AFC South: Seneca Wallace

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- Division games can always be difficult and the toughest opponents the Colts will face this year are still to come.

But Indianapolis’ easy dominance of Seattle Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium reconfirms a longstanding Colts’ tenet: You’re not going to get a dud in a game like this out of Peyton Manning and the boys. Colts 34, Seahawks 17.

Everybody played well in boosting the Colts to 4-0, where they sit two games up on 2-2 Houston and 2.5 up on 2-2 Jacksonville, who they beat on opening day. The team that dethroned the Colts as AFC South champs last season, Tennessee, is 0-4 and not in good shape as it prepares to host Indy at LP Field in a week.

This one fit the template. Effective offense meant the Colts were quickly playing from ahead and Manning was surgically precise.

Playing from ahead set the pass rush free. Robert Mathis twice sacked and stripped Seneca Wallace, putting balls on the ground for teammates to recover.

Two late scores by the Seahawks didn’t do much to alter the feel of another solid Indianapolis effort.

In the AFC South, the Colts remain in the familiar position of playing from ahead.

Colts' defense gets big play, too

October, 4, 2009

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

INDIANAPOLIS -- Don’t forget the defense.

In case the Seahawks were getting any sense they could take advantage of a Peyton Manning interception ...

Dwight Freeney put big pressure on Seneca Wallace, who escaped only to get clobbered by Robert Mathis, who did what Robert Mathis does -- stripped the quarterback while recording a sack. Freddy Keiaho recovered.

A stifling defensive effort continues.

I’m not feeling like the Seahawks, who have 170 yards through three quarters, are going to threaten the end zone.

AFC South: Final Word

October, 2, 2009

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Sunday’s games:

  Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE
  Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew can hurt opponents on screen passes.
Screen passes can be big in Titans-Jaguars: With Tennessee hell bent on stopping runs and getting to David Garrard, the Jaguars are likely to hurt them with at least a few screens with Maurice Jones-Drew getting the ball in some space. The Titans would be wise to mix in some screen themselves on offense. Chris Johnson’s been getting stopped for a lot of losses, and they’d be wise to attempt to get him outside with at least a couple short throws.

The Colts will pass rush OK without Dwight Freeney: Raheem Brock won’t be working against Walter Jones, also expected to miss the game hurt. And the quarterback Brock and his linemates will be chasing isn’t Matt Hasselbeck but Seneca Wallace. The absence of Freeney can hurt more next week in Tennessee, but it shouldn’t have a huge impact here.

Houston’s got all kinds of incentive: A month that they expected to produce a 3-1 record can end at best at 2-2. Oakland’s passing attack is unthreatening, which should allow the Texans to focus on the run as much as necessary to settle down in that department. A year ago the Texans went to Oakland and blew a big chance to get to 8-7 and produced a dud. The Texans recovered well from their Week 1 debacle against the Jets. Can they do the same following a Week 3 disappointment?

The Titans will concentrate on the ground games: This should be a get-back-to-basics scenario where they will try to run and stop the run. The Jaguars are average against the run and the Titans are equipped to emphasize stopping the dangerous Jones-Drew without running too much risk against a middling passing attack. One X-factor that could work in Jacksonville’s favor: more end-around and misdirection stuff keyed around rookie receiver Mike Thomas.

Look for another big moment from Pierre Garcon: The bulk of the balls are going to be aimed at Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark. But Peyton Manning has cause for having confidence in Garcon, who made big plays for him in Miami and Arizona. The Colts will want to keep building Garcon as an additional, viable option and I’d expect he’ll have another chance or to for impact plays.