SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks use 2nd-half surge to rout Colts, 46-18


SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks use 2nd-half surge to rout Colts, 46-18

SEATTLE - It took a trio of relative unknowns to wake up the Seattle Seahawks.

J.D. McKissic took the second carry of his career 30 yards for a touchdown and Bobby Wagner scooped up Marcus Smith's forced fumble and rumbled 21 yards for a score in a 13-second span late in the third quarter, and the Seahawks beat the Indianapolis Colts 46-18 on Sunday night.

Justin Coleman added a 28-yard interception return for a TD in the first half and Seattle overcame a sleepy first 30 minutes from its offense to finally put away the Colts.

"It was a terrific night. It just took us a while again. ... We finally got going," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

McKissic was once cut by Atlanta, but his athleticism earned him a spot in Seattle. Coleman was deemed expendable by New England and was acquired in a trade just before the start of the regular season. And Smith, who finished with 1 1/2 sacks, was a former first-round pick who was a bust with Philadelphia.

Their big plays turned boos that cascaded down at halftime with Seattle trailing 15-10 into cheers in a hurry. CenturyLink Field was left shaking after Wagner scooped up Smith's forced fumble against quarterback Jacoby Brissett and weaved through tacklers for Seattle's second defensive score and a 32-18 lead.

Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions, but his most important play was a 23-yard run in the third quarter to give Seattle an 18-15 lead. Adam Vinatieri pulled the Colts even at 18 as the Colts capitalized on Wilson's second interception. Graham dropped a catchable pass and it was intercepted by Malik Hooker , his third straight game with an interception.

But Seattle answered with a 75-yard drive that was capped by McKissic's touchdown sprint. Wilson added TD passes of 6 yards to Luke Willson and 27 yards to McKissic in the fourth quarter and the Seahawks outscored Indianapolis 36-3 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.

Seattle's win came appeared to come with a big blow in the final minutes when starting running back Chris Carson sustained a left leg injury. Trainers immediately placed an air cast on Carson's leg and he was carted off the field. Carroll said Carson's injury was significant.

Brissett threw an 18-yard strike to Donte Moncrief late in the first half to give the Colts the lead. Brissett was 16 of 29 for 157 yards and was sacked three times. The biggest play turned out to be Smith's sack, knocking the ball from Brissett's hands just before his arm moved forward as Seattle suddenly took a 14-point lead.

"They just outplayed us big time in the second half. We didn't do a good job of adjusting. That's on me," Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said. "We're a lot better than that, but it's going to be the same old song and dance if we don't get things cleaned up."


Report: Cam Fleming visiting the Cowboys

File Photo

Report: Cam Fleming visiting the Cowboys

There's one gigantic hole to fill on the Patriots offensive line.

Replacing Nate Solder is no easy task and it's not exactly clear how the Pats will yet.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport was first to report the Patriots would like to bring back Waddle or Fleming.

It now appears that one of the former backup tackle is taking a serious look elsewhere, according to Ian Rapoport. 

It's not the best offensive line free agency market this season, so the Pats may prefer to bring back a guy they are familar with.

If Fleming is off the board, Waddle still remains as an option for New England.



How the compensatory pick formula may impact Patriots free-agent calls

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How the compensatory pick formula may impact Patriots free-agent calls

How highly do the Patriots value their mid-round draft picks? We'll find out as the run on NFL free agents continues this week. 

If Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio plan to make any signings from outside the organization, they'll have to factor into that decision what they will be giving up. Money and cap space matter . . . sure. But there is draft capital at stake.  

The Patriots are currently projected to land two third-round compensatory picks in 2019 after losing both Malcolm Butler and Nate Solder in free agency. There's real value there, and the decision-makers at One Patriot Place may be reluctant to give that up. 

Recent Patriots third-round picks include Derek Rivers, Tony Garcia, Joe Thuney, Jacoby Brissett, Vincent Valentine, Geneo Grissom, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan. 


Before we get into how the Patriots might lose those third-round comp picks if they remain active in free-agency, it's worth noting how comp picks are assigned. 

The compensatory-pick formula the league uses has never been published, but we know the basics. It's based on free agents lost and free agents acquired in a given year by a particular team. The level of those players is taken into consideration -- based on salary, playing time and other factors -- and then picks are issued to teams who have lost more (or better) free agents than they acquired. Only free agents whose contracts have expired (not players who've been released) qualify for the compensatory-pick formula.'s Nick Korte is the best in the business when it comes to predicting how many picks teams will land based on their free-agent losses and acquisitions, and he has the Patriots down for two third-rounders in 2019 and nothing else. 

That may sound surprising given the Patriots lost Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola in addition to Butler and Solder, but that's the way the formula broke, according to Korte. The Adrian Clayborn signing (given a sixth-round value by OTC) cancelled out the Amendola loss (sixth-round value). The Matt Tobin signing (seventh-round value) cancelled out the Lewis loss (sixth-round value). And the Jeremy Hill signing (seventh-round value) cancelled out the Johnson Bademosi loss (sixth-round value). 

Why do Tobin and Hill cancel out Amendola and Lewis, despite being lower-value moves? Here's how OTC describes the process. (Free agents who qualify for the comp-pick formula are known as Compensatory Free Agents or CFAs.)

1. A CFA gained by a team cancels out the highest-valued available CFA lost that has the same round valuation of the CFA gained.

2. If there is no available CFA lost in the same round as the CFA gained, the CFA gained will instead cancel out the highest-available CFA lost with a lower round value.

3. A CFA gained will only cancel out a CFA lost with a higher draft order if there are no other CFAs lost available to cancel out. 

That final point is key. An example? The Seahawks recently signed CFA Jaron Brown, a seventh-round value. The only Seahawks "CFAs lost" available to cancel out the move were Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham, both fourth-round values. Even though there's a three-round difference between Brown and Richardson, per Korte's projections, those moves still will cancel each other out. 

With that in mind, the Patriots may want to tread lightly when it comes to signing free agents who will qualify toward the comp-pick formula. They could lose out on the third-rounders they've received for Solder and Butler even if they sign a lower-value free agent.

Players like Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro or Raiders linebacker NaVorro Bowman would count toward the comp-pick formula. Would their value to the team be such that losing a 2019 third-round pick wouldn't matter to the Patriots? Or would their comp-pick impact hurt their chances of being picked up in New England? My guess would be the latter. 

The good news for the Patriots is that re-signing their own players -- like offensive tackles LaAdrian Waddle and/or Cam Fleming -- doesn't impact the comp-pick setup. Neither does signing players who've been released, meaning the Patriots could theoretically make a splash by signing Ndamukong Suh or Eric Ebron and they'd retain their comp picks.

Given the Patriots made just four draft picks last year, and since comp picks can be traded now (that rule was changed last year), it would come as little surprise if retaining those picks weighed heavily on Belichick and Caserio's decisions as they move through the remainder of the offseason.