yards.
The following players were injured during Sunday's game:
• Center Deyshawn Bond (knee; out): Bond was carted off the field after suffering the injury on just the second play of the game. Look for an update from Pagano on Monday.
• Tight end Jack Doyle (concussion; out): Doyle was tended to late in the third quarter, and did not return.
The Colts return home next Sunday to take on the 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on FOX. Saturday will feature a statue unveiling ceremony for Colts' great quarterback Peyton Manning, who will have his No. 18 retired and be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor during halftime of the 49ers game.