coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 09/30/2013 05:29 PM in NFL

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts: Preview and Pick

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts: Preview and Pick

After a come from behind win against the Houston Texans, the Seattle Seahawks are proving that they can win big games on the road against good teams. They will have to do it again this week as they travel to play the revamped and good looking Indianapolis Colts. The Colts trampled the 49ers and will try to put up another good showing against the Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Seahawks as (-3) point favorites. Due to the big win against the Texans the early money is pouring in on the Seahawks at a rate of 58 percent which is expected to only increase. Although the early wagers are on the road team, the line has moved in the favor of the Colts and can now be found at (-2.5) at most of the top rated online sportsbooks that are found at Bang the

If the Colts want to win they will have to slow down Russell Wilson. Colts DE Robert Mathis had three sacks in the last game, leaving him one shy of becoming the 30th player in NFL history with 100 career sacks. It would be nice if he can get that feat on Sunday.

Russell Wilson was under duress, hit while throwing or sacked on 16-of-34 dropbacks (47 percent of total dropbacks) after being pressured on 27-of-73 dropbacks (37 percent) in his first three games. The Texans used an aggressive pass rush to effectively disrupt the Seahawks' passing game. The Colts will look to apply that same pressure to keep the Seahawks offense in check.
If the Colts can slow down the Seahawks on offense, Andrew Luck should be able to post points against the defense. It won’t be easy but the Colts could beat two of the best teams in the NFL with a win this Sunday.

The latest NFL betting trends for this game show that the Colts could have the advantage.

Indianapolis is 7-1 straight in its last 8 games at home and an amazing 11-4-1 straight up in the last 16 games. The Seahawks are 8-15-1 straight up in the last 24 games on the NFL highway, but they have played much better of late going a perfect 6-0 against the spread (ATS) in the last six games on the road. The total has gone over in 4 of Indianapolis's last 6 games when playing Seattle and the total has gone under in 9 of Indianapolis's last 12 games at home.

Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts Pick

With plenty of time to go before kickoff, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/01/2013 03:01 PM

Indianapolis Colts rookie outside linebacker Bjoern Werner will be out 4-6 weeks with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot.

He was injured in Sunday's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Werner, who was picked in the first round (24th overall) of April's draft and is mainly used in nickel packages, has five tackles and half a sack this season.

Cam Johnson, who the Colts acquired from the San Francisco 49ers before the start of the season, will step into Werner's role on the defense.

"He was getting comfortable," coach Chuck Pagano said about Werner. "You could see the confidence level rising. He was playing faster. It's a shame it happened, but it's part of the game."

Fullback Stanley Havili is out at least a week with a mild ankle sprain. The Colts signed fullback Robert Hughes and waived receiver Griff Whalen on Monday.

Pagano didn't have an update on running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who missed Sunday's game with a neck injury.

Safety LaRon Landry's status for this week's game against undefeated Seattle is "still up in the air." Landry has missed the past two games with an ankle injury.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/01/2013 03:03 PM

If the Seattle Seahawks indeed go to the Super Bowl this year, they will almost surely point to Sunday's 23-20 win in Houston as a huge reason why.

If the Houston Texans don't go, they'll point at the same game.

The Seahawks were less than three minutes away from losing their first game of the season, from falling to a fellow contender on the road, and were trying to stop the Texans from running out the clock and shrinking their chances of finishing off an impressive comeback.

They also were trying to pull it off without defensive end Michael Bennett, who had been carted off the field and taken to a hospital after an awkward collision late in the first half.

Yet, almost miraculously, that defense saved the day, and gave Seattle the chance for Steven Hauschka to kick a 45-yard field goal with 3:23 left in overtime to make them 4-0 for the first time ever.

On third-and-four at the Seahawks' 40 with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks swarmed Matt Schaub, who twisted and threw back across the field in the direction of tight end Owen Daniels. Richard Sherman jumped in front, intercepted it and ran 58 yards untouched for the touchdown that tied the game at 20 with 2:40 to go.

The Texans never recovered. In fact, after both teams stalled in overtime, it was they, not the volatile Seahawks, who lost their poise, as Kareem Jackson's body-slam of Doug Baldwin after a catch drew a personal foul and put Seattle in position to win it. After starting 2-0 with a pair of late comebacks, they've now lost two straight and are 2-2.

