SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (4-0)
at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (3-1)
Kickoff: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Line: Seattle -2, Total: 41
The Seahawks try to maintain momentum after an improbable victory in Houston when they visit the surging Colts on Sunday.
Last week, Seattle erased a 20-6 deficit midway through the fourth quarter and won 23-20 in overtime despite allowing 476 total yards. Indy had quite a two-game road trip it just completed, beating the 49ers and Jaguars by a combined 64 to 10 score. The Colts rushed for 154 yards in the win, marking their fourth straight game with at least 125 rushing yards, but RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) is doubtful, as he may need season-ending surgery. These teams split eight meetings since 1991 with Indianapolis winning 34-17 the last time they met in 2009. Both clubs have hugely favorable trends, as the Seahawks are 8-0 ATS when facing a team with a winning record over the past two seasons and 9-0 ATS versus good rushing teams (4.5+ YPC) in the past three years. The Colts are not only 8-1 ATS (89%) after playing on the road in the past two seasons, but are 11-2 ATS (85%) coming off a road blowout win of 21+ points since 1992.
Can the Seahawks remain unbeaten Sunday in a tough environment? For the answer, connect to NFL Best Bets for all the StatFox Experts picks throughout the 2013 season and playoffs. The experts are coming off a monster Week 4 in NFL Best Bets, combining for a 67% ATS record (10-5-2), highlighted by StatFox Gary's perfect 4-0-1 ATS mark. StatFox Scott was a perfect 5-0 in NFL Totals, increasing his season record to 69% (11-5). Gary went 3-1 in NFL Totals, which actually lowered his yearly percentage to 77% (10-3).
Seattle QB Russell Wilson has completed 62% of his passes for 787 yards (8.2 YPA), 6 TD and 3 INT, but four of those passing scores came against the lowly Jaguars. Last week Wilson completed just 12-of-23 passes, but was able to gain 77 yards on 10 carries, including some key scampers late in that game. Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch (308 yards on 3.9 YPC, 4 TD) have been mostly responsible for the team's 144 rushing YPG (5th in NFL) that has led to a strong 32:50 time of possession (5th in league). But the Seahawks remain a balanced football team with 208 passing YPG on 8.0 YPA (6th in NFL). Wilson has used all of his receivers, but in different ways. WR Sidney Rice leads the club with 21 targets and is tied with TE Zach Miller for 2 TD catches, while WR Golden Tate has a team-high 13 receptions and WR Doug Baldwin leads them with 216 receiving yards. Seattle has been too sloppy with the football though, committing two turnovers in each of its past two games. While the defense has bailed them out with 13 takeaways (11 in past three games), the Seahawks must be concerned with how their vaunted secondary was picked apart by Matt Schaub for 355 yards on 7.2 YPA. But even with the subpar showing in Week 5, Seattle still ranks fifth in the NFL in both total defense (300 YPG) and yards per play allowed (4.7), while placing second in both scoring defense (11.8 PPG) and scoring margin (+15.5 PPG).
Colts QB Andrew Luck has had a decent second season so far with 64% completions for 915 yards (7.2 YPA), 5 TD and 2 INT, while also rushing for 7.9 yards per carry and a pair of touchdowns. Although his team won two straight road tilts, Luck is much more comfortable at home where he's 8-2 with 15 TD and 6 INT in his career, compared to 6-4 with 13 TD and 14 INT on the road. Luck continues to seek out WR Reggie Wayne the most (33 targets), but he hasn't forgotten about WR T.Y. Hilton (29 targets), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (20 targets) and TE Coby Fleener (18 targets). With RB Ahmad Bradshaw not likely to suit up, RBs Trent Richardson and Donald Brown will have the unenviable task of trying to run through a fierce Seahawks defense. Richardson has rushed for just 2.9 YPC in his two games with the Colts, but Brown is averaging a hefty 9.2 YPC on his 13 rushing attempts. The key in this game will be ball control and not making mistakes, something this offense has thrived on all season with a 32:42 time of possession (6th in NFL) and a total of just two turnovers in four contests. Defensively, Indy has forced eight turnovers so far while generating an excellent pass rush with 11% sacks per attempt (3rd in league). The Colts defense has been on the field for just 27:17 (4th-fewest in NFL) leading to a mere 12.8 PPG allowed (4th in league) and 17.3 first downs allowed (5th-fewest in NFL).