INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tony Dungy saw the Indianapolis Colts play
defense his way Friday night.
Few others noticed.
In front of the smallest crowd to watch a game in Indianapolis,
the Colts' defense forced five turnovers, had four sacks, scored
one touchdown and set up another in a 21-7 victory over the Seattle
"This was a little better performance than last week," Dungy
said. "It was especially nice to see us get the ball back for the
offense a few times."
The few fans who did show up -- only 26,741 attended the game --
saw a defense that appeared to be in midseason form just six days
after blowing a lead in the final two minutes against Chicago.
This was not the same team, and certainly not the crowd, the
More than 37,000 tickets were sold, but with about 10,000
no-shows and the crowd thinning throughout, the atmosphere seemed
more like that of a training camp workout -- dull and quiet.
It was the Colts' first home game since a summer full of
speculation about whether the team would move to Los Angeles. The
smallest previous crowd in Indianapolis was 34,927 when the Colts
played the New York Jets in the strike-shortened season of 1987.
"I didn't know what to expect," quarterback Peyton Manning
said. "Certainly, there were a lot of empty seats up there.
Hopefully, they'll be here during the regular season. I expect they
Those who came watched the Colts dominate.
Manning connected on 10 of 15 passes for 88 yards and two
touchdowns, and wide receiver Marvin Harrison caught five passes
for 74 yards and a touchdown. Two-time NFL rushing champ Edgerrin
James, a loud critic of preseason games, sat out with a sore
hamstring, but Brian Allen ran 20 times for 62 yards.
That much is expected from one of the league's highest-scoring
The twist Friday was the defense, which made life miserable for
Indianapolis pressured quarterbacks Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca
Wallace repeatedly, forcing constant mistakes.
Hasselbeck was just 3-of-9 for 25 yards, was sacked once and
fumbled on the first series.
Wallace's night was even worse. He finished 10-of-18 for 84
yards with one interception and one fumble that the Colts (1-1)
recovered for a touchdown. Wallace also was sacked three times.
The defense has forced eight turnovers in its first two
preseason games, exceeding Dungy's goal of three per game.
"Anytime you can get three or more turnovers, you're almost
guaranteed to win," starting cornerback Nick Harper said.
The Colts made Seattle pay for its miscues, too.
Manning needed five plays to find Marcus Pollard for a 3-yard
touchdown pass, the starting offense's first score of the
preseason, and a 7-0 lead five minutes in.
"Any time you start with a fumble like we did on the first
drive, it doesn't set a good tone for the offense," Seattle coach
Mike Holmgren said.
On Manning's final drive, he twice exploited a mismatch -- rookie
cornerback Marcus Trufant on Harrison, the NFL's single-season
record holder for receptions. The first result was a 48-yard pass
play that put the Colts at Seattle's 21. The second was a 6-yard TD
pass to make it 14-0 with 4:37 left in the half.
Trufant, the Seahawks' first-round pick, called it a learning
"I'm not going to dwell on it," he said.
Things got worse for Seattle (1-1) in the third quarter.
When the ball slipped out of Wallace's hand as he tried to
throw, four players -- two Colts and two Seahawks, including Wallace
-- each had a chance to recover as it bounced nearly 40 yards into
the end zone. Finally, David Macklin, the fifth player with a shot
at it, recovered the ball to make it 21-0.
"We worked on it all week, we knew they were going to come with
it," Wallace said of the Colts' blitzes. "We just didn't play
About the only thing that went right for the Seahawks was a
10-play, 64-yard drive that ended with Kerry Carter scoring on a
3-yard run early in the fourth. Carter finished with 32 yards on
nine carries. Starter Shaun Alexander had 32 yards on seven
Carter's touchdown run prevented the Colts from producing their
first preseason shutout in Indianapolis since 1989.
Dungy didn't seem care about the shutout, just the performance.
"Some of the new blitzes we put in last week, they were things
we wanted to take a look at and get ironed out," he said. "This
is our style of play."