The Seattle Seahawks will kick off the 2021 NFL season on Sunday, Sept. 12, with a trip to Indianapolis. The Colts have provided some early information about the matchup, revealing that Carson Wentz will get the start after he recovered from an offseason foot injury.
Colts head coach Frank Reich dropped the news on Wednesday, Sept. 8, saying that Wentz would be a full participant in practice. The coach then confirmed that the former first-round pick will suit up against the Seahawks and attempt to bounce back from a season in which he went 3-8-1 as a starter for the Eagles.
Wentz is about to start his first season with the Colts after spending five years with the Eagles and one trip to the Pro Bowl. During his tenure in Philadelphia, Wentz led the team to a 35-32-1 record while throwing for 16,811 yards, 113 touchdowns, and 50 interceptions. He led the team to the playoffs three times but also struggled with injuries, tearing his ACL in 2017 and fracturing his back in 2018.
The Seattle Seahawks and the Indianapolis Colts will face off on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 1 p.m. ET. Fox will broadcast the game as Pete Carroll attempts to lead his team to the first win of the season.
Carroll Expects To Face a 2017-Style Offense in Indianapolis
Prior to the matchup, Carroll met with reporters and provided his outlook on the game. He explained that the offense changed with Philip Rivers retiring and that Wentz has some very distinct tools to help him succeed. Carroll added that he expects the Colts to move forward with an offense similar to the one that secured the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LIII.
“I think the thing we are looking at is the relationship that Frank [Reich] and Carson [Wentz] had when they were together,” Carroll told reporters on Sept. 8. “That world-class season they put together was obvious. I’m sure that’s how they’re looking towards the future, and that’s how I’m looking towards it because I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be that way.
“They’ve got an offensive line, they’ve got terrific running backs, nice receiver crew, tight ends who can play and do special stuff,” Carroll continued. “He’s got everything he needs, and he’s got a coach who obviously communicates great with him.”
The head coach continued and said that Wentz has the ability to run around well and that he has great power in his arm. Based on these factors, as well as how the offense in Philadelphia played to his strengths, Carroll expects to face a powerful offense during the first game of the season.
2017 served as the best season of Wentz’s career despite him finishing out the schedule on Injured Reserve. He started 13 games and led the team to an 11-2 record before tearing his ACL in a win against the Rams. He earned the lone Pro Bowl selection of his career after throwing for a career-high 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
The Revamped Seahawks Secondary Will Have to Slow Down Wentz
Stopping the Indianapolis offense early will not be a simple task. The defense will have to be at the top of its game, doing so after losing some key contributors. KJ Wright is no longer suiting up at linebacker for Seattle while cornerback Shaquill Griffin now plays for Jacksonville.
The Seahawks will deploy a slightly different secondary against the Colts, albeit one led by returning players. According to the latest depth chart, DJ Reed will line up as the starting right cornerback while Tre Flowers will officially take over at left cornerback. Recently acquired corners John Reid and Sidney Jones will back up Reed and Flowers, respectively.
According to Gregg Bell of the “Tacoma News Tribune,” the secondary will see the return of a key contributor. Marquise Blair, a safety who lined up as the nickel defensive back, should be fully healthy and ready to contribute against the Colts. Blair underwent reconstructive knee surgery one year ago, but he will now return to the field and try to slow down the Wentz-led offense.