Yeah, I dunno. When I think of Indy, I think of an okay team. They pass well, their defense is average and will give up its share of yards, and they seem to be pretty clutch in the fourth quarter. Except, in reality, they run better than they pass, and their defense is pretty fucking good.
The Colts give up just 7 more yards per game than the Seahawks. They’re slightly worse than us in passing yards allowed per game and slightly better than us in rushing yards allowed per game. And, to top it all off, they give up 1 more point per game. And yet, I don’t know how they’re doing it. They have fewer sacks than us. Fewer take-aways than us. They don’t appear to be elite in any one area. Just … solid, I guess.
Robert Mathis, the 11-year pro, seems to be the guy to look out for. He leads the league with 7.5 sacks in 4 games, which is insane. These are J.J. Watt-type numbers, and it’s coming from a guy whose previous season high in sacks was 11.5. I guess now that he’s out of Dwight Freeney’s shadow, he’s decided to be The Man.
Other than that, no one else on their defense really blows me away. I guess Jerrell Freeman looks okay for a linebacker. I dunno.
With Indy, it still comes down to their offense. They’ve got Andrew “Suck For Luck” Luck, they’ve got Reggie Wayne who is still putting up gaudy numbers, they’ve got T.Y. Hilton who looks to be a solid next-generation receiver for them, and they’ve got tight end Coby Fleener out of Stanford. As usual, I don’t think we have to be super-concerned with the receivers, but you also can’t 100% write them off. The real concern should be Fleener. Have we learned our lesson about trying to put our slower linebackers on speedier, pass-catching tight ends? Maybe Bruce Irvin makes a difference there. But, if he doesn’t, I think we go immediately back to the dime package to discourage that shit.
As I said above, I guess the running game is a thing we have to worry about. It appears that the Colts – in an effort to take some of the pressure off of Luck (who threw 18 picks in his rookie season) – have dedicated themselves to a run-first type of offense a la the Seahawks. It’s good to know there are still copycats out there in the world. Anyway, Ahmad Bradshaw looks like he’s out, so the bulk falls on Trent Richardson’s shoulders. So, I guess we get to see what he’s made of. It’s not terribly hard to run on the Seahawks, but if he can’t, then I’d say they got fleeced in that trade with Cleveland. This is the type of game for which you trade for a guy like Richardson. If he can’t carry the mail, then you have to wonder if he ever will.
I like our chances here, because I don’t think they’re as good as the Texans. But, I’m also very worried for that very same reason. After a rollercoaster of a game like last week’s, I could easily see us taking this one lightly (if we were EVER to take a game lightly). It’s a road game, the second in two weeks, against an AFC team. We don’t NEED to win this game. It would be nice, since the 49ers are probably going to beat the Texans on Sunday night, but it’s not a “must win”.
In the end, I see this going one of two ways. Either it’s a back-and-forth affair with the last team who has the ball gets the win, or it’s a Seahawks blowout. Honestly, I’m kind of leaning towards a double-digit Seahawks win and I can’t really explain why. It’s not like we’ve played an insanely harder schedule. We had to go to Houston, but they had to go to San Francisco. We both played Jacksonville. I put Miami and Carolina on par with one another. And, let’s face it, getting the 49ers in Seattle is just about the same as playing the Raiders anywhere, so I’d call that a wash. I dunno, I just think we’re better.
I think we’ll figure out a way to stuff their running game. I think with our front seven at full strength with Irvin back, we find a way to get some pressure on Luck. I think we force him into a few ill-advised throws. And I think we once-again win the turnover battle. Maybe even by a considerable margin.
And finally, I think we figure out how to score a few touchdowns on the road in the first half. Our makeshift line will have another week’s worth of reps to get used to one another. Tom Cable will have coached most of the mistakes out of the younger guys. And while Mathis is putting up insane numbers, he’s no J.J. Watt. We hold him to no sacks except those with which he stuffs his sorries.
It’s too bad I’m gonna have to miss this one. I’ll be really curious to see how Wilson compares to Luck. Going into the season, I had this game circled as one to watch when we delve deeper in comparing the two phenoms. That might not be fair, though, considering Wilson doesn’t have to go up against the Legion of Boom (except in practice, but that doesn’t really count).