It's been a long eight months for the Seahawks. Since falling to the Rams in the wild-card round of the 2020 playoffs, they've overcome drama, hired a new offensive coordinator and had one of the busiest free agency periods ever in the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era.
Now, 12s can breathe a sigh of relief because for the first time since that disappointing January afternoon: it's finally game day!
Heading into Lucas Oil Stadium to kick the year off, the Seahawks will face an underrated Colts team with a retooled offense and one of the best defenses in the league. With debuts and superstars aplenty, it should be an epic battle between two of the NFL's top teams.
Who will come out on top? Here are our picks.
Corbin Smith: Seahawks 25, Colts 20
Both of these teams have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, but plenty of questions left to answer. For the Colts, their biggest question mark looms at quarterback with Carson Wentz coming off another injury and two rough seasons. But the team has an excellent offensive line and running back group to complement and take pressure off of Wentz, so this game should be tight throughout. Although Indianapolis has the horses to pressure and make life tough on Russell Wilson, the eight-time Pro Bowler will outduel Wentz once again by taking advantage of Seattle's receiving talent against a suspect secondary minus Xavier Rhodes. Quarterback play and a pesky pass rush led by Jamal Adams and Carlos Dunlap will prove to be the difference that helps the Seahawks escape with a signature road victory to open the season.
Ty Dane Gonzalez: Seahawks 24, Colts 14
The Colts are a really talented team that should make a considerable amount of noise in the AFC this year, but the Seahawks are catching them at the right time. Carson Wentz has made just a handful of appearances at practice since undergoing foot surgery last month and hasn't had the time to build an ideal amount of chemistry with his teammates. He'll also be without his starting left tackle, Eric Fisher (Achilles), nor his top receiving option, T.Y. Hilton (neck). So if Seattle can keep the explosive running duo of Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines in check, I expect the Shane Waldron-led offense to do enough to separate itself late, especially against a defense missing Xavier Rhodes (calf), and give the team its third 1-0 start in a row.
Nick Lee: Seahawks 26, Colts 20
I expect some wacky Week 1 weirdness, especially with a new offense coordinated by Shane Waldron. I also expect a little rust from all the starters who didn’t play the in preseason, including Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf. There will be a feeling out process early, but the Seahawks are the better team. Nonetheless, I'm actually expecting overtime—it will be that close. The Colts are a solid football team. But Wilson gets it done in the extra period to secure a tough road win.
Colby Patnode: Seahawks 27, Colts 24
In perhaps the best matchup of Week 1 that nobody is talking about, the Seahawks open their season with a 10 a.m. road game against a playoff caliber team. They're bringing back most of the group that went 12-4 in 2020, but should feature a new offensive scheme against the Colts' elite defense. Seattle will need to neutralize Indianapolis' front seven and slow down Jonathan Taylor to get a road win, but Carson Wentz could help with a few turnovers. I like Seattle to win a back-and-forth affair.