Posted October 06, 2013

Colts put AFC on notice with decisive win over Seahawks

AFC South, Indianapolis Colts, NFC West, Seattle Seahawks
Reggie Wayne and Andrew Luck are leading a different Colts team this season.

Reggie Wayne and Andrew Luck are leading a different Colts team this season. (Michael Conroy/AP)

In 2012, the Indianapolis Colts were the cute story nobody expected to go too far. One season after going 2-14, the Colts rejiggered with an excellent draft and snuck to an 11-5 record despite allowing 30 more points than they scored. They overcame head coach Chuck Pagano’s leukemia diagnosis (as Pagano did; he’s now in remission), and then fell to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the playoffs, a seemingly inevitable end to a fairy tale season that had many pundits predicting regression as the sequel.

In the immortal words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast.” Five games into that follow-up season, the Colts are 4-1 and at the top of the AFC South. They moved to that mark by knocking off the previously unbeaten Seattle Seahawks 34-28 in a game that made a clear statement that this franchise is built to win now and into the future.

Of course, it didn’t look like that way early on. Seattle had a 12-0 lead late in the first quarter, but Andrew Luck hit speed receiver T.Y. Hilton for a 73-yard touchdown pass with 1:04 remaining, and the Luck-to-Hilton combo would prove to be productive throughout the day. Against Seattle’s usually dominant secondary, Luck made killer throw after killer throw, showing off a combination of accuracy and velocity that rivals what you’ll see from any other NFL quarterback. Hilton had five catches on six targets for 140 yards and two scores, while veteran Reggie Wayne used his knowledge of angles and field placement to slice and dice the Seahawks underneath for a six-catch, 65-yard performance that was more important than the stats would indicate.

Most impressive was the ability of Pagano and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton to change the script in the second half to a more uptempo set of concepts, which really seemed to put the Seahawks defense on its heels. And then, in the fourth quarter, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll burned all of his timeouts early, allowing the Colts to possess the ball for 12:11 of the final 15. The Colts proved that they could beat a great defense quickly, and then close out a win by downshifting just as fast.

“[The Seahawks] were doing a great job,” Luck said of the decision to take the offense up-tempo. “We got some plays going and got into a rhythm, and I’m proud of the guys for sticking with it. We were anemic — we were awful to start the game, but it’s a team effort. Defense kept us in it, and special teams — we managed to do enough to win the ballgame. I feel so blessed to be a part of the Colts, where guys play for 60 minutes, and always play hard.”

Seattle played hard as well, led by the efforts of Russell Wilson, their own outstanding second-year franchise quarterback. As he did in last week’s overtime win over the Houston Texans, Wilson used his feet to keep drives alive when things looked lost. Both Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch totaled 102 yards on the ground, and through most of the game, Wilson looked to be every bit Luck’s equal. In fact, their stats were amazingly similar with seven minutes left in the game — Wilson had completed 15-of-27 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, while Luck had completed 15-of-27 for 209 and the same number of scores. But the Colts scored the game’s final 10 points on a three-yard Donald Brown touchdown run, a two-point conversion pass from Luck to Wayne, and a 49-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal. Meanwhile, Wilson threw a game-sealing pick on Seattle’s final drive.

When great teams face off, the margin for error can be precisely that small. And the Colts proved on Sunday that they’re worthy of that designation. Their success is no fluke.

69 comments
BrianKirk
BrianKirk

You all realize that the title it intentionally controversial so that it gets a ton of hits from people arguing pointless things right...

Geoff Smith
Geoff Smith

Considering the travel, the untimely bad calls by the refs and the ball dropping into the d-mans hands on the blocked field goal; Indy had no business winning this game. Seattle played ok enough to win; but certainly Indy's ok playing wasn't better! This would be a great Superbowl match up however...

Michael M1
Michael M1

Colt fans, ignore us Seahawk fans bitching about refs. It's a nervous tick. I thought they were bad, but on both sides for the most part. Great game. Luck is filthy. Was nervous about this one coming in.

49er fans, seriously? You're here why?

GW4
GW4

6 points is NOT a decisive win. Colts did look good, though!

JDT
JDT

Congrats, Seattle fans. Your bad winners and bad losers. You mad Bro???? Refs are not perfect, and your DB's should be called for PI a lot more than they are. 

Cory J
Cory J

If it's offensive P.I. on Tate, it's offensive P.I. on Wayne.  Horrible officiating in this game.

GAML
GAML

How the heck is 6 points a decisive win. The Hawks were up most of the game and lost at the very END of the game. If the Hawks lost for any reason it might have been not taking the ball after winning  the toss. Had the game ran longer it very well may have been the Hawks game. 

