Although the final box score won't reflect it, the Seahawks and Colts played a relatively close game Sunday afternoon. Seattle's offense slowed down in the second half, but a 21-point explosion in the first half proved enough to leave the 12s smiling on opening weekend.
Topping Indianapolis by a score of 28-16, there were plenty of positives to take away from this one and, naturally, not too many negatives. And to the relief of the fan base, the result of this one rarely hung in the balance. Clearly, the 10 a.m. PT start was a non-issue for Pete Carroll's crew.
QB Russell Wilson and OC Shane Waldron
Waldron's first career half of play calling could not have gone any better, exhibiting all the themes he and his team have hinted toward this offseason. Russell Wilson looked as good as ever in his first game under Waldron's eye, executing the gameplan to near perfection by putting three touchdown passes on the board heading into halftime.
Though the offense sputtered in the third quarter and suffered a turnover on a Chris Carson fumble, Waldron's debut went about as well as it could have. And when they needed it the most, the Seahawks marched down the field late in the fourth quarter to add some insurance on a 15-yard connection between Wilson and DK Metcalf. The unit, as a whole, looked more than capable of being one of the best in the NFL this season.
The entire Seahawks' defensive line
While Seattle's defense didn't get off to a great start by surrendering a 14-play, 67-yard opening drive that ended in a field goal, its defensive line had a marvelous afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium. Taking full advantage of left tackle Eric Fisher's absence, the Seahawks' cast of pass rushers dominated substitute Julie'n Davenport and the rest of the Colts' offensive line to the tune of 3.0 sacks and 10 quarterback hits on Carson Wentz.
Rasheem Green especially stood out, putting up one of the team's aforementioned sacks and a pair of key pass deflections. Darrell Taylor notched his first career sack and Benson Mayowa grabbed one as well. Bryan Mone also had a really strong outing, disrupting the Colts' run game as the Seahawks held Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines to just 90 yards combined on the ground.
WR Tyler Lockett
Lockett had a quiet second half, but he was right at the center of the offense's first-half success. On his first touchdown reception of the game, Lockett made a tough over-the-shoulder grab as he changed direction on a third-down prayer from Wilson. Then, after an illegal formation penalty negated a big gain by tight end Gerald Everett, followed up by a sack of Wilson, Lockett sprinted behind the defense and found himself on the receiving end of a signature moon ball from his quarterback for a 69-yard score.
Picking up right where he left off, Lockett was the lone 100-yard receiver on the day for the Seahawks, landing exactly at the triple-digit threshold. Having recorded 1,000-plus yards in each of the past two seasons, he's off to a great start in securing a three-peat.
RB Rashaad Penny
Penny started out the game as Seattle's No. 2 option out of the backfield, carrying the ball twice for eight yards. But he quickly exited the game with a calf injury and was ruled out shortly thereafter. Penny, of course, missed a decent chunk of training camp due to an ailing calf and continues to struggle with injuries four years into his career. If he's out for an extended period of time, DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer and Alex Collins—who was a healthy scratch—should see a considerable uptick in snaps.
C Ethan Pocic
Pocic and Kyle Fuller interestingly alternated drives at center for most of the afternoon, but the former greatly struggled in his few appearances. His worst play of the day came on a blitz from Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, which freed up All-Pro lineman DeForest Buckner to blow right by Pocic for an easy sack. Later on, the fifth-year man out of LSU left the game with what appeared to be a lower leg injury.
The Seahawks' pass coverage
This is, admittedly, a bit of a nitpick considering how well Seattle's defense played overall, but its pass coverage did offer quite a few opportunities for Wentz to convert on some easy throws. This, of course, was also by Colts head coach Frank Reich's design, scheming his receivers open fairly consistently. To the Seahawks' benefit, Wentz ignored an open man underneath in hopes of producing a bigger gain on more than one occasion. But the quarterback looked solid overall in his Indianapolis debut, completing 25 of his 38 pass attempts for 251 yards and two touchdowns.