The Seattle Seahawks never make it easy in Week 1, but they prevailed nonetheless, beating the Cincinnati Bengals, 21-20, on Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle has now won 12-straight home openers, and the team remains unbeaten at home in September under Pete Carroll. Here are the biggest takeaways from the back-and-forth contest that featured six lead changes.
1. Offensive line woes
Seattle’s offensive line is supposed to be one of the team’s greatest strengths, but the group struggled mightily on Sunday. Russell Wilson was sacked four times and the team averaged just 3.0 yards per carry. Of note, Ethan Pocic started at left guard over Mike Iupati. It will be interesting to see if that continues moving forward.
2. John Ross’ career day
Seahawks fans are well-acquanted with Ross given his standout career at the University of Washington. However, Ross’ NFL career has been largely disappointing – until Sunday, that is. Ross torched the Seahawks for seven receptions for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
By comparison, Ross had just 21 receptions for 210 yards all of last season.
Ross’ first score was a 33-yarder off of a flea flicker. The second was a 55-yarder just before halftime. Tedric Thompson should have made a play on the football, but he mistimed his jump, allowing the ball to get to Ross.
The Seahawks will expect more from the secondary moving forward.
3. Strong debuts for Clowney and Metcalf
A pair of long catches highlighted Metcalf’s NFL debut. He finished with a team-high four receptions for 89 yards on six targets. He showed his ability to get behind the defense and make contested catches. Metcalf also had a pair of receptions on slant routes, and he drew a defensive pass interference penalty in the end zone. As expected, he was a focal point of Seattle’s passing game and will remain so as long as his health permits.
Clowney started hot with a run stuff and a pass breakup on a screen pass. He nearly tipped it to himself for a pass breakup. He also drew a holding penalty and should have drawn another on the very next play. Clowney later chased down Andy Dalton for a sack in the second half, his first as a member of the Seahawks.
Odds and ends:
- Russell Wilson completed 14-of-20 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't run much with just eight yards on four carries.
- Chris Carson had 15 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown. He added six receptions for 35 yards and another score. Carson also lost a fumble in the second half.
- Quinton Jefferson had a monster day with two sacks and a clutch third-down PBU late in the fourth quarter, batting down a pass at the line of scrimmage.
- Tyler Lockett wasn’t targeted until the fourth quarter, but he made his first one count, hauling in a 44-yard touchdown pass from Wilson. Lockett did have a costly drop later in the fourth quarter that would have resulted in a big gain. He ended with just the one reception.
- Neiko Thorpe (hamstring), Poona Ford (calf) and Will Dissly (knee) left the game with injuries and didn’t return.
- Ben Burr-Kirven forced a fumble on a punt and Nick Bellore recovered. Al Woods recovered an Andy Dalton fumble on a ball that slipped out of the quarterback’s hands.
- Rasheem Green's sack/fumble ended the game with Tre Flowers recovering the loose ball.