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The Seahawks struggled a bit with the Colts during the first half of Sunday night’s game, but took over in dramatic fashion in the third quarter, scoring 22 points, including their second defensive score of the night, on their way to a 46-18 victory.
Here are five rapid reactions to the win, which improves Seattle’s record to 2-2 heading into next week’s NFC West clash against the Rams.
1. Seattle got huge plays from players you might not have expected.
If you had come up with a list of players most likely to make game-changing plays heading into Sunday’s game, it’s probably not real likely that Justin Coleman, Marcus Smith or J.D. McKissic would have been super high on that list, yet those three, who have seen limited, if any, playing time this season, all came up with massive plays that helped turn the game in Seattle’s favor.
Jeremy Lane went down early in the game with a hip injury, forcing Coleman into action, and the former Patriots cornerback took advantage, playing solid defense throughout the game. Most notably, he jumped a route to pick off former New England teammate Jacoby Brissett, returning the interception 28 yards for Seattle’s first touchdown.
McKissic, who had been inactive the previous three games but was playing Sunday because of an injury to C.J. Prosise, rushed for 38 yards, including a very impressive 30-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to help blow the game open.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Smith, who has seen limited time in the defensive line rotation, turned the corner on Indianapolis’ right tackle to knock the ball out of Brissett’s hand. Bobby Wagner scooped up the loose ball and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.
Later in the game, McKissic helped put the game away with a leaping 27-yard touchdown grab.
2. It was a huge night for the defense.
After struggling in the second half of last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, Seattle’s defense responded in a big way Sunday. The Colts did have some success moving the ball in the first half, but the defense was absolutely dominant in the second half.
The Colts didn’t record a first down in the third quarter, and only had 32 yards and three first downs in the second half and 237 yards and 16 first downs for the game.
Wagner’s and Coleman’s touchdowns marked the first time since Week 14 of the 2012 season—Seattle’s 58-0 win over Arizona—that the Seahawks have had two defensive scores in one game.
3. The offense again found its way in the second half.
The Seahawks offense was hoping to build off of a strong second half in Tennessee, but instead Seattle again struggled coming out of the gate, managing just one offensive score, a field goal on the opening drive, in the first half.
As was the case in Nashville, however, the Seahawks turned things around in the second half, starting with an impressive touchdown drive to open the third quarter.
While the defense certainly did its part with a score, the offense produced four touchdown drives, all 74 yards or longer, allowing the Seahawks to score 36 second-half points, a franchise record.
After finishing the first half with only five first downs and 140 yards, the Seahawks finished the game with 477 yards and 22 first downs.
4. Eddie Lacy made his mark.
While Eddie Lacy saw very limited playing time in Seattle’s first three games, coaches have maintained that they still have high hopes for the free-agent addition. And on Sunday, Lacy showed, as offensive line coach Tom Cable predicted earlier in the week, that he was going to prove valuable to his team.
Lacy was already seeing his most playing time of the season before Chris Carson went down with an injury, then right after Carson was unfortunately carted off the field, Lacy got free for a 19-yard gain, helping the Seahawks move the chains and run out the clock with a lead. Lacy finished the game with a team-high 52 rushing yards on 11 carries, including 45 yards in the second half.
With Carson’s injury looking serious, the Seahawks will need Lacy, Thomas Rawls and others to carry the load going forward, which is why, even when Carson was playing well early in the season, coaches knew their running back depth would be important.
5. Despite two interceptions, Russell Wilson had a great game.
While the stat sheet shows Russell Wilson throwing his first two interceptions of the season, the Seahawks quarterback had one of his best games of the year. Wilson’s second interception hit off Jimmy Graham’s hands, so can be discounted, and overall he passed for 295 yards and two scores, completing 21 of 26 attempts for a passer rating of 107.5. Wilson also showed off his usual improvisational abilities, no play being more impressive than the play on which he escaped pressure, then threw a dart on the run to Tyler Lockett for a 41-yard gain.
Wilson was also impressive with his legs, rushing for 38 yards on four carries, including a 23-yard touchdown.