Seahawks vs. Colts: Full Roster Report Card Grades for Indianapolis
Another week, another win over an NFC power for Indianapolis.
It wasn't the prettiest game, but it was one of the most exciting games of the last few years in Indianapolis.
Andrew Luck: A
Luck started slow with a stat line of just 5-of-13 for 97 yards and a touchdown. Luck made a few poor throws to start the game, but also got little help from his teammates. There were multiple drops in that first half, and the running game was non-existent. Still, Luck's 73-yard bomb to T.Y. Hilton was a key part of the Colts' comeback.
In the second half, however, Luck was absolutely unfathomable.
The second-year quarterback was 11-of-16 in the second half for 132 yards and a touchdown. But more impressive was how he made those plays. He was his twisting, turning, miraculous self in this one, turning broken plays into conversions more often than not.
Like this 3rd-and-9 pass to T.Y. Hilton.
Or this two-point conversion to Reggie Wayne.
In what was Richardson's best game as a Colt, he still managed just just 3.1 yards per carry (18 carries for 56 yards). The second-year back struggled mightily in the first half, gaining just two yards on six carries. He gained 54 yards on 12 carries in the second half and flashed the potential that the Colts believe he has.
His most impressive run? A 10-yard run on 3rd-and-5 in the fourth quarter as the Colts bled the clock. Richardson bounces off a few would-be tacklers and gains extra yards in Marshawn Lynch-like fashion.
Donald Brown: A-
Brown continues to be incredibly effective in his role as a reserve back, gaining 37 yards on just six catches. Brown also scored the game-winning touchdown on a three-yard draw. Brown's only unsuccessful run on the day? A three-yard delay on 3rd-and-9.
Richardson will be the starter, but if the Colts get production from Brown in this role, they'll take it every single time.
Reggie Wayne: A-
This one felt eerily similar to last week, as Wayne dropped a pass early in the game, which was unlike him.
But Wayne recovered to catch six passes for 65 yards, including three straight in the fourth quarter as the Colts scored the game-winning drive. Wayne's veteran, physical play against Brandon Browner on the Colts' successful two-point conversion was a thing of beauty, although maybe pass interference.
T.Y. Hilton: A+
Hilton is back with a vengeance.
Hilton has been used largely as a decoy through the last couple off weeks, but Luck found him early and used that connection to hit Hilton on 73-yard and 29-yard touchdown receptions.
Hilton's big-play ability is a key part of this offense being able to score quickly, so it's nice to see that the Colts actually do still possess that part of the game.
Hilton caught three other passes as well, including this Wayne-like catch on third down.
Darrius Heyward-Bey: D
Heyward-Bey continued his poor day on Sunday, failing to catch a single ball against the Seattle secondary. The Seahawks secondary is impressive, but Heyward-Bey had a couple drops and struggled to ever get involved.
Coby Fleener: B-
The second-year tight end had just two catches for 15 yards, but both catches were for first down, and Fleener also blocked pretty well in the contest.
Dominique Jones: C-
Jones was used as a fullback at times on Sunday, and it didn't work well at all. Jones is more versatile than given credit for, but he still shouldn't be a priority in the passing game. His blocking game didn't stand as well as it has in previous games.
Run Blocking: B-
The run blocking was horrific in the second half, but it was better to close out the game. The Colts still get stuffed on too many runs, and their success rate isn't high at all, but they got the job done on enough plays in the second half for Indianapolis to raise its efficiency significantly. The biggest play was arguably Richardson's 16-yard run, which boosted his confidence and allowed him to make big runs later in the half.
Pass Protection: C+
Luck only took two sacks on the day, but he was under duress all day from all over the line. Luck was hit at least five other times. Anthony Castonzo wasn't nearly as good as he's been over the last three weeks, and the Colts pass protection took a step back. The pressure was a big reason why Luck struggled in the first half, and it didn't improve much in the second. Instead, Luck just handled it beautifully.
Run Defense: C-
At first glance, this grade seems like it should be lower. The Colts allowed over 200 yards of rushing and over 100 each to Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. But, after running for an 18-yard gain to start the second half, Lynch ran for just eight yards on five carries for the rest of the half. Cory Redding (above) was once again the best defensive lineman and continues to carry the unit.
Pass Rush: D-
The defensive line got little pressure on Russell Wilson throughout the day, and when it did, it was far too undisciplined in its gaps, allowing Wilson to run wild on the defense. This improved a bit as the game went on, but overall it was a poor showing from the defensive line, especially against a Seattle offensive line missing three starters.
Robert Mathis: A-
Mathis was not good in the run game, but you have to give him credit in this one, as Mathis earned two more sacks and a forced fumble, along with a batted pass. With 9.5 sacks on the season, Mathis has the most sacks in the first five weeks of the NFL season ever, and he has joined the 100-sack club with 101.
Erik Walden: B-
Walden wasn't great, but he wasn't awful either. He was part of the reason why the Seahawks ran with ease early, as he was as undisciplined as anybody. But Walden made a few key stops on Russell Wilson in the second half that allowed the Colts to stay in the game and eventually come back.
Jerrell Freeman: B+
The former CFL player had a few poor whiffs on Marshawn Lynch in the first half, but he made up for it with fantastic play as the QB spy for Indianapolis, especially late in the game. With a strong open-field tackle on one third down followed by a QB hit to force the game-ending interception, Freeman was critical in the Colts' win.
Pat Angerer: C-
Angerer simply wasn't noticeable in this one, as he got caught behind the OL too often against the run and was often replaced by Kavell Conner on passing downs.
Vontae Davis: B-
The Colts' No. 1 corner didn't have as strong of a day today, but Davis still did some nice work. The one touchdown that he allowed to Jermaine Kearse was a perfect throw from Wilson and a fantastic play on the ball by Kearse. Outside of that, Davis was solid for most of the game.
Greg Toler: C-
Toler routinely allowed completions on the day and allowed countless yards after contact with weak tackle attempts against both Seattle receivers and running backs. Marshawn Lynch has made a lot of people look silly, but Toler got dragged on the turf in several plays on Sunday.
Darius Butler: B+
Butler was part of Doug Baldwin gaining 80 yards on six catches, but Butler shut him down for a good portion of the game as well. His pass defense and interception at the end of the game sealed the game for Indianapolis.
Delano Howell: B-
Howell gets the headlines because of his return of a field-goal block for a touchdown, but he was shakier on defense than he usually is with a few missed tackles. Howell isn't a bad backup for LaRon Landry, but he's still got some work to do to become a full-time starter.
Antoine Bethea: B+
Bethea was his usual dependable self in the back, but his biggest role today came as a leader. Bethea reportedly took the team aside after falling down 12-0 and got it back on the right track. On the field, Bethea continues to be the source of energy for the Colts secondary and finished Sunday's game with six tackles, one for a loss.
Pat McAfee: C-
The Colts' energetic punter was not his normal self on Sunday, kicking just three times and averaging 38 yards per punt. His first punt, a 34-yard wobbbler, gave Seattle the great field-goal position that helped get it off to a 7-0 start.
Adam Vinatieri: A
The old guy hit a couple long field goals today when the Colts absolutely had to have them, hitting 41- and 49-yard field goals on the day.