NFL Week 4 Preview: Colts at Seahawks
Each week, the PFF analysis team will bring you break downs of the most important matchups for each game of the NFL season.
Coverage by: Mike Alessandrini
Matchup: Indianapolis Colts offense vs. Seattle Seahawks defense
- WR T.Y. Hilton vs. CB Richard Sherman – After a sluggish start to the year due in large part to poor quarterback play, Hilton exploded last week against Cleveland. The wideout caught 7 of 9 targets for 153 yards and a touchdown. Jacoby Brissett had a 155.8 passer rating when targeting his top receiver in Week 3. Hilton averaged 5.28 yards per route run against the Browns after he averaged just 1.61 yards per route run in his first two contests. Like many Seattle defenders, Sherman has had an inconsistent start to 2017. The cornerback has earned a 43.0 overall grade through three games, but quarterbacks still have a weak 67.6 passer rating when targeting him.
- G Jack Mewhort vs. DI Michael Bennett – Bennett constantly moves along the defensive line, but the majority of his pass-rush snaps come when lined up as an interior defender. The defensive lineman has accumulated three sacks and 10 total pressures in 2017. His 8.8 pass-rush productivity ranks 10th at his position. Colts’ guard Jack Mewhort will see a lot of Bennett on passing snaps, and must win this battle to help keep his quarterback clean in the pocket. Mewhort’s pass-blocking efficiency (95.6, 32nd ranked) this year leaves something to be desired.
- TE Jack Doyle vs. S Kam Chancellor – After a solid opening two games, Jack Doyle struggled in Week 3 against the Browns. Targeted on five passes, the tight end had as many drops as he did receptions (two each). Overall, his 50.0 grade is the 43rd best mark at his position. Doyle will look to rebound this week against Kam Chancellor. When lining up against tight ends in coverage this season, Chancellor has allowed four receptions on six targets for just 25 yards. His longest catch allowed came last week against Delanie Walker, however that reception gained just 11 yards.
Coverage by: Mike Cahill
Matchup: Seattle Seahawks offense vs. Indianapolis Colts defense
- WR Doug Baldwin vs. Colts Cornerbacks – Baldwin’s passer rating when targeted is at 108.9, which is currently tied for 28th in the league among receivers. He will face off with the Colts’ Rashaan Melvin, who has allowed a passer rating of 46.2 on 24 targets, and Nate Hairston, who has allowed a passer rating of 59.5 on 13 targets. The Colts will also have CB Vontae Davis make his season debut this week. He had not finished a season with a grade below 78.4 since entering the league until 2016 and had an elite grade of 95.1 in 2014. Baldwin’s 107 snaps in route currently rank 14th among receivers and his 1.95 yards per rout run average ranks the same.
- C Justin Britt vs. Colts Interior Defenders – Justin Britt is tied for fourth in the league among centers in pass-blocking efficiency with a 98.7. He has allowed only two quarterback pressures on 133 pass-block snaps, tied for fourth fewest. He will see a lot of interior defenders Margus Hunt and Johnathan Hankins, who have combined for 19 quarterback pressures, which is a third of the defenses’ overall pressures generated.
- QB Russell Wilson vs. Colts Pass Rush – Russell Wilson’s adjusted completion percentage of 60.0 under pressure rises to 70.6 when not facing pressure, even while having 25 more attempts without pressure. Meanwhile, the Colts have allowed quarterbacks-not-facing-pressure to go 49-of-77 for 469 yards with three touchdowns through three weeks. All five of Wilson’s passing touchdowns through three weeks have come on drop backs when not being blitzed. He hasn’t been blitzed on 75 percent of his drop backs, above the NFL’s 72 percent average, and he has 464 of his 729 passing yards on such drop backs.