PITTSBURGH -- After the Seattle Seahawks scuffled their way to a 21-20 season-opening win over the Cincinnati Bengals, wide receiver Tyler Lockett channeled coach Pete Carroll and wondered aloud how good they might be when they're at their best.
They'll have to wait at least another week to find out.
It helped that the Steelers had their own set of issues, including an injury that sidelined Ben Roethlisberger for the second half.
Pivotal play: Chris Carson converted a fourth-and-1 run that allowed the Seahawks to kneel out their win. It was a gutsy call by Carroll from Pittsburgh's 33-yard line, and it showed a lot of faith in Carson (15 carries, 61 yards) after two fumbles earlier in the game. The second came on a botched handoff that set up a Steelers touchdown. Another pivotal play was strong safety Lano Hill picking off a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter that preserved the Seahawks' 21-19 lead. Hill, starting in place of Tedric Thompson, made amends for getting beat on a 45-yard flea-flicker. He might remain in the starting lineup even when Thompson returns from his hamstring injury.
Promising trend: Tight end Will Dissly caught touchdown passes of 14 and 12 yards, giving him four scores in six career games. The Seahawks have raved about how much Dissly crushed his rehab from the torn patellar tendon that ended his rookie season in Week 4 of last year, and it's evident why. Dissly (along with cornerback Tre Flowers) was one of two players the Seahawks felt they had to have in the 2018 draft. They considered his blocking to be a perfect fit in their run-heavy offense. But he's proving to be a complete tight end similar to Zach Miller, who played on the 2013 Super Bowl team.
Continuing to buy Tyler Lockett: We're well past the point of Lockett breaking out -- after all, he caught 10 touchdowns last season while nearly reaching 1,000 yards receiving -- but his 10 receptions (for 79 yards) Sunday set a new career high. While you're not going to see that type of volume every week in an offense that runs the ball as much as Seattle's, he's still the team's No. 1 receiver now that Doug Baldwin is gone. Lockett's two targets in the opener were more of a fluke than an indication of what his season will look like.
Troubling trend: The Seahawks trailed 10-7 at halftime despite nearly doubling the Steelers' offensive output, 202-103 yards. Penalties were a big difference, as they often have been. Seattle committed seven accepted penalties in the first half and finished with 10 for 93 yards. Right tackle Germain Ifedi, who led the league in penalties in 2017, had three on Sunday, including one that was declined. Rookie receiver DK Metcalf, who committed two penalties that were declined last week, was flagged twice on the same play for offensive pass interference and a face mask at the end of the first half. That pushed Jason Myers' field goal attempt back to 58 yards, and he missed it.
QB breakdown: Wilson took four sacks in the first half. That was probably the reason Seattle went with more of a quick passing game in the second half. Wilson (29-of-35 for 300 yards) tossed his third touchdown pass to Metcalf on a perfectly placed deep ball from 28 yards out. Wilson's legs (22 yards on six rushes) helped put the Steelers away at the end.