The Seahawks open the season against the Colts in Indianapolis at 10 am PT. Indy is a good team with a new quarterback so Seattle will have a tough matchup. True, Carson Wentz hasn’t done well against Seattle but he has done well in a coach Frank Reich system.
Seattle, of course, has a very tough schedule and is loaded with very good NFC West teams. Getting a win out of the conference might be needed to make the playoffs. The struggle will not be easy in 2021.
The Seahawks will also be breaking in a new offense and might not have Shane Waldron’s full impact to start the year. A limited team against a good Colts team is not a great thing, if Seattle indeed is not yet ready to unveil its full offense.
What to look for in Seahawks versus Colts week one
Key additions: QB Carson Wentz, OT Sam Tevi, OT Julie’n Davenport, S Sean Davis, LT Eric Fisher
For the Seahawks side of things, Wentz has never beaten Seattle and he was on some decent teams with the Eagles. For whatever reason, Wentz’s athletic ability normally does not match up well against what Seattle wants to do defensively. And Seattle’s defense should be better from the start in 2021 and that is good. But Wentz is a wild card in this game and that could be good for the Colts.
Eric Fisher, if healthy, replacing Anthony Castonzo, could be a positive protecting Wentz.
Key losses: LB Anthony Walker, DT Denico Autry, LT Anthony Castonzo (retired)
The Colts were pretty good defensively in 2020 but losing the two defensive players above will have an effect. Autry had 7.5 sacks from his interior line position. Walker has a ton of speed and didn’t miss many tackles the last two seasons. While he might have played well simply playing next to Darius Leonard (who is an absolute freak), Walker will be missed.
Advantages for Seahawks: Familiarity at quarterback, special teams
Like nearly every Seahawks game, if not all, Seattle will have the best quarterback. Russell Wilson, no matter how last year ended, is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Yes, Carson Wentz did well under Frank Reich when both were in Philadelphia and might again now that both are in Indy, but that still doesn’t make Wentz as good as Wilson.
Also, Seattle, with Jason Myers and Michael Dickson, should almost always have the best special teams unit. If Myers can make his kicks again to give Seattle points and Dickson can pin the Colts back then Seattle’s defense should be good enough to limit the Colts.
Advantages for Colts: Home field advantage, offensive line
The biggest question here is whether Fisher is ready to start in week one. If he is, the Colts may have the best offensive line in the NFL. If not, Davenport is a decent fill-in. But Quenton Nelson at guard is fantastic and right tackle Braden Smith is Pro Bowl-worthy.
Indianapolis also has two former Seahawks in their offensive line room in center Joey Hunt and guard Mark Glowinski.
Home-field advantage is tough to overcome against a good team. Yes, Seattle has had a bunch of recent success at 10 am PT starts, but a lot of those are against not-good teams. The Colts are good and Seattle leaving town with a week one loss is a definite possibility.