Indianapolis Colts fans will get to see new franchise QB Carson Wentz make his regular season debut as a member of the blue and white right away in Week 1 against the NFC West powerhouse Seattle Seahawks.
Aside from Wentz's debut, there's a couple of major storylines to following ahead of the Week 1 showdown at Lucas Oil Stadium. Though the regular season opener is still roughly four months away, it's never too early to look ahead and circle the date.
Welcome to Indianapolis, Carson Wentz!
Sure, Wentz will undoubtedly take some snaps inside Lucas Oil Stadium as a Colt against the Carolina Panthers to open the 2021 preseason, but there's going to be nothing like his regular season debut at home against the Seahawks' defense, which features a strong front seven but a seemingly susceptible secondary.
It's important to temper expectations with Wentz, especially early on in 2021 as he adjusts to a new team, but all eyes will be on the 2 in blue and white in Week 1 against the Seahawks.
If he balls out, the hot takes will fly around in a positive manner for Wentz and the Colts. Should he struggle though? Prepare yourselves for the doom and gloom takes and overreactions after Week 1.
Kwity Paye's Opportunity
Leading up to the 2021 NFL Free Agency period and the NFL Draft, a lot of talk surrounded the Colts' desperate need to shore up the defensive end position with Denico Autry and Justin Houston allowed to walk, and guys like Ben Banogu and Tyquan Lewis still relative unknowns.
In stepped Kwity Paye as the Colts' first round selection at No. 21 overall.
Following a strong showing in rookie minicamp - coupled with a desire from the franchise to get him on the field - it sure looks like Paye will start in Week 1 against a Seahawks' offensive line which has struggled to protect Russell Wilson.
In fact, Seattle's offensive line allowed 48 sacks last season, good for fifth-worst in the NFL.
Though Paye is still an unrefined pass rusher, he will get the chance to get off to a fast start in his NFL career against a poor offensive line that did very little to upgrade protection in front of Wilson, aside from trading for guard Gabe Jackson and drafting Florida tackle Stone Forsythe.
Stout Run Defenses
While this Week 1 matchup will feature two talented QBs will plenty of weapons at their disposal, it's important to note that the Colts and Seahawks like to play similar styles: pound the rock and work off of play action.
That might not work for either team in Week 1 though as the Colts and Seahawks were both top 5 run defenses in 2020, with the Colts allowing just 3.7 yards per tote, while Seattle allowed 3.9.
If both front sevens are up to the task of slowing down the Colts' Jonathan Taylor and Seattle's Chris Carson, more responsibilities will fall to Wilson and Wentz's right arms, which could lead to a sort of aerial explosion as both teams will likely have to take chances to move the football.
Should the game take more of a turn to a pass-happy affair, that plays to the Colts' advantage, as every starter returns in the secondary for the Colts, while the Seahawks had major turnover in the secondary this offseason.
Have thoughts on the three key storylines ahead of the Week 1 matchup between the Colts and Seahawks? Drop a line in the comments section below!