The Seahawks came into Lucas Oil Stadium 4-0, the first time in franchise history they've remained unbeaten through Week 5. And through one half of play, it seemed Seattle would maintain its unblemished record.
The Colts, however, successfully managed to hold the Seahawks out of the end zone throughout the entire second half, coming away with a 34-28 victory. The win wasn't pretty, but you only need one more point than your opponents, and the Colts managed to pull it off.
Here are some positives Colts fans can take away from Sunday's matchup.
A Mathis Milestone
Defensive end-turned-linebacker Robert Mathis recorded his 100th and 101st sacks of his career on Sunday, giving the 11th-year player out of Alabama A&M 9.5 sacks on the year, second in NFL history behind Kevin Greene's 10 sacks through five weeks in 1998, per ESPN Stats & Info. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller also noted the achievement:
Many Colts fans worried that Mathis' production would drop following the loss of longtime pass-rush partner Dwight Freeney. It seems, however, Mathis has done quite the opposite, choosing to shoulder the load. Mathis is truly someone special that Colts fans should be more than proud to have representing their team and city, with a lot left in the tank.
Welcome Back, T.Y. Hilton
The T.Y. Hilton that Colts fans came to know and love toward the end of the 2012 season reappeared this afternoon, reeling in five catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was a 73-yard touchdown pass that breathed life back into a struggling Colts offense.
The long touchdown pass was a career long for both Hilton and quarterback Andrew Luck. At the time of the touchdown, the Colts had dug themselves a 12-0 hole, which included a punt-block of Pat McAfee, which turned into a safety for Seattle.
That's T.Y. Hilton's 7th career 100-yard receiving game. Already tied for 9th in franchise history in just 20 career games.— Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) October 6, 2013
Hilton's touchdown seemed to revive the Colts, who followed up that possession with a field-goal block returned for a touchdown. Indy seemed to take momentum from Hilton's touchdown and never gave it back.
Defense When It Mattered
Many people would rather point at Seattle's 218 rushing yards, or Russell Wilson's 210 passing yards and two touchdowns. But why not focus on the positive?
This Colts defense was spectacular in the clutch, holding the Seahawks to just three field goals in the second half, all coming in the third quarter. Seattle was only 2-of-12 on third downs today, which adds to an impressive three-game defensive stand for the Colts defense, as provided by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network.
The Colts 3rd down defense has been excellent. Results from last 3 games: SF 3 for 12, JAX 2 for 11, SEA 2 for 12.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) October 7, 2013
The Colts will head into San Diego next Monday night (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) at 4-1, a very unexpected record. Following the home loss to Miami in Week 2, it seemed the Colts would be lucky to make it out of this past Sunday's matchup at 3-2. But following three impressive wins in a row, there is a renewed sense of optimism behind this team.
The Colts showed the world on Sunday that they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. And it was all without the presence of a run game. Running backs Trent Richardson and Donald Brown only had 56 and 37 total rushing yards, respectively.
Once Richardson feels more comfortable in the offense with the playbook, you can surely bet the three-headed monster of Luck-Richardson-Hilton will begin to have a very Peyton-Edgerrin-Marvin-esque feel to it.
I fully expect Indianapolis to take care of business down in San Diego, headed into the October 20 matchup with the Denver Broncos.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves with the Broncos game.
Monday night in San Diego has "trap game" written all over it. For now, the Colts just need to focus on shoring up the offensive line, and getting healthy. The return of safety LaRon Landry and defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois will be a much-welcomed sight for the defense, though safety Delano Howell has absolutely impressed in his two-game stint.
Bottom line, the Colts have a bright future. That point cannot be reiterated enough. And it continues to become more and more evident that something special is brewing in Indianapolis.