The Seahawks suffered their first defeat of the season today, losing 34-28 at Indianapolis.
Overall it was an infuriating game. Seattle handled the Colts early but managed to throw away a 12-0 start with a blown coverage touchdown and a blocked kick returned for a score. Despite a rally at the end of the half, the second half was pure domination from the Colts.
People are blaming the refs, who admittedly had a lousy game. But for me that is not the definitive reason why the Seahawks lost.
- The offense went completely to sleep in the second half. Marshawn Lynch rushed just five times after half time, despite regularly gashing the Colts earlier. While Andrew Luck led touchdown drives of 86 and 80 yards, the Seahawks couldn’t respond and had to settle for punts and field goals.
- Third down was a nightmare all day and is becoming a concern. On offense they converted 2/12 (16%) and defensively they struggled to get a stop.
- Russell Wilson missed on two throws he needed to hit for touchdowns — one to Golden Tate before half time and another to Sidney Rice after the break. Yet in the second half, too often the receivers failed to make a play for Wilson. We need to see more from the passing game. It’s properly clicked in only one game so far — against the worst team in the NFL. Does it rely too much on Wilson improvising? It’s an argument that can be made. Yet a conservative game plan last week received some criticism.
- Andrew Luck was sensational and deserved to win this game.
- At times the Seahawks were a disorganised mess. They wasted all three second half time outs, one because they had twelve men on the field and another because they failed to get ready for a two point conversion. They then gave up the two pointer anyway. Stuff like that gets you beat.
- One huge play changed the complexion of the day. At 12-0, Seattle gave up a touchdown bomb to T.Y. Hilton on a blown coverage. That’s bad enough, but Earl Thomas had a chance to limit the damage and avoid a score but whiffed on the tackle. At that point Luck had no rhythm, the Colts couldn’t run the ball and Seattle was rolling. What appeared to be a one-sided affair instantly became a game. It wasn’t the only example of a blown coverage and Seattle struggled playing zone all day.
- Whether it was a lack of pass rush or issues in coverage, the Seahawks couldn’t get a handle on defense. Richard Sherman had a rare off day, but so did the rest of the secondary. Up front we saw the usual dose of pressure early on but it quickly went flat. Seattle has a good defense, but the reason they aren’t the best is because they’ll have days like this.
So yeah, the refs having a bad day played a part. But only as much as everything else listed above.
It’s hardly the end of the world to go to Houston and Indy and come out 1-1. Seattle will expect to rebound against Tennessee next week.
But some old problems came back to haunt this team today, such as the third down issues on both sides of the ball.
After such a prolific start to the game that suggested only one possible result on the night, to lose in this fashion is incredibly frustrating. Yet ultimately, Andrew Luck and the Colts deserved it.
The Seahawks did not.