The Indianapolis Colts will cap off the first quarter of their 2017 season without Andrew Luck. After the front office mercifully moved on from veteran backup Scott Tolzien, whose week 1 performance gave the team little hope for winning a single football game, the team has started to look competitive.
Second-year quarterback Jacoby Brissett has displayed poise in the pocket, limited his mistakes, used his legs to get first downs and touchdowns, and has improved each week. Given that Brissett has only been with the team for a month, there is still reason to believe that he can build on his previous two starts (which both should have been wins) as he becomes even more familiar with the Colts offense and establishes timing with the targets around him.
It should be noted, however, that this is Brissett’s first NFL road start. Suffice to say that after Sunday night, it is unlikely that he will face a more challenging environment than he will in Seattle.
On the other side of the ball, Indianapolis is starting to build a new defensive identity. The rebuild project certainly isn’t over, as the team could still use better athletes at the linebacker position, but it’s impressive that in one off-season under new general manager Chris Ballard the secondary and defensive line are both promising and competitive.
This identity has started to form despite the fact that the team’s two best defensive backs haven’t played a snap in 2017. The team will still have to wait a few weeks to have a chance to bring back safety Clayton Geathers but this week will be the debut for former Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis. If Davis is fully recovered from his groin injury and picks up where he left off in training camp, he should improve the unit even more.
The biggest struggles for the Seahawks through three weeks includes an offense struggling to find its identity behind a patchwork offensive line — seriously Colts fans think the struggle to put together an offensive line has been painful here, imagine if you had a great offensive line and watched your team trade it away and lose it to free agency. Seattle is still trying to find a reliable running back to fill Marshawn Lynch’s shoes although Chris Carson has performed well early (Eddie Lacy has not).
Defensively, the Legion of Boom was historically known for not allowing opponents to get an inch, on the ground or through the air. However, there are some aging pieces to the unit that is now decidedly stronger defending the pass than it is the run. If the Colts offensive line can work things out and open up some holes for Frank Gore, ball control could be a way to frustrate Seattle on the road and start to wear out their marquee defenders.
5 big questions:
Will Jacoby Brissett continue his assent and shock the world on the road or will he start to look more like a young quarterback who will make mistakes?
Will the Colts defense continue to play stingy football and can the reworked defensive line and pass rush take advantage of one of the worst offensive lines in the league?
Can the Colts contain Russell Wilson on the ground?
Will the offensive line get anything going on the ground against a defensive unit in Seattle that has been exposed through three weeks?
If the Seahawks pin their ears back to put pressure on Brissett and attempt to dominate the line of scrimmage, will Rob Chudzinski have any answers?
8:30 PM ET on Sunday, October 1, 2017
CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA
NBC (Sunday Night Football) — Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (sideline)
NBC vs. AT&T Uverse/DirecTV is still a thing, so those customers will need to find alternate ways to watch. If you want to watch from home, you’ll need to get an antenna or stream the game. What I have done for SNF all year is hook my laptop up to my TV and stream the game from NBC.com.
*IF YOU GUYS HAVE ANY OTHER (REASONABLE) TIPS TO WATCH THE GAME, DROP THEM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.*
WFNI (107.5FM/1070 The Fan) and WLHK (Country 97.1 Hank FM) — Bob Lamey, Jim Sorgi, Matt Taylor (sideline)
Westwood One — Kevin Kugler, Jason Taylor
TV National Broadcast Map
See which games will be shown in your area, from 506Sports.com.
Brad Allen. He is in his fourth year of NFL officiating.
Over/Under: 41.5 | Spread: Seattle (-13) (topbet)