The Seattle Seahawks kicked off the 2021 NFL season on Sunday, Sept. 12, with a game against the Indianapolis Colts. Quarterback Carson Wentz led his team down the field on the opening drive, but he could not achieve success against a revamped Seahawks defensive line. The big men up front led the way as the Seahawks kicked off the year with a 28-16 win.
The defending NFC West champions were in Wentz’s grill all game long, accounting for four sacks and 10 quarterback hits. Carlos Dunlap shut down a two-point conversion while Benson Mayowa, Rasheem Green, and Darrell Taylor all shut down drives with sacks of their own. Taylor, in particular, fought through Braden Smith’s block on fourth-and-one to drop Wentz and force a turnover on downs.
The defense gave up some plays early to Colts running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines as the offense moved down the field to score 10 points. However, the group ultimately held the runners to a combined 90 yards rushing while Wentz scrambled for 23. The Colts also remained scoreless for the majority of the second half until a garbage-time touchdown pass to Zach Pascal.
Injuries Impacted the Seahawks’ Offensive Lineup
The Seahawks entered the season-opening game in Indianapolis at full strength. The key players were healthy, and the team had plenty of depth at each position. However, the situation changed throughout the game as injuries impacted the offensive lineup.
The Seahawks announced after the first half that wide receiver Penny Hart would not return to the game. He had suffered a concussion and left the offense with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, D’Wayne Eskridge, and Freddie Swain as the only healthy options.
Additionally, the Seahawks noted that backup running back Rashaad Penny had suffered a calf injury and would not return. The former first-round pick rushed two times for a total of eight yards before leaving the game and forcing DeeJay Dallas into the primary backup role behind Chris Carson.
The injury concerns continued later in the fourth quarter when Eskridge remained on the ground after a nine-yard run. He took a shot to the head from a Colts defender and had to leave the game with assistance from the trainers. He immediately went to the blue injury tent for further assessment.
Let Russ & the Offense Cook – 2021 Edition
Early in the 2020 season, the fans began calling for the Seahawks to “let Russ cook.” The quarterback had started the year with 28 touchdown passes in the first nine weeks, including two consecutive games with five touchdown throws.
The offense became a very pass-happy operation and launched Russell Wilson into the MVP conversation. While the offense switched to a run-heavy approach after the season’s midpoint, the calls continued for the Seahawks to let Wilson throw early and often.
After only one week of NFL action, these calls could return. Wilson did not attempt many passes during the season-opening win, but he was extremely effective while showcasing the wide array of talent at his disposal. Wilson connected with Tyler Lockett twice for touchdowns and then threw one each to DK Metcalf and new tight end Gerald Everett. No. 3 ended his day with 18 completions on 23 attempts for 254 yards and four touchdowns while Lockett posted his 11th career 100-yard game.
The tight ends also showed that they will be a force to contend with throughout the regular season. Everett brought in two passes for 20 yards and a score. He also had a long gain taken away by an illegal formation penalty on the offense. Will Dissly, on the other hand, had three receptions for 37 yards, including one where he tossed linebacker Bobby Okereke to the side like a toy.
While the offense took care of business and built up an 11-point lead at halftime, there were some concerns for the future. Specifically, the offensive line gave up four sacks to the Colts, including two while Ethan Pocic lined up at center.