Game time: 1 p.m. ET, September 12, 2021
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Where to watch: FOX
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Seahawks -2.5; O/U 48.5; Moneyline Seahawks -145, Colts +125
BetMGM: Seahawks -2.5; O/U 48.5; ML: Seahawks -133, Colts +115
Caesars: Seahawks -2.5; O/U 48.5; ML: Seahawks -145, Colts +125
2020 season record
Seahawks: 12-4 (1st place, NFC West; lost in wild card round vs. Rams)
Colts: 11-5 (2nd place, AFC South; lost in wild card round at Bills)
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Seahawks - Colts preview and analysis
On today’s episode of “Wheel of Colts Quarterbacks,” who knows who’s starting today?
Carson Wentz? Jacob Eason? Guy in the third row?
No matter who’s starting for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, the Seattle Seahawks are loving this.
Seattle comes to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday returning mostly everyone from the 12-4 team a season ago, which means a full year with a defense that should improve from its No. 15 spot from a year ago.
The Seahawks’ playoff run came to a crashing halt after losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the wild card round, but Bobby Wagner anchors Seattle’s defense that is hoping for even bigger things from prized safety Jamal Adams on the rush (and in the secondary) and top edge rusher Carlos Dunlap.
That unit is preparing for a Colts team that should be running the ball a ton in Week 1. Wentz, the QB whom the Colts traded from the Philadelphia Eagles in the offseason to replace the one-year stint of Philip Rivers, is still healing from foot surgery but is optimistic to play Week 1.
Eason was named the defacto starter when Texas rookie Sam Ehlinger had his season end with a knee injury. He played well in the preseason, but stepping in as a Week 1 starter with no prior pro starts is not a fun situation for head coach Frank Reich.
There will be fans in Indy, which should make it exciting. But it’s going to be a tough obstacle.
Indianapolis will already be without wide receiver T.Y. Hilton for a few weeks, meaning more balls will be going to Zach Pascal and last year’s second-round pick Michael Pittman Jr.
We also can’t forget the importance of All-Pro center Quenton Nelson, who is also recovering from foot surgery, and is the heart and soul of that offensive line.
The Colts’ defense may need to work double time regardless. Between Wentz on limited practice and Eason’s lack of experience, the onus is on Darius Leonard and DeForest Buckner to slow down Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense.
Wilson got off to a scorching start last season, becoming the first player to throw at least four touchdowns in his team’s first three games. His career-high 40 touchdown tosses, along with 4,212 yards, is why he’s in the MVP conversation every year.
While the Seahawks have struggled against the Colts in past years, this has the makings of a comfortable Seattle victory. The Colts’ defense will be dead tired by the second quarter for how long its been on the field. Seahawks 27-14
The Seahawks are 7-2 in their last nine straight up as road favorites.
The Colts are 6-1 against the spread in theri last seven non-conference games.
Players to watch
Seahawks: You have to presume the Colts will try to take DK Metcalf out of the game as much as possible. Someone should also have eyes on Tyler Lockett, who had his first 100-catch season of his career last season.
Colts: Indy’s rush defense was second in the league (90.5) because of DeForest Buckner. He’s only one of two defensive tackles to register seven sacks in each of the last three years. The other one? Aaron Donald.
Statistical leaders from 2020
Passing: Russell Wilson -- 4,212 yards, 40 TD, 13 INT
Rushing: Chris Carson -- 681 yards, 3 TD; Russell Wilson -- 513 yards, 6 TD
Receiving: DK Metcalf -- 1,303 yards, 10 TD; Tyler Lockett -- 1,054 yards, 10 TD
Defense: Jamal Adams -- 83 tackles, 9.5 sacks
Passing: Philip Rivers -- 4,169 yards, 24 TD, 11 INT
Rushing: Jonathan Taylor -- 1,169 yards, 7 TD
Receiving: T.Y. Hilton -- 762 yards, 5 TD
Defense: Darius Leonard -- 132 tackles
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