The Seahawks are a flawed team, and we saw many of those flaws on Sunday night against the Colts. But Seattle found a way to win at home against an admittedly decimated Indianapolis outfit. Whatever -- you play whoever's on your schedule. After an uneven start, including falling behind 15-10 at the half, the Seahawks showed glimpses of their old selves and cruised to a 46-18 win to get to 2-2 on the season.
The Colts, meanwhile, fall to 1-3, though there could be good news on the horizon: Andrew Luck, who had offseason shoulder surgery and has yet to see the field, could return to practice this week.
Here are seven takeaways from Sunday-night's get-together:
This smoke-and-mirrors line is going to get Russell Wilson killed
Wilson is accustomed to playing under immense pressure, and he's become very good at avoiding it. But an offense can't be built around the quarterback's ability to scramble on every play. Of course, there isn't much Seattle can do about it now, four games into the season. The team $16.5 million in salary-cap dollars to its offensive line this season, according to Spotrac.com, which ranks 31st in the league ahead of only the sad-sack offense masquerading as the Ravens.
The league average: $24.6 million.
Against the Colts, Russell did what Russell has done throughout his career: use his mobility to mask shortcomings elsewhere on the offense.
Hope isn't a plan, as the old saying goes, and while Wilson's next-level athleticism is fun to watch, it shouldn't be mistaken for a cure for an otherwise terrible offensive line. TheMMQB.com's Andy Benoit wrote about this six days ago, after Wilson threw for 373 yards against the Titans in a game the Seahawks lost, 33-27:
"The only way the O-line won't sink the Seahawks is if [offensive coordinator Darrell] Bevell builds an offense that navigates around it. And therein lies the challenge: Wilson's skills best lend themselves to a run-first offense. Besides what he can do on read-options, the best passing tactics with him -- play-action, rollouts and bootlegs -- all stem from the running game."
Bad news, good news with those running backs
Ah, yes, the running game. Through three games, the unit ranked 20th, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, which is two spots better than where it finished in 2016. And the hope was that 2017 seventh-rounder Chris Carson could handle the job; he's shown glimpses this season, and rushed for 42 yards on 12 carries against the Colts until a serious leg injury late in the fourth quarter saw him .
This means that Eddie Lacy could have a much bigger role going forward, though you might want to familiarize yourself with J.D. McKissic, who was undrafted out of Arkansas State in 2016 but looked sharp in limited duty against the Colts. He had four rushes for 38 yards, and another 27 yards on this touchdown grab officially made it a blowout:
The Seahawks defense showed up
Last season, the Seahawks allowed a league-low 3.4 yards per carry. Through three games this season that number had skyrocketed to 5.3, which ranked dead last and went a long way in explaining why this group ranks 30th against the run. The Titans' DeMarco Murray ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run last Sunday, and the week before that, 49ers running back Carlos Hyde had a 61-yard run. Last season, the longest run against the Seahawks' defense was 34 yards. It was why 34-year-old Frank Gore was the biggest issue facing this unit, which would have been a preposterous notion just a few months ago.
But Gore only gained 46 yards on 12 carries (3.8 YPC) and the longest run of the night came courtesy of quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who ripped off a 25-yarder in the first half when it was still a close affair.
It was a completely different game over the final 30 minutes. The Colts kept things close until late in the third quarter when this Brissett strip-sack opened the floodgates to make it 32-18:
The Seahawks sacked Brissett four times and forced him into two turnovers -- both of which were returned for touchdowns. The other was a first-half pick-six:
Shaq Griffin had an interesting evening
It was a quiet night for Richard Sherman because the Colts were busy targeting Shaq Griffin. First things first: Griffin is a 22-year-old rookie. The Seahawks drafted him in the third round and clearly have high hopes for him.
On Sunday night, he was forced into the lineup after starting cornerback Jeremy Lane suffered an injury early in the first quarter. Like a lot of rookies, Griffin had some rough patches. He was beaten for a touchdown, which happens, but he also looked completely lost on Brissett's aforementioned 25-yard run.
Pay attention to No. 26, who gets so turned around he seems to be running in the wrong direction:
The Colts' D had their moments too
This makes sense given that the Seahawks' offensive line is in shambles. But that shouldn't take anything away from Indy's ballhawking secondary. Wilson, who came into the game having yet to thrown an interception this season, had two against the Colts.
First it was safety Matthias Farley:
Then rookie first-rounder Malik Hooker logged his third straight game with an interception:
And Nate Hairston came on a corner blitz to sack Wilson in the end zone for a safety:
Should the Seahawks be worried about their kicker?
Fair or not, Blair Walsh is best remembered for while with the Vikings that would have beaten the Seahawks in the playoffs two seasons ago. Minnesota eventually cut him and he landed in Seattle, where he was 5 of 5 coming into Sunday.
Walsh was 1 of 2 against the Colts, but missed a 42-yarder late in the second quarter. That's not a big deal -- missed kicks happen -- but Walsh came out early during halftime and missed six more practice kicks, including his first three.
did they really need to televise this lmao pic.twitter.com/gVbatk8MqY— Sports Videos & GIFs (@Sports__GIF) October 2, 2017
The Seahawks travel to Los Angeles to face the first place Rams, where Todd Gurley will truly test Seattle's run defense. The Colts will look to get their second win of the season at home against the 49ers, who sit at 0-4 after Sunday's loss to the Cardinals.