Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Seattle Seahawks are 0-5. Since their inclusion into the National Football League in 1976 the Seahawks have had five opportunities to be 4-0 and they have failed to capitalize on all of them. Here is how things played out each time:
1986: The Hawks go 3-0 for the first time in franchise history. They open with two at home beating the Steelers 30-0 to open the season and follow that with a 23-17 win over the AFC West Division rival Chiefs. The Seahawks then traveled to New England for game 3 and came away with a 38-31 win in a driving rain storm. Riding the 3-game win streak the Seahawks traveled across the country to play Washington… at 10 am. The result was a 19-14 defeat and a 3-1 record. The Seahawks went on to win their last 5 games to post a respectable 10-6 record, but would miss out on the playoffs.
1998: The Hawks traveled to Philly for the opener and beat them in stunning fashion, 38-0. The team flew home for the next two games and amassed another two wins, 33-14 against Arizona and 24-14 against the Redskins to once again go 3-0. This time it was the team from Pittsburgh that won a home game 13-10 to send Seattle to 3-1. Despite the strong start the Hawks would stumble to an 8-8 finish and miss the playoffs.
2003: It only took the Hawks another five years and a move to the NFC West to reach 3-0. This time they beat the Saints at home 27-10, traveled to Arizona to beat the Cardinals 38-0, came back to the newly named Qwest field to beat the Rams 24-23 before falling to the Green Bay Packers on the tundra of Lambeau field, 35-13.
The Seahawks would post a 10-6 record and earn a wildcard playoff berth only to fall once again to the mighty Packers in OT, 33-27. The game most noted for Matt Hasselbeck getting caught on the refs mic (after winning the coin toss) telling him; “We want the ball, and we’re going to score!” Then DJ Hackett ran the wrong route and Al Harris of the Pack took it the other way for a pick 6.
2004: Matty Hass, Mike Holmgren and the Seahawks started to get rolling going not only 3-0 but going to New Orleans and winning 21-7, then to Tampa Bay and gutting out a 10-6 victory. They came back home to destroy the 49ers 34-0 before meeting the St. Louis Rams at home on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The Hawks were up by 17 points with 7:32 in the 4th quarter before the wheels came off.
They lost in OT, 33-27 and once again ended the first quarter of the season 3-1. While Seattle would struggle to a 9-7 record they would win their first of five consecutive NFC West titles. This allowed them to finally host a playoff game against the division rival Rams in Qwest field. The raucous 12th Man left in disappointment as a last second Matt Hasselbeck touchdown pass fell to the ground and the Seahawks lost 27-20.
2006: This last opportunity has some striking similarities to this season. The Hawks gutted out a close road game in the opener topping Detroit 9-6 before coming home to 2 straight home wins against the division rival Cardinals 21-10 and an East Coast team in the New York Giants, 42-30. The fourth game was at Chicago where they were soundly beaten 31-6.
They went onto struggle that year and posted a 9-7 record which was enough to give them their third straight NFC West crown. They hosted the Dallas Cowboys for the wild card game and played them tough and held a 23-20 lead in the 4th quarter. The Cowboys drove down the field and were in position to kick a go-ahead field goal but holder Tony Romo dropped the snap and made a break for the end zone. Jordan Babineaux stopped him just short of the goal line. He wasn’t nicknamed “Big Play Babs” for nothing. After that win the Hawks traveled to Chicago and lost in overtime to the Rex Grossman led Bears.
When I started this research I was seeking to find importance in going 4-0., I didn’t find it. In the best season in this franchises history they started the season 2-2 then went on to win 11 in a row, earn the #1 seed in the NFC and went to Superbowl 40. This team does have one striking difference than those other teams did…their aggressive and highly rated defense. While coach Holmgren stands as the most successful coach in history of the Seahawks his teams weren’t known for being tough teams, this one is.
The Seahawks face their toughest part of the schedule in 2013 by having four of their next five on the road. They go to Houston, Indianapolis, home to Jake Locker and the Titans then onto division games at Arizona and St. Louis. Realistically if they can win three of the next five they’ll be 6-2 at the half way mark of the season.
That would be a great record heading into the second half where the Hawks have five of eight at home. I personally don’t see a game that the Hawks shouldn’t win. They have more talent than almost any team in the NFL. Whatever opinion teams had of the pre-season hype they now know that the Seattle Seahawks are indeed one of the top two teams in the NFL (along with the Denver Broncos). Fans know this as well.
I’ll leave you with this comment I found on a Houston Texans message board:
“Seattle will gut us and make us eat what spills out”.
Yes…yes they will. Go Hawks!!!