After a 38-10 debacle in Green Bay, the Seahawks have dropped two straight road games in head-scratching fashion. Are we looking at a bad road team?
No one can deny the fact that when the Seahawks play in front of the 12s at Century Link Field in Seattle, they are nearly unbeatable. In fact, the Seahawks are 36-4 at home since 2012, including the playoffs.
In the past, especially in the Super Bowl year of 2013, it seemed they could also win on the road when they needed to. It is understandable in the NFL to drop some road games. You have to travel across time zones, perhaps experience weather you are not used to, deal with crowd noise and sleep in a bed that is not yours.
But these past two road losses for the Seahawks have been…unsightly.
The conundrum is the game in New England when the Hawks looked like Super Bowl favorites. Seattle was +2 in turnovers and held the Patriots to 81 rushing yards.
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In Green Bay, the Seahawks just looked out-gunned in every facet. Aaron Rodgers had a field day, with only five incompletions and three touchdown passes. Give the Packers credit, their defense came to play and made Russell Wilson look completely lost.
The point being, is it time we face the fact that the Seahawks just might be a bad road team? Let’s look at the figures…
They are 2-4-1 on the road this year. They average 15 points a game (when you take out the Patriots win, it drops to 12 PPG) along with just 88 rushing yards per game, as opposed to 123 yards at home.
Four times now, they have just absolutely laid an egg on the road (also see Buccaneers, Cardinals and Rams games). What is wrong with the Seahawks on the road? It wasn’t the white uniforms, as the “wolf grey” uniforms are undefeated no longer. It can’t be changing time zones, as the Hawks have lost in three time zones this year (including their own Pacific Time Zone twice) but also have won in the Eastern Time Zone twice.
Another stunning stat is that the Seahawks have one rushing touchdown on the road. You have to be able to run the ball to win on the road and the Seahawks have not done that. Russell Wilson’s completion percentage is 5% lower on the road. He also now has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns away from Century Link after Sunday’s fiasco in Green Bay.
The defense is still solid. It’s hard not to give up 38 points when your offense turns it over 6 times. Earl Thomas is not a 28-point difference but he certainly was missed. The Seahawks need to figure things out in a hurry because they will have to win at least one road game in the playoffs if they want to even sniff the Super Bowl.
Can things turn around? Of course. The Seahawks have shown time and time again that they can bounce back. They decimated the Panthers after being embarrassed in Tampa. They blew the 49ers out of the water after sleep-walking through a loss in L.A. They need to show they can do that on the road. There is one more road game on the schedule (Week 17 in Santa Clara). To get a first round bye, they likely need to win out.
Bad road teams do not last long in the playoffs. A lot of teams are banged up and have lost key players (the Patriots lost Gronk, the Texans don’t have J.J. Watt, the Chiefs are without Jamaal Charles) so losing Earl Thomas is no excuse to play like this. The offensive line needs to be better. Russell Wilson needs to be better. The defense needs to pressure the QB. There are lots of things to fix.
The Seahawks end the season with three games against divisional opponents, so there is no reason to believe there is a cupcake or warm-up game for the playoffs in there (unless you have watched the 49ers play lately). The coaching staff needs to earn their paycheck these next few weeks if the Seahawks are going to make any noise in January.