Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 28-16 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium:
Quarterback Russell Wilson came out of the gate in MVP form, going 18-for-23 for 254 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Two of those TDs were on deep balls to Tyler Lockett, who looked fully healthy after playing through dings during much of the 2020 season. Seattle’s run game was solid (140 yards), but a fumble by running back Chris Carson in a drive that began in Colts territory scared up visions of Carson’s previous fumble woes. After a tremendous first half the offense slowed in the second, but the Seahawks were eventually able to get the back-breaking touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Seattle’s defense got pushed around on the first drive of the game, but it managed to hold the Colts to a field goal and was excellent the rest of the way. The play of the defensive line was particularly encouraging, as the Seahawks punished Indianapolis quarterback Carson Wentz by sacking him three times and delivering 10 quarterback hits. And in key moments in the second half when the offense was going through its lull, Seattle twice came up big on fourth down to stop the Colts when they were in scoring position. Half a grade off for allowing an inconsequential late touchdown.
Seattle’s first punt was a near disaster, as Michael Dickson hesitated and had to get off a pooch kick while on the run. After that Dickson was his usual self, putting the Colts inside their own 15-yard line on his other four punts. Both kickoff and punt coverage were solid, and the Seahawks easily handled a late onside-kick attempt. Kicker Jason Myers never had a chance to extend his field-goal streak, and Seattle’s return game offered no threat.
This was the first test of new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s system, and for the most part it came through with flying colors. It took one drive for the new aspects to show up, but we saw more use of tempo, more involvement from the tight ends and regular inclusion of fly sweeps, suggesting greater creativity on offense — while the deep ball remained a part of the package. We even saw a quarterback sneak on third-and-1. While it’s good to have competition, the regular switching at center between Kyle Fuller and Ethan Pocic seemed to blunt momentum.
Honestly, the Seahawks couldn’t have started the season much better: a comfortable road win against a quality opponent. The biggest talk of the offseason was about how Seattle’s offense was going to change under Waldron, and the first impression was a positive one. On what was a big opening weekend for the NFC West, Seattle indicated it’s ready for the dogfight in what may be the NFL’s toughest division.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer