Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Seattle Seahawks
Sports >  Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense dazzled in Week 1, but we’ve seen this before. Can they keep it up?

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 13, 2021

Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett catches a touchdown over Indianapolis safety Khari Willis Sunday in Indianapolis.  (Associated Press)
Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett catches a touchdown over Indianapolis safety Khari Willis Sunday in Indianapolis. (Associated Press)
By Matt Calkins Seattle Times

Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes and was six points short of having a perfect passer rating.

Tyler Lockett reeled in a Willie Mays-like TD catch en route to racking up 100 receiving yards.

Chris Carson pummeled his way to 91 yards on 16 carries, DK Metcalf added 60 receiving yards and a TD catch, and aside from a third-quarter lull the Seahawks offense looked as efficient as can be.

It was beautiful. It was inspiring. It was … in the middle of September.

You’re not going to find a complaint in this space about the Seahawks’ proficiency in their 28-16 win over the Colts on Sunday. It was a near masterful performance on offense, a productive effort on defense and an all-around ideal start to the season. The only question I have is whether the “O” can keep this up. Because great starts – particularly for Wilson – have become the norm around here. Great finishes are a different story.

Let’s start with the unquestionable: Wilson balled out Sunday. He finished 18 of 23 passing for 254 yards, four TDs and no interceptions. His passer rating of 152.3 was the second-best of his career. His moon ball to Lockett in the first quarter was divine. His laser to Metcalf in the fourth was perfection. And his synergy with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron seems to be exceptional.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll emphasized that last point in his postgame news conference.

“He and Russ were just cooking,” said Carroll, seemingly alluding to the hashtag #LetRussCook that pervaded the internet last year. “I think (Waldron’s) first time out and chance to show it – I’m really, really proud of what he was able to do, because he went for it the whole time, and we did exactly how we’ve been practicing.”

Waldron’s approach – particularly the tempo – had been a popular talking point throughout the preseason. The principal players of the offense lauded him every time they got up to the podium to talk to reporters. But that’s every preseason – when all the guys are in the best shape of their lives and feel destined to win a championship. To see the offensive vision come to fruition Sunday had to be satisfying to the 12s wondering if it was going to work.

Now here’s the questionable: Can they keep this up?

That may not seem like the deepest query, but it feels pertinent to the Seahawks. In 2019 and 2020, Wilson was the Vegas favorite to win the NFL MVP award midway through the season before falling out of the race. Most offenses drop off to some extent in the later part of the year, but Seattle’s plunges have been particularly noteworthy. Last season, for instance, the Seahawks scored a franchise-record 459 points but still cut ties with coordinator Brian Schottenheimer due to their second-half stagnation.

Production hasn’t been the issue. Adaptability has been the issue. As much as the Wilson and Waldron duo may have fans salivating right now, the real test will be whether the Seahawks can adjust to defenses the way defenses have so effectively adjusted to them.

On Sunday Wilson was asked how much of the offense was revealed in Indy.

“Well, if I told you, you know I can’t tell you that, but that’s a good question,” Wilson said. “There’s so much that we can do. We have a lot more that we can do, to be really precise on everything we wanted to do tonight. The guys were hitting all their details. Just the small details of what we wanted to do. Guys really taking the coaching points and kind of feeling what I’m seeing, and this is why we have to do it this way right here, because it’s going to, boom, there it is.”

There was plenty for fans to celebrate Sunday. There was a balanced attack on offense, effective schemes on defense, and very few glaring mistakes. And of course, the future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson put on a Hall of Fame-worthy performance.

It was fun to watch – but we’ve seen this before. Talent hasn’t been the issue. Consistency has.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.