Said Sherman to reporters afterward, "Making plays you have to make to win games -- those are the kind of games that win championships."

Russell Wilson agreed: "That's just dedication to never giving up."

Resilience at that level is not something the Seahawks had needed to show so far this season. They did have to pull out a late score in a 12-7 win in Carolina on opening day, but their next two wins -- over defending NFC champion and arch-rival San Francisco, and first-pick front-runner Jacksonville -- were by a combined 74-20.

But on Saturday, they trailed Houston (2-2) 20-3 at halftime, with the Texans' offense facing little resistance. Wilson and the offense took a beating for most of three quarters; Wilson got sacked five times, and was often more effective with his legs than with his arm. He threw for 123 yards and the offense managed just 270 total.

At the very end of the third quarter, a Texans punt and a holding penalty gave the Seahawks the ball at their own two-yard line. They drove 98 yards in 14 plays, with Wilson scrambling for big gains for first downs twice; he ran for 77 yards. They were just 3 for 14 on third-down conversions -- but all three were on that drive. They capped it with a Marshawn Lynch three-yard run, and they suddenly were down just 20-13 with 7:43 left.

The defense didn't let the Texans protect that lead. Then, in overtime, the Texans had the ball twice, never crossed midfield and punted both times before the damaging personal foul on Jackson.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 02:23 PM

Star power:

Andrew Luck.
How do you replace Peyton Manning? With a whole lot of Luck. The Colts made Luck the first pick in last year’s NFL Draft after releasing Manning in March. Luck hasn’t made anyone forget Manning, a four-time league MVP and 11-time Pro Bowl selection during his 14 seasons with the Colts who is having another MVP season for the unbeaten Denver Broncos. But Luck is showing that there is indeed football life after Manning. Luck directed the Colts to an 11-5 record last season and they’re 3-1 this season. The 6-foot-4, 239-pound Luck passed for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, but with 918 yards and five TD passes in four games he’s on pace for “only” 3,672 yards and 20 TD passes this season. “One of the good things about being here is I don’t feel I’m being held to some Peyton Manning standard,” the Stanford-educated Luck said earlier this season. “I’m just trying to be me.” And that would be? “He’s like a big kid out there playing Pee Wee football,” Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne said.

Unsung hero:

Darius Butler.
The Colts’ nickel back returned an interception for a touchdown against the Jaguars last week – his third pick-six since joining Indy last season and the fourth of his career on eight interceptions. “I’m batting .500. I’ll take that,” Butler told the Indianapolis Star after Sunday’s game. “Turning a turnover into points, there’s nothing better than that. It’s like a kick return (for a TD) or a blocked punt. It’s that quick turnaround that demoralizes a team.” Sunday, Butler frequently will be matched against Doug Baldwin. The Seahawks’ slot receiver has just 12 receptions, but nine have produced first downs and seven have come on third downs.

On the spot/Burning question:
These categories are one in the same this week, and we turn to Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz for the question:
“When will Trent Richardson look like the stud running back the Colts believe him to be?” The Colts acquired Richardson, the third pick overall in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, on Sept. 18 for their first-round pick in next year’s draft. So far? Well, as Richard put it after running 20 times for 60 yards against the Jaguars, “I need to make contributions to this team. But the big runs will come. I know they will.”


“Some people say our DBs are Top 5 in the league. I dare say they’re the best. They give us time to get to the quarterback. I’m lovin’ ’em.”

Robert Mathis, who tied his career high with three sacks against the Jaguars

Numbers to know:

64-10, combined score of the Colts’ back-to-back wins over the 49ers and Jaguars. … 7, quarters without allowing a touchdown by the Colts’ defense. … 12, drives of 10-plus play by the Colts’ offense in four games (compared to five by the Seahawks). … 38.7, passer rating for Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert on Sunday. … 1, sacks needed by outside linebacker Robert Mathis to reach 100 for his career

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 02:24 PM

The third and final look at a dual-threat quarterback for the Colts defense will come on Sunday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Seattle (4-0) quarterback Russell Wilson was drafted in the third-round of the 2012 NFL Draft but he led his team further than any rookie quarterback last season.

