Three impressions from the Seahawks’ tougher-than-it-needed-to-be 21-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in their season opener Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
An alarming start
The Seahawks won. And that is all that really matters, right?
But, man, no one should walk away from this game feeling good about the Seahawks’ chances going to Pittsburgh next week and hosting New Orleans in Week 3 — two teams many project as playoff teams.
The Seahawks were a 9½-point favorite against the Bengals, a team many expected to be one of the worst in the NFL under first-year coach Zac Taylor.
That Seattle had to squeak this out … that their pass defense allowed Andy Dalton to throw for 418 yards … and that their offense could never get in any kind of rhythm … has to be alarming.
Panic time? No, let’s not overreact. Not just yet. The Seahawks do have a relatively young roster, and some early season growing pains are probably to be expected.
Have a day, DK
Tyler Lockett was MIA until the first play of the fourth quarter — which, yes, might have been the most important play of the game for the Seahawks, a 44-yard strike from Russell Wilson to give them a 21-17 lead.
But outside Chris Carson’s big day (one rushing TD, one receiving TD), the best development for the Seahawks was the emergence of DK Metcalf.
The 6-foot-4 rookie receiver out of Ole Miss had four catches for 89 (on six targets) in his NFL debut — a welcome sight for an unproven receiving corps.
Metcalf’s debut came just 19 days after he had a minor knee procedure that kept him out of the final three preseason games.
Metcalf is the type of big receiving target Wilson hasn’t had since Sidney Rice in 2013, and the Seahawks showed Sunday that they’re going to make Metcalf a signature piece of their passing attack.
Ross is boss in Seattle (again)
Welcome back, John Ross III.
An All-American for the Huskies in 2016, Ross returned to Seattle and had the best game of his NFL career, posting seven catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday.
Seahawks safety Tedric Thompson misplayed Ross’ second TD catch — leaping too early on Andy Dalton’s pass downfield — resulting in a 55-yard score with seven seconds left in the first half.
Ross, the No. 9 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft, had a forgettable rookie season for the Bengals two years ago as he didn’t record a single catch while nursing injuries. Last year, he had just 210 yards receiving (though he did have seven TD receptions), and has said he was eager to have a larger role in Taylor’s offense.