Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts: Strong Seahawks take on Colts, schedule creators

As the Seahawks make the trip to Indianapolis – that being their third of five fucking 10 AM starts this season – they’re undoubtedly riding high on what must rank among the most amazing Seahawks games in the history of the franchise.

The idea that the Seahawks are somehow hung over from a huge victory runs counter to every team philosophy, but people will say that if they come out flat. The real reason – if they do come out flat that is – likely lies in the time on the clock, rather than how the time between games was spent. While a ton of research exists explaining the disadvantage of West Coast teams playing early games, even in the Houston game the team didn’t appear to be in rhythm on defense until about 11:30AM, and the offense didn’t click until after noon.

This stuff matters, and if the competition committee is doing their jobs, early starts should be a main topic every offseason until the problem is solved.

That diatribe off my chest, the Seahawks play a Colts team that is much better than perhaps their perception would indicate. Andrew Luck is phenomenal. He’s the best quarterback prospect ever, and while Russell Wilson has been phenomenal to this point in his young career, Luck has been arguably better – albeit with higher expectations and a much larger investment from the Colts by way of the frist overall draft pick and a larger contract.

Like the Seahawks, the Colts have had a shot at the 49ers, and the Jaguars. Like the Seahawks, they beat both teams. The Colts other games came in the form of a victory over the hapless Oakland Raiders, and a loss to the surprising Miami Dolphins, who have seen some substantial signs of life from their own quarterback from the 2012 draft class in Ryan Tannehill.

 

Injury news

Seattle Seahawks

Breno Giacomini, OT – At the time of this writing Giacomini hasn’t practiced in basically two weeks. The chances he’s back are pretty slim.

Zach Miller, TE – Miller missed practice on Thursday with a hamstring issue.

Max Unger, C – Unger was limited in practice, he was limited in practice last week also and was doubtful. Likely a game-time decision.

Michael Bennett, DE – After a scary injury in which Bennett was taken from the field in a stretcher in Houston, Bennett has participated fully in practice to this point this week. Likely to play it would appear.

 

Indianapolis Colts

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB – hasn’t practiced this week and missed last week.

Vontae Davis, CB – limited reps on Wednesday, didn’t practice Thursday. Played last week and had an interception.

LaRon Landry, S – Hasn’t practiced this week, missed last week.

Ricky Jean-Francois, DT – Hasn’t practiced this week, missed last week.

 

Some stat comparison from Football Outsiders (click for a glossary of Football Outsiders advanced stats)

Seattle Seahawks Indianapolis Colts
Quarterback Russell Wilson Andrew Luck Quarterback
DVOA 2.2% 2.0% DVOA
DYAR 87 128 DYAR
QBR 50.4 75.8 QBR
Rush DVOA 42.0% 95.0% Rush DVOA
Running backs Marshawn Lynch Ahmad Bradshaw Running backs
DVOA -2.3% 20.1 DVOA
DYAR 20 53 DYAR
Robert Turbin Trent Richardson Runningbacks
DVOA -21.7% -7.1% DVOA
DYAR -8 4 DYAR
Wide Receivers Doug Baldwin Reggie Wayne Wide Receivers
DVOA 58.6% 14.1% DVOA
DYAR 81 74 DYAR
Sidney Rice T.Y. Hilton
DVOA 12.4% -19.8% DVOA
DYAR 42 -19 DYAR
Tight End Zach Miller Coby Fleener Tight End
DVOA 17.8% 10.0% DVOA
DYAR 21 23 DYAR
Team Defense Team Defense
DVOA -28.0% -5.5% DVOA

A really good argument can be made that the Seahawks are better than the Colts today. It’s a near-certainty that at full strength, with Russell Okung, Bruce Irvin (who is back this week), Percy Harvin, Max Unger, Breno Giacomini, and a full-strength Cris Clemons that the Seahawks are a better team.

Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck’s careers are likely to be linked for some time because they’re both quality quarterbacks from the same draft class, and both of their teams figure to be good for quite a while. That in mind, while Andrew Luck’s potential lends itself to a career arc that reaches higher heights, the difference between the two is basically negligible right now. A difference that is significant, however, is that Russell Wilson’s supporting cast, not only the skill position players on offense, but also the defense and incredible special teams play so far this season make the Seahawks clearly a better team. The only thing that can stop them, in my mind anyways, is the clock. Not the game clock, the alarm clock.

 

Predictions:

Seahawks win 27-17

Andrew Luck throws for 300 yards

Andrew Luck throws two interceptions

Russell Wilson throws for less than 200 yards

Marshawn Lynch runs for more than 100 yards

Bruce Irvin makes a big play on defense