In the Seahawks 23-20 overtime victory on Sunday, it was Wilson’s feet that kept Seattle in the game in erasing a 17-point third quarter deficit to the Houston Texans.

After struggling to defend Terrelle Pryor in Week One, the Colts bounced back to shut down Colin Kaepernick in a Week Three victory.

While Wilson is a very impressive passer of the football, he still has 27 rushes for 131 yards this season.

The Seattle offense is still without the services of Percy Harvin and the offensive line has battled injuries early in 2013.

Yet, Pro Bowler Marshawn Lynch (308 rushing yards) is still in the backfield and he’s leading the Seattle offense to the fifth best rushing attack in the NFL.

Even with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley departing last season, the Seattle defense is still among the league’s best.

The physical secondary had a pair of timely interceptions in Sunday’s comeback win and the Seattle defense leads the league with 13 takeaways.

Seattle is allowing just 11 points per game in 2013 after leading the NFL in defense last season.

The Seahawks have a 62-point differential after four games in 2013, which is the second best in the NFL.

Sunday’s contest for the Colts starts a stretch of four games against teams with combined records of 12-4.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:04 PM

Containing quarterback Russell Wilson is not the only task the Indianapolis Colts face as they take on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

The other challenge for the Colts will be on the outside when they are on offense. They are about to go up against the best cornerback tandem in the league: Seattle's starters Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman stand 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-3, respectively. Colts coach Chuck Pagano described Seattle's defense as fast and physical. Quarterback Andrew Luck called it their biggest game of the young season.

“They get up in your face, they're great pass-man corner guys, they challenge you, they make it extremely difficult to get off the line of scrimmage, so our guys are going to have to do a great job of working constantly to get away from those guys,” Pagano said. “They basically get up there and get their hands on you and they can take you out of a game.”

Darrius Heyward-Bey is the Colts' tallest receiver at 6-foot-2. Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton are 6-0 and 5-foot-9. Hilton said the key to be able to get off their jams at the line of scrimmage.

“They're going to try to use their advantage and their advantage is height and long arms,” Hilton said. “I'm just going to work on my technique and get better at the line.”

The Seahawks (4-0) are a stingy team when it comes to their pass defense. They're only giving up 191 yards a game through the air. Timing will be key for the Colts (3-1) since the Seahawks like to play a press coveragae. Luck cannot afford to have communication issues with his receivers like he did early in the game against Jacksonville last weekend as Seattle will make him pay. The Seahawks are tied for third in the league in interceptions with seven. Sherman returned an interception 58 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of their overtime victory over the Houston Texans last week.

“Richard's got incredible ball skills,” Luck said. “They have all the attributes. Not just fast, they can also catch the ball. We've got our work cut out for us. We're excited about the challenge. You want to face good players, great players.”

It's a good thing the Colts don't strictly rely on the passing game anymore. They're able to run the ball -- fourth in the league -- if the Seahawks give them problems in the passing game. But don't expect Luck to shy away from going after Seattle. He doesn't think that way and Wayne won't let it happen.

“Our receivers know what they're going up against,” Luck said. “I have all the faith in the world in them. They'll run great routes. I don't think it changes the rhythm of the drop or the throws. You just have to realize you have to put it in the right spot. It really goes for every week.”

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:05 PM

Seattle Seahawks defensive end/linebacker Bruce Irvin said he "paid his debt to society" and he is ready to play after his four-week suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

"I can't explain how tough it was watching these guys for four weeks," Irvin said. "But I paid my debt to society and now it's time to get back to work. It was hard, but I got through it and I'm back.

"I learned we have a great team. But this was more about me learning from this experience and growing to be a better person, on and off the field."

When asked how it feels to be back, Irvin said: "My smile explains everything. It feels great. I'm ready to roll, man. I'm itching right now, a good way itching."

Irvin was Seattle's first-round draft pick last year out of West Virginia University. Some experts viewed it as a stretch by the Seahawks to take the 6-foot-3, 250-pound Irvin with the 15th overall pick, but he led all rookies last season with eight sacks and 19 quarterback hits.

However, Irvin's failed PED test this offseason meant he would miss the first four games of 2013.

"He's really excited to get back with us," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He's in good shape, he's healthy and he has worked really hard. He went back to West Virginia and worked out the whole time."

