Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano has the music revved up on the practice field this week, but it has nothing to do with celebrating the team’s first victory. The Colts will be heading into one of the league’s toughest environments at raucous CenturyLink Field when they pay a visit to the Seattle Seahawks in prime time on Sunday night.
Pagano has no illusions as to what awaits his team, which is coming off a 31-28 victory over Cleveland behind quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who was acquired from New England at the beginning of the month. “We’ve got a really young football team, and we will bring a bunch of guys that have never been in an environment like this and play an opponent like this,” Pagano acknowledged. The Seahawks have hardly resembled the team that has won at least 10 games in each of the past five seasons, struggling on both sides of the ball in their 1-2 start. Seattle’s offense finally came to life after two pedestrian efforts to open the season but the defense was bulldozed in last week’s 33-27 loss at Tennessee.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Seahawks -13. O/U: 41.5
ABOUT THE COLTS (1-2): With Andrew Luck still not able to practice, Brissett was handed the reins after Scott Tolzein flopped in the first half of a 46-9 drubbing to the Rams in the season opener. He became the first quarterback in franchise history to rush for two touchdowns, pass for another and throw for at least 250 yards as the Colts put up 28 first-half points last week. T.Y. Hilton, who led the league in receiving yards last week, had seven receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown, but will face tougher sledding against Seattle star cornerback Richard Sherman. Indianapolis’ defense is allowing 30 points per game and has been gouged for 283.7 yards through the air.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (1-2): Seattle’s defense had long prided itself on not allowing a 100-yard rusher, but it has allowed one in back-to-back weeks and was gashed for 195 yards on the ground by DeMarco Murray and the Titans. The offensive managed a combined 21 points in the first two weeks but finally showed signs of life at quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 373 yards and fourth touchdowns in a belated comeback attempt last week. One potential issue for this week: top wideout Doug Baldwin suffered a groin strain during Sunday’s 10-catch, 105-yard game and didn’t practice Wednesday. Rookie Chris Carson leads the ground game but third-down back C.J. Prosise is out for Sunday.
1. Wilson has passes for 1,312 yards with 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last four games versus AFC opponents.
2. Hilton had five catches for 140 yards and a pair of TDs in his last matchup against Seattle.
3. Baldwin has 22 touchdown receptions since the start of the 2015 season, which ranks third in the NFL.
PREDICTION: Seahawks 34, Colts 13