The Seattle Seahawks played their first game this past Sunday, a 21-20 victory over a good Cincinnati Bengals team. And while it’s too early to draw major conclusions about how this season will go, we did see enough to come away with a sense of the squad’s identity this season.
Here are five takeaways from Sunday’s game.
- The Seattle defense did not look super solid. Though they sacked Dalton five times, they also gave up almost 400 yards passing. Against the better teams on the schedule, that’s not going to be good enough. Some of this could be due to having superstar Jadeveon Clowney just joining the team a few days ago. He’s a force on the line and will take some time to get used to Seattle’s scheme.
- Chris Carson looks like a force. Though he only rushed for 46 yards, he also had 35 yards receiving out of the backfield, which adds a great dimension to his game. It will force defenses to account for him in that way, and it could keep them more off-balance than we previously might have thought. Carson rushed for over 1,200 yards last season, which contributed to Seattle’s number one rushing attack in 2018. It looks like he is prepared to build on that performance going forward.
- John Schneider and Pete Carroll may have struck draft gold—again—with D.K. Metcalf. Metcalf looked like the big, powerful receiving target that he was in college at Ole Miss. He made some ridiculous catches and was able to rack up 89 yards receiving. If he can continue at this pace going forward, the Seahawks have added a true weapon. It also looks like Metcalf and Wilson have developed strong chemistry in a relatively short amount of time.
- The Seahawks are still a second-half team. Though fans’ heart rates must have been at unhealthy levels for much of the first half, when it looked like the Seahawks might lose at home to the Bengals, they made plays when they needed to and were able to close out the game in the second half. That’s obviously a good trait to have, and it shows that this is still a team with a Pete Carroll, Russel Wilson culture.
- Speaking of Wilson, he is still amazing and Seattle is lucky to have him. Though he only threw for 161 yards, he had a completion rate of 70%, which was good for 9.8 yards per attempt. He was sacked four times, though that should fall to the offensive line and not Wilson. If the line can gel more and protect Wilson better, he should have more time to start putting more yards through the air, which will help when they face some high-powered offenses this year.
Going forward, Seattle’s schedule will get harder, not easier. Next week they travel to Pittsburgh. While the Steelers looked horrible on Sunday night against the Patriots at Foxboro, there are few teams that play great there. And Pittsburgh will no doubt be looking to rebound from that embarrassing performance by trying to do the same to Seattle; they’ll be at home with all of their Terrible Towel-waving fans to support them.
The following week, the Hawks get the New Orleans Saints at Century Link, which should be an incredibly entertaining game against one of the best teams in the league. Beating the Saints in week 3 is essential to the Seahawks’ playoff chances and overall standing in the NFC.
These next two weeks will show us a lot more about what kind of team this is. Get out the popcorn. Brush up on your favorite chicken wing recipe. Give your growler a good scrubbing and prepare to fill it up with some tasty Pacific Northwest hop juice. It’s go time.