Sports Out West

Red Zone woes doom Seahawks in Indianapolis

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, left, meets with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson following an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013. The Colts defeated the Seahawks 34-28. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

It’s official: The Seattle Seahawks will not be going 16-0 in 2013.

OK, so nobody really expected that anyway, but after the way the first few weeks went it wasn’t hard to imagine this year’s team eclipsing the 2005 Seahawks’ mark of 13-3. Last Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts on the road looked like it would be one the biggest roadblocks remaining on the schedule.

It was exactly that, as this time it was Seattle that blew a lead in a hard-fought 34-28 loss. A number of factors played into the defeat: Uncharacteristic play from the secondary, a disastrous special teams play, and an offensive line struggling with injuries. There’s no reason to the Seahawks won’t improve on most of the things that they did poorly last Sunday, and a six point loss to what looks like a really good Colts team shouldn’t discourage fans too much.

Ultimately, the reason the Seahawks lost, and the biggest takeaway from the game, was their inability to finish drives. Seattle settled for four field goals, including three in the third quarter along. If one of those had turned into touchdowns, its dominating ground game would have been able to control the game down the stretch, and the Seahawks very well could be sitting at 5-0 right now.

One of the turning points in the game came early in the second quarter, when Delano Howell returned a blocked Steven Hauschka field goal attempt to put the Colts up 14-12. The multitude of missed chances gave Andrew Luck a chance to hang around and win the game at the end, and he, along with T.Y. Hilton, burned the Seahawks multiple times.

Right now, Seattle has only scored touchdowns on 52.94 percent of its redzone opportunities, which is something to keep an eye on the rest of the season. With a physical run game and solid tight ends, the redzone offense should theoretically be much better then 19th in the NFL.

Despite the loss, the Seahawks still remain an elite team and there were plenty of encouraging things in the game. The Seattle ground attack looked absolutely dynamic, as both Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson rushed for over 100 yards. If Wilson can keep adding that dimension to the Seahawks offense, it is going to prove to be tough to stop. It was on Sunday, as Seattle gained 427 yards. With Percy Harvin joining soon, things are about to get very exciting.

Photo Credit: Michael Conroy / Associated Press

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Nathaniel Reeves

Nathaniel Reeves is a journalism student at the University of Washington, currently covering sports for The UW Daily in addition to Sports Out West. He has been closely following Seattle sports his entire life.