The Journal Gazette
Monday, September 13, 2021 1:00 am

Seattle 28, Indianapolis 16

Efficient Wilson picks apart Colts defense

Tosses 4 TD passes; Indy loses opener for 8th straight season

MICHAEL MAROT | Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS – Russell Wilson looked right at home in Seattle's new offense.

He found open receivers, converted third downs and took advantage of a solid ground game by making big play after big play. Then he turned things over to the defense.

Wilson threw three of his four touchdown passes in the first half Sunday, and Seattle's defense clamped down in the second half as the Seahawks pulled away for a 28-16 season-opening victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

“We have a great mixture of all the things we've done in the past, we've done a lot of great things and you can't take that for granted,” Wilson said. “We're all working together. It's a beautiful thing. It was a great game tonight.”

For Indy, it was another grim start to the season. The Colts have lost eight straight openers, the past five with different starting quarterbacks.

“Really in the first half Russell Wilson was making plays, that's what he's done for a long time,” Colts coach Frank Reich said. “The one that hurt us was the long one.”

Wilson, an eight-time Pro Bowler was his usually masterful self working for the first time with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.

Despite taking no preseason snaps, Wilson led the Seahawks to touchdowns on their first two drives and posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in the first half. He wound up with the second-highest single-game rating of his 10-year career, 152.3, and fell one TD pass short of matching his career high. He finished 18 of 23 with 254 yards with the biggest blow coming on a 69-yard TD pass to Tyler Lockett in the final minute of the first half to give Seattle a 21-10 lead.

“Knowing in pregame he was working on that exact catch, coming down just like that,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “It's an amazing chemistry that they have.”

For the first 30 minutes, Wilson picked apart a top-10 Colts defense that entered this fall with even higher aspirations.

Seattle took a 7-3 lead when Lockett made a twisting, over-the-shoulder catch for a 23-yard score late in the first quarter. Wilson then hooked up with a wide-open Gerald Everett for a 9-yard score that made it 14-3.

After Carson Wentz cut the deficit to 14-10 with a 10-yard scoring pass to Zach Pascal in his Colts debut, Wilson found Lockett free behind two Colts safeties to make it 21-10 at the half. He sealed it with a 15-yard TD pass to Pro Bowl receiver DK Metcalf with 6:41 left in the game.

The defending NFC West champions have won 12 of their past 13 games in the early Sunday time slot.

The Colts offense bogged down in the second half with Wentz under heavy pressure.

Twice, Indy failed to convert fourth-down attempts in Seattle territory and didn't score again until Wentz connected with Pascal on an 11-yard TD pass with 2:08 to go. Wentz was 25 of 38 with 251 yards but it wasn't enough.

“Guys are frustrated with the loss,” Wentz said. “I think everyone takes it hard and is accountable for their own mistakes. But I can see how hungry guys are in there. We're frustrated from it but we'll learn from it.”


Seattle 28, Indianapolis 16

Philadelphia 32, Atlanta 6

Pittsburgh 23, Buffalo 16

Carolina 19, N.Y. Jets 14

Cincinnati 27, Minnesota 24

San Francisco 41, Detroit 33

Houston 37, Jacksonville 21

Arizona 38, Tennessee 13

L.A. Chargers 20, Washington 16

Kansas City 33, Cleveland 29

Miami 17, New England 16

New Orleans 38, Green Bay 3

Denver 27, N.Y. Giants 13

L.A. Rams 34, Chicago 14


Baltimore at Las Vegas, 8:15 p.m.


Tampa Bay 31, Dallas 29

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