The Seahawks bounced back in a big way with their 46-18 win over the Colts on Sunday Night Football, and the help didn't always come from the usual players.
1. Running game found, running game lost? Hopefully not, thanks to McKissic
Chris Carson got the start, but he did not finish the game. After a promising night that saw Carson rush 12 times for 42 yards, the Seahawks’ creative rookie running back was injured midway through the fourth quarter and driven off the field on a cart.
Before his injury, Carson was averaging 3.5 yards per carry, and his body of work from the evening also included two nifty 11-yard pickups
It’s a huge blow to a Seahawks’ offense that had its best rushing performance of the season in its 46-18 win over Indianapolis, but they can take solace in how J.D. McKissic chose this game to mount a breakout performance.
McKissic finished with four carries for 38 yards and had one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown. He filled in admirably for the injured C.J. Prosise, who was inactive for the game. And he might be the Seahawks’ starter going forward if Carson’s injury is serious.
McKissic was responsible for electrifying the crowd and galvanizing a sleepy Seahawks squad into action in the third quarter.
With the game deadlocked at 18 in the third quarter, McKissic found a crease and broke through the Colts’ defense, motoring all the way to the end zone on a 30-yard touchdown run that starting the Seahawks’ scoring roll in the second half.
Seattle then scored 28-unanswered points, including McKissic’s second touchdown on a 27-yard pass from Russell Wilson.
Seattle finally established some semblance of a ground game, finishing with a season-high 194 rushing yards on 33 runs.
Oh, and Eddie Lacy got 11 carries too, in his first playing time in three games. He tallied a team-high 52 yards, and could get more carries down the road if Carson’s injury keeps him out for a sustained period of time.
2. Defense rebounded in a big way
The Seahawks’ defense spent the week on the defensive, assuring everyone that the defense wasn’t broken despite how it looked after Seattle allowed 195 and 159 rushing yards in the last two games.
Against the Colts, the defense made a statement in a big way despite losing defensive back Jeremy Lane (hip) and Cliff Avril (neck) in the first quarter.
Justin Coleman, who was traded to the Seahawks from New England at the beginning of September, replaced Lane as the nickelback, and he made an immediate impact.
Coleman, a third-year pro out of Tennessee, picked off Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett early in the second quarter and scored on a 28-yard return. Then, in the third quarter, Coleman came up big again with good coverage of T.Y. Hilton in the end zone as Brissett tried to go deep to connect with Hilton for a score. The pass fell incomplete, thanks also in part to K. J. Wright forcing Brissett to throw before he was quite ready.
The defense then scored a second touchdown when Marcus Smith hit Brissett in the third quarter, to force a fumble that Bobby Wagner recovered and ran back 21 yards for the score that broke the game open and gave Seattle a 32-18 lead.
In one game, the Seahawks doubled the number of defensive turnovers they’ve forced this season, and now have four.
Seattle also sacked Brissett three times.
3. Russell Wilson puts up another solid performance
After a slow start to the season, Russell Wilson has now performed well in two-consecutive games.
Wilson finished 21 of 26 for 295 yards, with two passing touchdowns and a rushing score.
He also threw two interceptions, but the second was not his fault – the catchable ball bounced off Jimmy Graham’s hands and the Colts’ Matthias Farley caught the rebound.
Wilson’s mobility arguably kept the Seahawks in the game early on, when the offense was misfiring. He had four scrambles for 38 yards, including his 23-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter that seemed to get Seattle going.