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2017 Colts Opponent Scouting Report: Week 4, Seahawks Special Teams, Wildcards, and a Prediction

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Overview

On October 1, 2017 the Indianapolis Colts will travel back to the West Coast to face the Seattle Seahawks. In this prime time week four match up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea for what we’re up against.

The Seahawks are just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance and hope to get back there this year. The last time our Colts played these Seahawks things went as well as they could have. A lot of faces have changed for both teams since 2013, hopefully that turnover won’t hurt our chances this time around. Let’s figure out what we can expect in week four.


Punter

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

I chose this picture for Jon Ryan because it shows the best aspect of his game; he’s jacked for a punter. He’s more of a great football personality than he is a punter, finishing in the bottom third of the league in every major punting metric.

This is a fun article on Ryan that highlights his run on American Ninja Warrior and has several pictures of a shirtless, redheaded, ripped, punter... if that’s your thing.

One thing to note is that Jon Ryan has a career passer rating of 109.7 on three attempts spread across his entire 12 year career. Given that fact and the fact I don’t expect the ‘Hawks to be in a position that calls for a fake, don’t expect to see any fakes this week.


Kicker

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Blair Walsh had a rough 2016. Really bad. Prior to last season Walsh had a pretty decent career with the Vikings before being cut and signing with the Seahawks. He really struggled last year kicking extra points, making only 78.9% of his one point tries. Meanwhile he only made 75% of his field goal attempts. No one was worse at extra point attempts and only Arizona and Tampa made 75% or fewer of their field goal attempts.

Luckily for Walsh he’s been given another opportunity and so far he’s 5 for 5 on field goals and 0 for 1 on extra points. Yikes.


Returner

On Tuesday I took a look at the Seahawks receivers and made a joke about K-State sending an electric play maker to the NFL once every decade. I was only half joking.

  • Tyler Lockett:

Lockett was a first team All Pro in his rookie year and second team All Pro last year as a returner. The guy is electric and we should avoid kicking to him at all costs.

Hopefully Rigoberto Sanchez doesn’t let us down.


Wildcards of the game

These are the “if” guys of our match-up. If they live up to the hype, draft position, or past success they could impact the game in a big way. This week I believe the biggest wildcards are

  • Chris Carson

The question for Chris Carson isn’t about his ability, that’s been on display. The question comes down to, can he do it consistently against NFL defenses? Are there going to be weeks he comes out guns blazing and then follow it up with lackluster plodding performances? We just don’t know. If Carson is the real deal, if he holds it all together, this is a guy that could break the Colts defense and make it a long game for Colts fans.

  • The Entire Seahawks Offensive Line
NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe this is cheating, but really this entire position group may have the biggest impact on the game. If they get it together and play well, it will make a huge difference. If they don’t it could mean a surprising outcome and an unexpectedly exciting game.


Final Thoughts

These aren’t the same Seahawks we faced in 2013, they do have many of the same faces on defense but the current level of play we’re seeing is far different. Make no mistake, this is the best team our Colts have played so far this season. The still have talented playmakers all over their roster.

Ultimately this game could end up being closer than you think at first glance. The ‘Hawks have struggled at times early on and the Colts have been inconsistent but flashed in a few aspects.

I don’t expect this to be a truly competitive game but the final score will be closer than most people assume. Look for the ‘Hawks secondary to be the difference in this one, making it impossible for the Colts to move the ball and possibly force multiple turnovers.


Prediction

There will be positives that come from this game. I expect to see our defense cause a turnover at some point and I believe we will move the ball on the ground effectively. At the end of the day it will be clear that the Seahawks are the better team.

Colts 20

Seahawks 24

Draft Watch

I wanted to add a segment that will cover our draft positioning as the year progresses. No, I’m not suggesting that we throw the season or that we should all look forward to the draft. Rather I hope that this will allow us all to be aware of next off-season and realize how much our 2018 outlook can change from week to week.

I would like to point out a really cool site that covers the NBA, NHL and NFL: Tankathon. It has a funny name but it serves a cool purpose, weeding out tie breakers to show who is slated to draft where.

2018 Colts Draft Position Post Week Three:

6th Overall

A top ten pick would be amazing (in theory) for the long term future of the franchise. An entire slew of top tier pass rushers and tackles are likely to be available for the taking. Further the potential for trading, up or down, is still extremely possible at this position.

Fortunately I believe this team is trending in another direction, even if this game results in a loss, I don’t believe we finish this season with a top 10 pick. Some people won’t like that, which doesn’t make sense. If the guys on the roster are capable of winning games and have developed as players and then we add anyone worthy of any first round pick, the team will only be better, which will lead to more wins. Winning is good. Lets hope we climb out of the top 10 by seasons end.