Seahawks 30, Colts 17
Leonard Weaver and the Seattle backups overwhelmed the rest of the Colts.
“As bad as we were last week, that’s how well we played today,” Hasselbeck said. “What a difference it makes when you win a game, just the attitude, the energy in the locker room.”
The game, which featured the NFL’s last two MVPs—Peyton Manning and Alexander—for a little more than one quarter, had a distinctly preseason look to it.
Indianapolis, which has now lost eight straight preseason games and nine of 10 dating to 2004, tried an onside kick and a fake punt, and during one short span in the fourth quarter, the two teams traded possessions twice in three plays. By the end, only a smattering of fans remained in their seats.
The starters for both teams, however, looked sharp.
Alexander ran five times for 20 yards and set up the Seahawks first scoring drive. Hasselbeck completed 8-of-9 passes for 88 yards although he was sacked twice. It was enough to give Seattle a chance.
The Colts offense, as usual, looked good.
Manning completed six of his first seven passes and had a perfect rating of 158.3 in the first quarter before finishing 6-of-9 for 140 yards with one touchdown and a 146.8 rating. And Marvin Harrison turned a spectacular one-handed grab on the run into a 35-yard gain on the Colts’ second series. It was his only catch of the night.
The Colts also finished with 93 yards rushing, nearly triple their total from the preseason opener at St. Louis.
“It’s always good to go out and get a drive on that first series,” Manning said. “The second drive was going good, too, until an unfortunate fumble.”
Tony Dungy was more upset with the litany of miscues that followed the starters’ departure.
“It’s disappointing because we made some of the same errors we made last week,” he said. “You can’t fumble the ball and drop the ball against a team like Seattle. They were good enough to take advantage of it.”
Manning opened the game with a crisp 78-yard scoring drive that ended with a nifty 30-yard TD pass to Reggie Wayne.
Seattle answered with Brown’s 30-yard field goal, and then Manning went back to work.
After Harrison’s circus catch, Manning had the Colts in scoring position again when he connected with tight end Ben Utecht on a 27-yard pass to the Seahawks 11. One problem: Julian Peterson stripped the ball and Michael Boulware recovered to end the threat.
It was all Seattle the rest of the way.
Peter Warrick’s 25-yard punt return put the Seahawks at the Colts 40 midway through the second quarter, and Weaver scored on a 1-yard run five plays later to give Seattle a 10-7 lead. Weaver carried 14 times for 51 yards.
Manning’s backup, Jim Sorgi entered the game on the ensuing series, but was hit hard on each of his first two passes. The second fluttered toward the sideline where Green picked it off and ran it back 18 yards to make it 17-7.
The second hit knocked Sorgi out with an injury apparently to his throwing shoulder. Dungy said the Colts would re-evaluate the injury Monday.
Brown’s 39-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half made it 20-7, and the teams traded field goals in the third quarter to make it 23-10.
Then came another preseason caper—when Weaver fumbled near the goal line and center Chris Spencer fell on it for a touchdown to make it 30-10.
“Our second guys knew they were going to play a lot,” Alexander said. “Coach Holmgren just really stressed to them that their lives are on the line. Sometimes when your backs are against the wall, you can’t help but throw punches.”
The Colts got a 1-yard run from Tony Hollings with 7:33 left, but could get no closer.
Both teams were missing a handful of starters.
The Colts distributed 56,596 tickets, their highest total for a preseason game in 20 years. Indy had 57,969 on Aug. 30, 1986, a 23-20 loss to Minnesota. … Ken Hamlin, who had one tackle last week against Dallas, made two tackles against the Colts in his second game back after he fractured his skull in a street fight last October. … Colts backup running back James Mungro left in the third quarter with a knee injury, and defensive end Johnathan Goddard left with a foot injury. Neither returned.