The NFL season has officially reached the quarter mark, and while there's still plenty of games left on the docket, many teams have struggled out of the gate and could be facing near impossible tasks trying to climb back into playoff contention. For the Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks, however, the month of September ended up being a highly successful one, and both teams will be looking to make serious waves around the league when they face off at Lucas Oil Stadium this week. Week five features several marquee games, but the impending battle in Indianapolis could be the most compelling on the schedule this weekend.
In many ways, the Colts and Seahawks are mirror images of one another. Both franchises made excellent choices drafting Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson in last April's draft to take over as long-term solutions at quarterback, and both experienced highly successful campaigns led by the rookie sensations. Both Pete Carroll and Chuck Pagano took the reins for their respective clubs looking to develop strong defensive units coupled with balanced, physically imposing offenses. Both franchises have been aggressive pursuing upgrades, as the Colts spent big money to bring in free agents like Laron Landry and Gosder Cherilus, while the Seahawks will have to wait a little longer to unleash their newest weapon in Percy Harvin.
Most importantly, however, both of these franchises feature young rosters that should only continue to get better. That's a scary proposition for the rest of the league to swallow. Not many envisioned Seattle and Indianapolis becoming serious contenders this quickly, but each team has drafted exceptionally well and done a nice job finding the right pieces for the right price through free agency and trades.
Sunday's game should be one of the better, if not the best, contest on tap this week. Here's a look at several decisive matchups that will play a key role in dictating who grabs a victory this weekend.