MattS1
MattS1

"But the Colts scored the game’s final 10 points on a three-yard Donald Brown touchdown run, a two-point conversion pass from Luck to Wayne, and a 49-yard Adam Vinatieri field goal."

TD = 6

two point conversion = 2

field goal = 3

6+2+3 = 11

Richard--Ramirez
Richard--Ramirez

NFC Power Rankings

1. Saints

2. 49ers

3. Seahawks

4. Bears

5. Falcons

yadda71
yadda71

34-28 is a decisive win?

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

Great game. Two outstanding teams, and Luck expresses himself very well

KevinB2014
KevinB2014

The safety was a safety, not a touchdown. The replays showed that there was absolutely no evidence to overturn the safety call on the field. Had the original call been a TD, I think they'd have overturned it, but you never know. They might have had another view that we didn't on Fox, but clearly, from what Fox showed home viewers, the ball was still moving and he didn't have possession as he slid out of the end zone.

William88
William88

Whats with Seattle and all the whining? My God all year your backs have been mugging receivers beyond 5yards. Every team has bad calls against them, it happens every Sunday. Oh by the way why are you not complaint about the horrific missed call when your team committed a blow to the head of Luck? Where are your concerns, I have lost all respect for you whiners. The Seahawks deserve a better class of fans than you.

Arthur7
Arthur7

pathetic, Seattle loses its first game of the season, first ROAD game in 6, by 6 points, you'd think from all this gloating they got beat the way SF got beat in Seattle.

matt37
matt37

Not that impressed with Seattle.  Barely beat Carolina.  Killed the 49ers. Killed the Jaguars. Squeaked by Houston.  Lost today.


They are a fluky Carolina fumble and a stupid Houston interception away from being 2-3.

DSM
DSM

Andrew Luck seems to be as good as advertised, but one loss does not materially change a very promising Seahawk season.

TimothyDossett
TimothyDossett

Never seen so many excuses and whining in my life. Seattles DBd mug every wr they play. Stop crying seattle may have had more total yards...but still got outplayed

Holland
Holland

Seattle = overrated from the start! Now we get to hear them whine all week! Enjoy the rain Washington!

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

Peyton vs Andrew in the AFC Championship, perhaps?  That would be nuts.

JPG
JPG

Congrats to the Colts for the win.  I really thought that both the Seahawks and the Broncos were best two teams in football.  Now I don't know.

After the Seahawk loss I watched a Denver defense, although in a win, get completely dismantled by a basically .500 team.

Perhaps it's the Saints.  Or maybe the Chiefs. 

Mech
Mech

We were homered ?   Somehow by grabbing the ball and maintaining possession IN THE END ZONE ,,, we only get a safety,,,, then Tate gets called for a OFFENSIVE PASS INTERFERENCE by apparently catching the ball. If those calls were real them I am the snowman. There were numerous other dubious calls in that game. Ok we lost,,,,,, but we still outplayed you guys and you know it.

123Go
123Go

@GW4 The writer NEVER said it was a decisive win, he even wrote about how Colts started off badly.  He said it was a clear statement that Colts are contenders in the AFC now w/ these wins.  If you're going to complain about a statement, at least make sure you understood it correctly first or at least quoted it exactly as it was written instead of putting your incorrect assumption on it and claiming it as fact.  

Epacific
Epacific

@JDT Why are we bad winners and bad losers?  After wins, team members have complimented opponents.  While I'm disappointed that the Seahawks lost, I take my hat off to the Colts who deserved the win in a well-contested game.  Your reference by the way, was from last season.  Let it go.  I would offer that your comment shows that you are a poor winner.  

And, regarding refs?  In Superbowl XL, Seattle's Jackson caught a pass in the end zone for a Seahawk touchdown, only to have it nullified by a bad call.  This was but one blown call against Seattle in 2006 which cost them the championship game to the Steelers.  In fact, a February 7 online ESPN poll that year found that, with 103,167 votes cast, 61.7% of those votes were cast for the choice of "officiating mistakes affected the outcome of Super Bowl XL."  And these weren't even replacement refs!  

On August 6, 2010, while visiting the Seahawks' preseason training camp for an annual rules interpretation session with the Seattle media, one of the refs who blew the calls in that game (Bill Leavy) brought up Super Bowl XL without being asked, and admitted to having blown calls: "It was a tough thing for me. I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game, and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights, and I think about it constantly. I'll go to my grave wishing that I'd been better ... I know that I did my best at that time, but it wasn't good enough ... When we make mistakes, you got to step up and own them. It's something that all officials have to deal with, but unfortunately when you have to deal with it in the Super Bowl it's difficult."  So it's not just the replacement refs.