Irvin was asked why he decided to go back to West Virginia to work out during his suspension.

"I contributed a lot of money to that weight room," Irvin said, smiling. "So I felt like I should go back and use it. Being around those college kids, I tried tell them the truth -- 'I'm not there because I'm supposed to be there. I'm suspended.' But I got my work done and accomplished what I needed to do."

The Seahawks play on the road Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Irvin said he knows a lot about Colts quarterback Andrew Luck because Oliver Luck, Andrew's father, is the athletic director at West Virginia. Irvin was asked if Oliver Luck wanted him to go easy on his son this weekend.

"He can say that, but I'm not on scholarship anymore," Irvin said. "I'm just honored that Coach Carroll welcomed me back."

Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril said having Irvin back will improve the defense.

"Bruce is the fastest of all of us," Avril said. "Having another pass-rusher with that much speed makes us even better."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:07 PM

The Seattle Seahawks played the NFL’s No. 1 defense missing three of its five starting offensive lineman. And they won. So that should mean smooth sailing for the rest of the season, right?

Not so fast.

Sunday’s win against the Texans was impressive, but in a league of week-to-week — not to mention in-game — adjustments, you can bet that opposing defenses will look to exploit the absences of left tackle Russell Okung, right tackle Breno Giacomini and center Max Unger, if he misses any more time.

How can the Seahawks continue to adjust with reserves James Carpenter, Lemuel Jeanpierre and Michael Bowie in the starting lineup?

1. Run, run, run
The Seahawks rank last in the league in passing attempts and second in rushing attempts. That shouldn’t change, especially next week against an Indianapolis Colts defense ranked No. 7 in the NFL against the pass.

Marshawn Lynch ranks fourth in the league with 79 rushing attempts through three games, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. Against the Texans, he tied his season high with 98 yards, but 45 of them came on one carry in the first half. If the Seahawks want to be successful on offense, they need to get the ground game going.

With backup linemen in, repetition is key for the Hawks. Pounding away at a defense again and again should eventually open up holes for Lynch or backups Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, who — with only 15 and nine carries so far, respectively — should be able to shoulder the load if necessary.

2. Go short
Russell Wilson has been under pressure 44.6 percent of his snaps this season, behind only Michael Vick (at 46.5 percent). He’s also been sacked 13 times, good for ninth-worst in the league. So what’s the antidote for a quarterback constantly under siege? Short routes.

The Seahawks are last in the league in pass attempts per game, but near the top in yards per attempt. If they want to keep Wilson upright, that second number should come down. Short, quick routes mean less time for defenders to get to the quarterback.

It’s true that quick routes can limit the big-play capabilities of an offense and, frankly, these are the kinds of plays Percy Harvin is built for. If he comes back approximating the player the Hawks expected him to be when they acquired him, Harvin can add a dimension that will take a lot of pressure off of his quarterback.

3. Turn Russell loose
I’ll admit it’s a bit counter-intuitive to advocate for a quarterback to run the ball to keep himself safe, but hear me out. A few more designed runs for Wilson mean that pass-rushers — like Indy’s Robert Mathis, whom the Seahawks face on Sunday, and his league-leading 7.5 sacks — are less likely to sprint upfield to take the quarterback’s head off.

If a draw or bootleg early in the game plants just enough doubt in a defender’s mind to slow him down a millisecond, the price is well worth it — provided head coach Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Co. get in Wilson’s ear and remind him to avoid big hits at all cost.

Are any of these solutions a silver bullet for a Hawks offense with a patchwork offensive line? No. But if the Seahawks, with reserves on the O-line, want to move the ball and keep their franchise quarterback off the turf, they’ll need to adjust somehow

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/04/2013 01:27 PM

Andrew Luck was tabbed as a can't-miss prospect coming out of college before the Indianapolis Colts selected him No. 1 overall in the 2012 draft.

Seventy-four picks later, the Seattle Seahawks used a third-round selection on Russell Wilson, who had plenty of critics wondering if his smaller stature would prevent him from succeeding in the NFL.

No matter their paths to NFL stardom, each quarterback has his team off to a solid start heading into Sunday's showdown in Indianapolis.

