Bad news: Four of Seahawks' next five games are outside Pacific Time Zone
Seattle is just 21-36 outside the Pacific Time Zone since the start of the 2000 season.
Seattle Times NFL reporter
Seahawks @ Dallas, 10 a.m., Ch. 13
The Seahawks bring some baggage to Sunday's game in Dallas, and it's more than just the luggage stowed aboard the team's charter flight to Texas.
Seattle must bear the burden of a continuing inability to play well when it heads east.
Seattle has won only one of its past 10 games played outside the Pacific Time Zone. That poses kind of a problem because four of Seattle's next five games will require the Seahawks to adjust their watches.
The question is what Seattle can do about it. It's a question that tends to set a coach's temperature soaring because if there was an answer, he'd be sure to try it.
The quickest way to put a burr in former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren's britches was to ask him about the difficulty winning on the other side of the Rockies. He wasn't interested in talking much about the intricacies of jet lag, biorhythms or any other things he considered to be so much modern-day gobbledygook.
But before coach Jim Mora is asked Seattle's history as recurrent roadkill, here's something to consider: The Seahawks have not been demonstrably worse than the league's other Pacific Time Zone teams when it comes to traveling, going back to the start of the 2000 season (see chart).
Now, that comparison isn't completely fair because two of those three other Pacific Time Zone teams have been the Raiders and 49ers, who have spent a decent chunk of the past decade stinking by the dock on the Bay.
But San Diego is a reasonable comparison.
The Chargers have four playoff berths and have won 75 regular-season games since 2000 began, generally comparable to Seattle's five playoff berths and 79 regular-season victories.
San Diego has been better in the Eastern Time Zone than Seattle, the Seahawks have won more in the Central. The overall results? Seattle is 21-36 in games played in another time zone, San Diego is 21-38 in when it changes time zones domestically and that doesn't include an overseas loss to the Saints in England last year.
So it's not just the Seahawks who struggle when they head east.
Football coaches have control over a number of things in the 32 NFL fiefdoms. Geography, however, is not one of them and the travel schedule is simply a reality that comes with being the most isolated NFL franchise.
Six of Seattle's eight road games are to be played in the Eastern or Central time zones, which means those six games will start at 10 a.m. Pacific time, including Sunday's game in Dallas.
The first of those games this season was a rude awakening as Seattle trailed Indianapolis by 31 points before the Seahawks scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Six games is too soon to draw any conclusions and certainly not a sufficiently large sample size to warrant any conclusions, but Seattle has allowed 67 points in two road games and 52 points in four home games.
Of course, Seattle is also 0-4 when its opponent scores this season. Statistics don't always mean much, but there is a little bit of precedent here. In 2007, the Seahawks had one of the league's best defenses at home and were relatively average on the road. Seattle gave up 8.6 points more on the road than at home.
That's part of the historical baggage that Seattle carries into November because the Seahawks are trying to make up ground on the road.
|Seattle has found it more difficult to win the farther east it travels. Of course, the Seahawks aren't alone in that regard if you break down the road record of all four Pacific Time Zone teams by time zone since the start of the 2000 season:|
|Road games||Pacific||Mountain||Central||Eastern||Total, pct.|
|San Diego||10-5||2-7||7-11||12-20||31-43, .419|
|San Francisco||6-7||4-3||6-24||8-17||24-51, .320|
|Note: Arizona does not follow Daylight Savings Time so any road games played in Arizona before the fall time change were counted as Pacific Time Zone games, all games after the change counted as Mountain.|
About Danny O'Neil
Danny O'Neil will comment on issues, events and personalities in the NFL. His column will appear on Sundays during the regular season. He also posts most days on the Seahawks Blog.
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