Then the final three minutes of the third quarter happened.
With the game tied at 18, J.D. McKissic's 30-yard touchdown run and Bobby Wagner's fumble return for a score on the next play from scrimmage broke the contest open and set the tone for a commanding 46-18 Seattle victory.
The Seahawks are now 2-2 and a game behind the 3-1 Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West, while the Colts dropped to 1-3 and into the cellar of the AFC South.
Russell Wilson threw two interceptions for the victors, although he made up for it with 295 passing yards, touchdown passes to Luke Willson and McKissic, and 38 yards and a score on the ground. McKissic provided Wilson with the most help with his two touchdowns, but Tyler Lockett led the team with 67 receiving yards and Eddie Lacy paced the rushing attack with 52 yards.
On the other side, quarterback Jacoby Brissett (157 passing yards and one touchdown) had his hands full with Seattle's defense. His mobility was the only reason he wasn't sacked more than three times, and his interception and one of his fumbles were returned for touchdowns.
Some usual contributors also struggled, as Frank Gore managed just 46 rushing yards and T.Y. Hilton tallied 30 receiving yards.
Things looked dire from the first quarter for the Colts when they announced center Deyshawn Bond was out with a knee injury. It was particularly problematic because they already announced Ryan Kelly was out with a foot injury, meaning Adam Redmond was their only realistic option.
That left a patchwork offensive line, which Football Outsiders ranked dead last in the league in run blocking and 29th in pass protection to block Seattle's formidable defense. That defense scored the first touchdown when Justin Coleman—who was only playing because the Seahawks announced Jeremy Lane was out with a hip injury—notched a pick-six:
Indianapolis' defense also scored. Their contribution came on a Nate Hairston safety. Matthias Farley's interception also set up Donte Moncrief's touchdown reception. Moncrief's score gave the Colts a 15-10 halftime advantage.
Seattle didn't face the deficit long, thanks to Wilson, who capped a nine-play, 84-yard drive out of the locker room with a 23-yard touchdown run and stretch at the goal line:
At that point, the Seahawks couldn't escape the pattern of Indianapolis' defense making plays leading to points when Jimmy Graham dropped a well-placed pass from Wilson right into the waiting arms of rookie safety Malik Hooker.
The visitors parlayed the turnover into a game-tying field goal and remained firmly in the contest, but Seattle answered once again with McKissic's long touchdown run and then opened the floodgates with Wagner's score off Marcus Smith II's sack and forced fumble.
The two-score deficit forced the Colts to turn to the air and allowed Seattle's defense to focus on pressuring Brissett behind the shaky offensive line. The result was no more Indianapolis points and a blowout win for the Seahawks, as Wilson removed any remaining doubt with his touchdown connections to Willson (six yards) and McKissic (27 yards).
The Colts will have a golden opportunity to snap out of their early-season struggles in Week 5 when they face the 0-4 San Francisco 49ers at home. Seattle will look to move into first place in the NFC West with an intra-division showdown against the Los Angeles Rams.