Seahawks look to end road woes when it plays at Denver
It has been two years since the Seahawks won an away game over anyone outside the NFC West.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seahawks @ Denver, Ch. 13
The futility can be arranged neatly into a timeline, a chronology of road wear that can be quantified in years for Seattle.
Two years since the Seahawks won an away game over anyone outside the NFC West.
Four years since Seattle won on the road against a team that entered the game with a winning record.
Six years since the Seahawks beat a playoff-bound opponent on the road.
The history of the Seahawks' road struggles speaks for itself. It's just that coach Pete Carroll doesn't happen to be listening.
"That has nothing to do with this team," Carroll said. "What has happened in the past, as far as I'm concerned, has nothing to do with what we are now."
Or where they are now, which is in Denver on Sunday afternoon at a site that has been historically problematic for visitors, and specifically for Seattle. The Seahawks are 5-20 in their history at Denver, and the Broncos have won 10 consecutive home openers, the longest active streak in the league.
Just don't expect Carroll to be referencing any of those facts before this game. Coach isn't talking about changing the team's fortunes on the road.
"His philosophy is a little different than the philosophies we've had in the past," quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. "Basically, we're not talking about it."
See no evil, speak no evil. Maybe that will work.
The Seahawks have tried all sorts of other approaches. They changed travel schedules for East Coast games under Mike Holmgren, leaving on Friday to give players an extra day to adjust. Jim Mora moved practice times earlier in the day last season, but that didn't make his team any readier for the six games that started at 10 a.m. Pacific.
Seattle has beaten two different teams on the road the past two years, winning in St. Louis twice and San Francisco once.
"Well, we haven't beat many teams in general in the last two years, so that stat doesn't really surprise me that much," Hasselbeck said.
True enough, but even in 2007 when the Seahawks were 10-6 and won a fourth consecutive division title, the Seahawks were a strikingly different team at home compared to the road. Seattle went 7-1 at Qwest Field, allowing an average of 13.9 points. It was 3-5 on the road, giving up 22.5, the fourth-largest scoring disparity in the league.
There's an easy explanation for the difference.
The vocal nature of Seattle's home crowd gives its pass rushers an edge at home, that fraction-of-a-second advantage against opposing offensive linemen who can't count on being able to hear the quarterback's cadence, instead watching to see the ball move. On the road, Seattle's offense is the one in danger of being drowned out.
But explanations don't change the reality that will be ringing in Seattle's ears when it tries to call a play on offense in Denver.
There is one positive sign. Denver is the site of Seattle's last road win over a team that had a winning record entering the game. The Broncos were 7-4 in 2006, starting Jay Cutler for the first time, when the Seahawks won by three points on Sunday night.
But that was four years and two coaches ago. Of the 53 players on Seattle's roster, just nine were Seahawks in that game. Seattle certainly isn't talking about that road victory any more than the other road losses it has suffered.
"We talked about it on the road at Minnesota in the preseason," Hasselbeck said.
That was the third exhibition game, which Seattle led into the fourth quarter before Seattle's reserves gave up two touchdowns in the final 7:30. That was the end of the road as far as Carroll's discussion of preparing to play away from home.
"It's not a big deal," Carroll said, according to Hasselbeck. "You did it today, the Metrodome is the second-loudest stadium in the league, and it was no big deal."
Winning in Denver, however, would be a big deal given Seattle's history on the road.
• Linebacker Leroy Hill was added to Seattle's injury report Saturday. He is listed as questionable because of a heel injury.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
(The Associated Press) Fuel rules get support A Consumer Federation of America survey conducted in April found that a large majority of Americans R...
Post a comment