The rest of the league, however, told Seattle to suck it up and get over it: blown call or not, they lost.  Seattle was not a poor loser then, nor is it now.


matt37
matt37

@GAML Yeah, if only that game went 67 minutes, we would have had it!  Dang that clock!

GAML
GAML

@Richard--Ramirez Seriously? LOL, obviously a saints fan. Sadly, I agree with the Seahawks going down a notch but Denver is most definitely still number one but you keep dreaming. 

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@Richard--Ramirez   Richard, there is that slight little problem that Seattle beat SF. But, hey, with this logic you could get a job voting on college bowl games. 

betolara1980
betolara1980

@Richard--Ramirez  

Packers??

Also while I think 49ers could possibly beat Seattle in SF, they need to prove it or Seattle needs to go on losing streak before I'd put SF on top.

JeffBockert
JeffBockert

@yadda71  Good point, I don't know where they  find these guys. It looked like a pretty close game to me. 

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@KevinB2014 : Disclaimer : Colts fan here.


I think that it wouldn't have been overturned either way.  If they had ruled it a TD I think that would've stood.  That being said, what's missing is that the player should've been trying to keep the ball in the field of play instead of diving on it.  He was trying for the 7, I get that but, if he had tapped it back he had other 'Hawks players that could've recovered it for a TD and even if the Colts had managed to recover, it still would've been a safety. 

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@William88 : It's pretty disgusting to complain about the refs missing calls when they clearly missed calls on both ends.  This isn't the NBA with Tim Donaghy, there is no bias. 

matt37
matt37

@Arthur7 And you'd think that beating SF like a Grand Canyon mule, in Seattle, was the Super Bowl.  

wetmouse
wetmouse

@JPG Denver was missing 5 of its best defenders. Not just Von Miller and Champ Bailey. But suggesting the Chiefs, who have played no one, are better than Denver just reeks of noobism. The Seahawks may be the class of the NFC, but Denver at full strength cannot be beat.

tiger32kw
tiger32kw

@Mech Did you know that corners aren't allowed to make contact with a wide receiver after 5 yards? Did you know that Seattle's cornerbacks do that every single play? It's amazing they don't get even more PI penalties.

matt37
matt37

@Mech And the Seattle fans keep whining.  You're 1 fluky fumble and a stupid Schaub interception away from being 2-3.  Still struggling on the road.  Seattle will definitely be around at season's end, but relax Seattle fans.  I know 4-0 is exciting, but relax.

Josh H
Josh H

@Mech I was at the game, and the replay on the safety was pretty clear.  His knee was on the line at the back of the endzone, so, no TD, it's a safety.  And, I don't recall the Tate offensive pass interference, that might have been when I went to the bathroom. 

JDT
JDT

@Epacific @JDT Oh and when does 2 blown calls determine the outcome of a game??? Bad calls happen in sports, good teams find away to move past them. And other teams let it define the game.

JDT
JDT

@Epacific @JDT FYI the You mad bro?? comment was meant to be funny.

JDT
JDT

@Epacific @JDT LOL, you say this to me "Your reference by the way, was from last season.  Let it go" and yet you bring up old stuff like Superbowl XL. So who really needs to get over it??? Yes most of Seattle fans are bad winners and bad losers. A lot of you gloat over how your team won and how good they are. And when you lose you blame the Refs and whine about how they lost the game for you. Fact is they lost, end of story. 

JDT
JDT

@betolara1980 @Richard--Ramirez Um, what team does not have something to prove? no team is perfect. And FYI the 49ers where the last team between the 2 to win on the road. And Seattle has not won in San Francisco since 2008.

matt37
matt37

@wetmouse @JPG Everyone "can be beat."  I still think New Orleans looks good though.  Seattle is good, but totally overrated after 4 games.  They are a fluky fumble and stupid int away from being 2-3.  Still struggle on the road.  

Geoff Smith
Geoff Smith

It's the timing of the bad calls. 3rd and 22, bad call on the pass interference and the drive continues down the field. Not all bad calls are the same...

123Go
123Go

@betolara1980 @Richard--Ramirez He would if he had a stacked and really good team and coaching like the Hawks gave to Wilson.  It's comparing apples to oranges.  Until the teams have an even playing field of talent, w/ the players having equal responsibilities for their teams' wins and points,  it's not fair to base it off of a team's record.  These QBs don't throw to themselves and the records last year didn't show how many good throws were dropped or how much pressure was the QB under when he had to make those throws or how his HC was sick or his OC was in the emergency room during his playoff game day (that's what Andrew Luck had to overcome to get his team to the  playoffs and get those wins) - what did Wilson have to overcome, did his team ride on his back like Colts did w/ Luck or was it the other way around w/ Hawks & Wilson?