SEATTLE — It’s a script that’s become too familiar for the Seattle Seahawks.
Look awful for the first half. Look like one of the best teams in football in the second half.
“It’s the same thing that always happens. Slow start out of the gate and for whatever reason we pick it up the third and fourth quarter,” Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said.
Did the Seahawks ever pick it up, scoring 36 points in the second half to roll past the Indianapolis Colts 46-18 on Sunday night. The Seahawks used three total touchdowns from Russell Wilson — two passing and one running — a dynamic 30-yard touchdown sprint from J.D. McKissic and Bobby Wagner’s fumble return for a TD to blitz the Colts in the second half.
But the slow starts are a problem that after four games appears to be a trend. The Seahawks have 26 first-half points; the 10 against the Colts was the most this season. They have yet to score a touchdown in the first quarter and Justin Coleman’s 28-yard interception return was just their second first-half touchdown of the season.
Seattle has gotten away with being sleepy at the start against the Colts and 49ers. But it’s not a trend they know can continue.
“It took us a while again and you can ask me all those questions why and whatever. I don’t care,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
The Colts played a nearly perfect first half, the only mistake being Jacoby Brissett’s pass that Coleman undercut and returned for a score. They led 15-10 at halftime and had the home crowd booing the Seahawks as they left the field.
But the second half spiraled in a hurry. The Colts had just 32 total yards in the second half and a 13-second span where Seattle scored 14 points was too much for Indianapolis to overcome.
“You have to just find a way to stop the bleeding,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. “You have to make plays. You have to answer and respond. We did it in the first half.”
Here’s what else to know from the game:
DETERMINED RUSS: It was a different Russell Wilson in the second half. And the play that emulated it the most was his 23-yard touchdown run on Seattle’s first drive of the half where Wilson popped up after diving for the goal line and gave an emphatic fist pump about finding the end zone. Wilson was 13 of 17 passing for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, along with his TD sprint.
“That’s the Russell that we like. Don’t get me wrong, he’s always cool, calm and collected. But guys want to see that passion from him,” Baldwin said.
BRISSETT’S PROGRESS: Brissett played well for the first half making his third straight start since being acquired from New England. But the Colts could get nothing established offensively in the second half.
Brissett was 16 of 29 for 157 yards, one touchdown and one interception. But he was just 2 of 9 for 15 yards in the second half.
“They’ve got a lot of good players, don’t get me wrong, but I think we had our plays there where we missed opportunities,” Brissett said.
UNSUNG GUYS: Seattle got huge efforts from players deemed expendable by other teams. McKissic was once cut by Atlanta, but his athleticism earned him a spot in Seattle and he showed it with his TD run and a 27-yard TD catch. Coleman was acquired in a trade just before the start of the regular season and has twice this year been thrown into a major role. And Marcus Smith, who finished with 1 1/2 sacks, was a former first-round pick who was a bust with Philadelphia. It was Smith that forced Brissett to fumble and was returned by Wagner for a TD.
INJURY BUG: Both teams have significant injuries to deal with going forward. Seattle lost two defensive starters in cornerback Jeremy Lane (groin) and defensive end Cliff Avril (neck). Running back Chris Carson was carted off late with a “significant” ankle injury and left tackle Rees Odhiambo had to be tended to by medics in the locker room after the game because of breathing issues. Odhiambo was spending the night in the hospital.
Indianapolis lost center Deyshawn Bond to a quad/knee injury on the first drive of the game. The Colts were already without starting center Ryan Kelly. Tight end Jack Doyle suffered a possible concussion late in the game.
ANTHEM PROTEST: Nine Seahawks players sat on the bench during the national anthem before the game. Defensive end Michael Bennett continued his stance of sitting during the anthem, but was joined by the entire Seahawks defensive line and linebacker Michael Wilhoite. Avril, Garrison Smith, Marcus Smith, Nazair Jones, Sheldon Richardson, Frank Clark and Jarran Reed joined Bennett as defensive linemen sitting.
The Colts all stood on the sideline with arms interlocked during the anthem.