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Originally published October 6, 2013 at 5:47 PM | Page modified October 6, 2013 at 10:44 PM

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Andrew Luck carves up Seahawks secondary

Andrew Luck’s passing numbers against the Seahawks Sunday weren’t necessarily the stuff of legend. But when he had to, Luck was able to have the kind of success that most quarterbacks usually don’t against Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”

Seattle Times staff reporter

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INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck’s passing numbers against the Seahawks Sunday — 16 of 29 passing for 229 yards and two touchdowns — weren’t necessarily the stuff of legend.

But when he had to, Luck was able to have the kind of success that most quarterbacks don’t against Seattle’s defense, and specifically the “Legion of Boom” secondary.

Luck was 11 for 16 for 132 yards in the second half, and 4-for-4 passing on third downs in the final two quarters, converting each one as the Colts rallied for a 34-28 win over the Seahawks.

He also hit on two big touchdown passes that got the Colts back in the game — a 73-yarder to T.Y. Hilton in the first quarter and a 29-yarder to Hilton in the third.

Afterward, the Seahawks accepted blame while also indicating they don’t plan on allowing that type of performance often.

“We can play better than that,” said cornerback Richard Sherman. “That’s why we’re not worried.”

The first Luck-to-Hilton touchdown came on a play when the Seahawks blew a coverage. Sherman let Hilton get by him, assuming help was coming.

“We made a mistake on the first one,” Carroll said, adding that “they got us with a little formation thing that we should’ve played just fine.”

Said safety Earl Thomas, who made a last-gasp attempt to tackle Hilton on the play: “It was just busted coverage. We can’t have errors out there, especially on the road.”

On the second touchdown, Hilton simply ran past cornerback Brandon Browner.

“He beat us,” Carroll said, adding what was quite obvious: “He’s really, really fast.”

Bruce Irvin, playing in his first game of the season after being suspended for the first four for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, noted that with the personnel still shifting in the Seattle defense, it may take some time for everyone to grow comfortable in their roles.

“It was a lot of communication problems,” Irvin said. “It’s our first week really working all together, so I just feel like we’ve got to continue to rep in practice and get the chemistry thing down, and we will continue to get better each and every week.”

Hauschka frustrated

Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka hit a season-high four field goals.

But it was his first miss of the season that he’ll remember most from this one.

Hauschka was lined up for a 48-yard field goal early in the second quarter to put Seattle ahead 15-7 when the kick was instead blocked and returned 61 yards by Delano Howell for a touchdown.

The kick was blocked by Lawrence Guy, who got just enough movement in the middle of Seattle’s line.

“We allowed them too much push on that play, and maybe the combination of that and the ball’s elevation wasn’t quite high enough to get it done,” Carroll said.

Hauschka said he “wasn’t quite sure” what happened since he had his head down on his follow-through.

“It’s kind of frustrating for me to have the game-deciding play like that go against us,” he said.

Offensive line perseveres

Seattle again played without three starting offensive linemen as center Max Unger, who was officially a game-time decision, was held out for the second straight week with a triceps injury.

Tight end Zach Miller also sat out with a hamstring injury.

Carroll said “it was going to be a miracle if they made it through” to play.

“We just needed to wait and just do the right thing,” he said. “It’s a long season. Like we’ve been saying all along, we’ve been trying to take the conservative route with these guys returning so that they’ll be there for the long haul, and that was the right decision.”

Carroll praised the play of the line, which helped Seattle rush for a season-high 218 yards.

“We moved the ball really well,” he said.

Kearse makes it count

Jermaine Kearse has just four catches this season, but two have gone for touchdowns after he scored on a 28-yard pass from Russell Wilson in the second quarter.

The play was reviewed, but Kearse said he never had a doubt the call would be upheld.

“I knew I caught the ball,” he said. “It was just a matter of whether I was in the end zone or not. But I felt like I was in there, and I was right.”

Kearse also blocked a punt that led to a safety in the first quarter.

“It was a scheme that we had worked on this whole week,” he said. “I went in and I was open for the block and I was fortunate enough to go get it.”

Notes

• Irvin had a sack and four tackles and also did some dropping into coverage in his new role at strongside linebacker. “I was nervous at the beginning of the game, but I got comfortable and it felt natural,” he said.

• Carroll said there were no significant new injuries.

Seahawks’ secondary has primary troubles
The Colts’ four longest plays from scrimmage (and eight of their 10 longest) were pass plays. Four of those came in the fourth quarter, when Indianapolis took control.
YardageQuarterPlay description
731Andrew Luck pass to T.Y. Hilton for a touchdown
293Luck pass to Hilton for a touchdown
194Luck pass to Reggie Wayne to Seattle 3-yard line
194Luck pass to Wayne to 50-yard line
162Donald Brown rushes for 16 yards
163Trent Richardson rushes for 16 yards
132Luck pass to Hilton
134Luck pass to Hilton
124Luck pass to Hilton
113Luck pass to Coby Fleener

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

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