Was this the breakout game proving the Seahawks have a potent enough offense to contend for another title? Maybe. More likely, though — they just played a terrible team.
This probably isn’t going to go over well. The Seahawks just trounced the Colts, 46-18, on national television, and for the first time since that season-opening dud in Green Bay, it looked as though there was hope for this offense.
The run game was established, Russell Wilson was on point for the second straight game, and Seattle has scored 66 points over the past six quarters.
So was this the breakout game proving the Seahawks have a potent enough offense to contend for another title? Maybe.
More likely, though — they just played a terrible team.
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My immediate reaction to Sunday’s win was that Wilson was officially “back.” The superstar who took over the NFL in the second half of 2015 before succumbing to injuries last year and a dreadful start this year had returned to the A-list.
He was 21 of 26 for 295 yards and two TDs. vs. Indianapolis. He was 29 of 49 for 373 yards and four TDs a week earlier vs. the Titans.
He had transformed a flatlining offense into a ferocious one that would again make the Seahawks one of the most feared teams in football. At least I thought he did. Then I looked at who he’d been doing it all against.
The Colts, if you didn’t know, are second-to-last in the NFL in total defense and 29th in pass defense. The Titans, meanwhile, are 29th in total defense and 28th in pass defense. Tennessee also just allowed 57 points to the Texans, who had scored a combined 53 points in their first three games.
Obviously we’re talking about the NFL, where just about anyone can beat anyone under the right circumstances. But generally speaking — bad teams are bad teams, and bad defenses are bad defenses.
So can the Seahawks’ offense produce against good teams? That’s still a legitimate question.
The eye test tells you that Wilson is starting to resemble the 2015 version of himself that clawed into the MVP conversation. After airmailing myriad passes in the first half against the Titans, he has rediscovered his accuracy while maintaining his trademark mobility.
And given the miracle touchdown pass he threw in the closing minutes of the game against the Niners in Week 2, it’s safe to say Seattle would be below .500 without him. Instead, they have two wins and two single-digit losses.
It’s also safe to say that the running game was impressive Sunday night. The Colts came into the game with a top 10 rushing defense, yet allowed 194 yards on 33 carries. J.D. McKissic had a 30-yard scoring run on his first carry of the season. Eddie Lacy contributed 52 yards on 11 carries. Wilson had 38 yards on four carries, Tyler Lockett had 24 yards on two carries, and Chris Carson had 42 yards on 12 carries.
It was all fun to watch — and it looks great on the stat sheet. But when you consider that a good chunk of that yardage came on big runs (Wilson’s 23-yard score and McKissic’s TD) or when the game was all but over (Lacy’s yards), it’s not solid proof that the running game is solved.
This column isn’t meant to be a shower of stink bombs falling into a parade. The Seahawks’ offense looks improved. You don’t score a combined 59 points in your last two NFL games (14 points came via Seattle’s defense Sunday) if you haven’t figured something out.
It’s just that, sometimes in baseball you get what’s called a 4-A player — a guy who drops jaws at every stop in the minor leagues but wilts in the majors. It might not be what you want to hear, but the Seahawks’ last two opponents have had minor-league defenses.
So now, as Pete Carroll likes to say, we wait and see. We wait and see if Wilson and company are capable of demolishing a formidable D.
Is it possible? Sure. But it’s not confirmed.
Because while the Seahawks may have broken out in the second half Sunday, that wasn’t a breakout win.