Entering the 2021 season, everyone had a feeling the NFC West would repeat as the toughest division in football.
And after an undefeated start in Week 1?
It’s “gonna be a minefield,” Seahawks beat writer Bob Condotta tweeted Sunday night.
The NFL’s opening week is always ripe for overreactions, but it’s hard to argue with the West’s three wins over playoff teams from last season — and three of the most convincing wins across the league, at that.
The Seahawks looked comfortable on both sides of the ball against the Colts, the Rams broke in new QB Matthew Stafford in style, and Kyler Murray and the Cardinals shockingly dismantled the Titans, one of last year’s AFC powers. And while the 49ers needed to hold off a late rally from Jared Goff, they were on their way to blowing out the Lions early.
Ultimately, it was an imposing start for the West. And while it’s early, that third NFC wild-card spot could come in handy this season.
But enough about other teams.
Here’s what national media members had to say about the Seahawks’ 28-16 win over the Colts.
The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones named the Seahawks as the team that impressed her the most in the opening week.
I have been guilty of buying in to the Seahawks too quickly before, but I can’t help but be encouraged by what we saw out of Seattle’s new-look offense. Russell Wilson completed passes to seven Seahawks and completed more than 78 percent of his passes. I’m not sure there are many teams that are going to be able to cover both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett (the Colts certainly weren’t up to it on Sunday), and if Wilson and new coordinator Shane Waldron are in a zone like they were in the opener, the Seahawks could be a problem.
CBS Sports’ John Breech gave the Seahawks an A for their Week 1 performance.
New Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron might want to run for mayor of Seattle, because there’s a good chance that he’s the most popular person in the city right now. Waldron’s new offensive system worked flawlessly against a Colts defense that was one of the best in the NFL last year. Waldron’s offense took advantage of nearly every weapon the Seahawks have as Tyler Lockett (100 receiving yards, two TDs), D.K. Metcalf (60 yards, one TD) and Chris Carson (117 rushing yards) all had big games. No one thrived more than Russell Wilson, who threw for 254 yards and four touchdowns while completing 18 passes to seven different receivers.
MMQB’s Albert Breer wrote that both of Wilson’s offseason requests already appeared to be answered against the Colts.
So far, so good for Russell Wilson’s restart in Seattle. Outside of a voice in the organization, the 32-year-old, eight-time Pro Bowler was really asking for two football things this offseason: a system that works for him and pieces for the offensive line. On the latter, in a convincing 28–16 win in Indianapolis (that was 28–10 going into the game’s final minutes), the Seahawks rolled out a pair of new guards, in veteran Gabe Jackson and second-year player Damien Lewis, and those two helped pave the way to 140 yards rushing on 27 carries (5.2-yard average), and give Wilson time in a surgical performance. On the former? Well, Wilson looked comfortable, and that’s a credit to his own commitment even when things were out of whack between he and the team. … None of the four touchdown passes Wilson threw were actually out of play-action, but each was down the field against a defense that had to be concerned not just with Wilson’s ability to scoot but a reenergized Chris Carson, too. The touchdown to DK Metcalf was out of a similar formation they’d just run out of. The long one to Tyler Lockett was Wilson’s reacting to a blitz. And in between those big plays, on snaps when there was play-action, the quarterback took what the play brought him. All in all, I think this is going to be a really interesting offense with Waldron—who was among Sean McVay’s most trusted confidants—at the controls.
On the other side of the ball, SI’s Gary Grambling believes the Seahawks “might have something in Darrell Taylor.”
(The Seahawks are) a defense in desperate need of an edge-rushing presence. After missing his rookie year with a broken leg, Taylor was a force in his NFL debut, absolutely owning his matchup against Braden Smith. The Seahawks’ front-four won the day against a Colts O-line that was supposed to push them around.
To NFL.com’s Kevin Patra, the Seahawks’ dominating defensive line was just as important of a takeaway as Wilson’s comfort in the offense.
The deep Seahawks defensive line was constantly in Wentz’s grill. Rasheem Green (sack, two QB hits) lived in the backfield, Darrell Taylor (sack, TFL) bullied right tackle Braden Smith and Benson Mayowa (sack, two QB hits), Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder and Poona Ford all caused disruption all game. This iteration of Seattle’s defense starts up front with a pass rush that should give QBs headaches all season.
Finally, ESPN’s Brady Henderson wonders: Are the Seahawks good enough at cornerback?
If their pass rush has as much firepower as it showed Sunday, then maybe they will be. Pressure on the quarterback can make life easier for the guys on the outside. That was the case against Indy with three sacks (from Rasheem Green, Darrell Taylor and Benson Mayowa), 10 QB hits and even more pressure than those numbers would suggest. Tre Flowers and D.J. Reed held up well enough against a Colts receiving corps that was without T.Y. Hilton. It’ll be a much tougher test next week against Julio Jones, A.J. Brown and the Titans.