Luck is only 20 regular-season games into his career as the successor to Peyton Manning, but he's largely lived up to the hype. He guided the Colts to an 11-5 mark and a playoff appearance in 2012, and he's completed 64.1 percent of his passes with five touchdowns while helping Indianapolis get off a 3-1 start this season.

Despite a sluggish first half, Luck finished 22 of 36 for 260 yards with two TDs and an interception in last week's 37-3 win over Jacksonville. Coach Chuck Pagano believes that performance signified the poise Luck brings to the position and why he continues to be successful.

"The sky is the limit,'' Pagano said. "Listening to him and talking to him, he did get off to a slow start, but he is an even-keeled guy. He is one of those guys who can put things behind him and move on. Talent combined with that kind of mindset, the sky is the limit.''

Seattle coach Pete Carroll has similar feelings about his young quarterback. The 5-foot-11 Wilson, who unexpectedly won the starting job as a rookie last season and helped the Seahawks reach the NFC divisional playoffs, ranks ninth in the league with a 95.3 passer rating and is fifth among QBs with 131 rushing yards.

Wilson helped Seattle earn the first 4-0 start in franchise history by passing or rushing for 140 of the team's final 150 yards in last week's 23-20 come-from-behind overtime victory over Houston.

"The play of Russell Wilson was just extraordinary in how he did it,'' Carroll said. "It wasn't just by big numbers in throwing the football, it was just by playing the game and taking advantage of the opportunities that he could, and he did.''

Though Wilson may not have had his best game after going 12 of 23 for 123 yards and an interception, Carroll praised him for his composure under pressure.

"He doesn't change the way he plays," Carroll said. "They were coming hard after him, there were some spaces, and he was well aware of how things were going. We needed his help and he gave it to us.''

Carroll hopes that isn't a trend, though. The Seahawks, who fell from No. 1 in the league in total defense to fifth (300.3 yards per game), trailed by 17 points at halftime before pitching a shutout in the second half.

Seattle needed a 58-yard interception return for a touchdown from Richard Sherman with 2:40 left to force overtime before Steven Hauschka won it with a 45-yard field goal.

Though he's not discounting the team's solid start, Carroll is aware there's plenty of room for improvement.

"There's still 12 more games before you even get close to playoff time, so we're a long ways from home right now," Carroll said.

Pagano also isn't getting too excited over his team's early success. After this week's tough contest, the Colts face San Diego next Monday before dates with Denver on Oct. 20 and Houston on Nov. 3.

"We know it's a marathon and not a sprint," Pagano said on his weekly radio show. "Sitting here at 3-1 four games into it, I'm pleased where we are at and where we are heading."

Indianapolis has outscored its last two opponents 64-10 and held the dismal Jacksonville offense to 205 total yards. It may have a tougher time containing Wilson, running back Marshawn Lynch and a Seattle offense that ranks fifth with 144.3 yards per game rushing, but Pagano believes his squad is prepared for the challenge.

"The good thing is we faced two really athletic quarterbacks. Facing (Terrelle) Pryor and then (Colin) Kaepernick definitely was good for us to see, and see early. Those guys can run around and Russell Wilson is an unbelievable talent," Pagano said. "I know he has two eyes but it's like he has eyes all over the place, in the back of his head. He's just got that sixth sense."

The Colts' rushing attack ranks one spot ahead of the Seahawks with 149.5 yards per game after Trent Richardson rushed for 60 and a touchdown last week.

Richardson had 20 carries against the Jaguars and figures to get the majority again Sunday with Ahmad Bradshaw's status in doubt due to a neck injury.

Seattle is 18th against the run (109.0 ypg), and hopes to have defensive lineman Michael Bennett in uniform after he was carted off the field last week due to a strained back muscle.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/05/2013 09:38 AM

The Seahawks won’t have tackle Breno Giacomini (knee) or running back Spencer Ware (ankle) and cornerback Jeremy Lane (hamstring) is doubtful. Center Max Unger (arm) is questionable after missing last week’s game and defensive end Michael Bennett (back) is probable after suffering an injury that appeared more serious last weekend.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), running back Stanley Havili (ankle), defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois (groin), safety LaRon Landry (ankle) and linebacker Bjoern Werner (foot) have been ruled out by the Colts.