It's been a long offseason, but kickoff is just a day away. The Seahawks and Colts—two of the NFL's 14 playoff teams last year—will battle it out in what should be a highly entertaining affair at Lucas Oil Stadium.
There are plenty of storylines to follow heading into this one, such as quarterback Carson Wentz's debut in Indianapolis and the debut of new Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. And with players like Russell Wilson, Jamal Adams, DeForest Buckner and Darius Leonard stepping in between the hash marks, this game will be jam-packed with superstar talent.
Before each game this season, I'll be making five "picks to click" for the Seahawks. This will consist of five of their players I believe will have the greatest positive impact on their odds to win each week. So without further ado, here's who I think will shine in Indianapolis.
RB Chris Carson
With the likes of Buckner suffocating the pocket, it could be a tough day at times for Wilson. As a result, the Seahawks will need to run the ball efficiently to keep the Colts off-balance and properly set up the play-action looks Wilson thrives in. Last year, however, Indianapolis was one of the best defenses in stopping the run, allowing the league's second-lowest yards-per-game total of 90.5 on the ground. Nevertheless, Carson is one of the most dynamic and punishing backs in today's game. At the very least, he's not going to make it easy on the blue-clad defenders in front of him and that may be all Seattle needs out of him.
WRs DK Metcalf & Tyler Lockett
Kenny Moore II is an unideal draw for whichever Seahawks receiver primarily lines up in the slot on Sunday, but the Z and X—likely Lockett and Metcalf with rookie Dee Eskridge sprinkled in—should have a field day with three-time Pro Bowl selection Xavier Rhodes (calf) ruled out. As long as Wilson has time to throw, the two 1,000-yard receivers last year should have no issues filling their stat sheets against T.J. Carrie and Rock Ya-Sin.
DE Carlos Dunlap
Speaking of players who should benefit from Indianapolis' injuries, Dunlap—and the rest of Seattle's rotation at LEO defensive end—could have a monster game with starting left tackle Eric Fisher ruled out as he continues to recover from a torn Achilles. That means fifth-year man Julie'n Davenport will be protecting the blindside of Wentz, who underwent foot surgery a little over a month ago and might not be as mobile as he'd like. Davenport appeared in just 53 snaps for the Dolphins last year and earned a poor 56.5 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 534 snaps in 2019. Dunlap should be able to pin his ears back and get into the backfield at least a handful of times.
LB Jordyn Brooks
With top receiver T.Y. Hilton (neck) on injured reserve, the Colts are expected to heavily rely on the tight end duo of Mo-Alie Cox and Jack Doyle in their passing attack. Brooks' stellar pass coverage skills will be huge in helping keep both at bay, particularly the athletic Cox. He'll also be a massive factor in stopping Indy's run game, using his own elite athleticism to match the dynamic backfield threats of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines.