The Seattle Seahawks head to Southern California to take on another playoff team from last season in the form of the San Diego Chargers. Pete Carroll’s squad does so riding high after an opening-week blowout victory of the Green Bay Packers in their first real games since winning the Super Bowl last February.
San Diego is coming off a disappointing loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football and needs to rebound big time in this one in order to avoid a 0-2 hole in the ultra-competitive AFC West.
On the surface, this seems like a game that Seattle is going to win going away. It’s obviously the class of the NFL at this point and seems to be gaining even more momentum.
So why is this game important for the defending champs and the rest of the NFL?
It’s rather simple in the grand scheme of thing. Seattle has shown that it can dominate in every possible way at home. Over the course of their last nine regular season home games, the Seahawks are 8-1 and have outscored their opponents by an average 30-14. If the defending champs somehow manage to show this type of domination on the road this season, it’s pretty much going to be game, set, match for the rest of the league.
The one saving grace here for the other 31 NFL teams is that Seattle (predictably so) hasn’t necessarily showed domination away from CenturyLink over the past couple seasons.
Wilson’s road splits
Dating back to 2012, Seattle boasts a 9-7 record on the road and has outscored its opponents by an average of 22-17. That’s not necessarily what you would call domination right there.
Last year alone, Seattle was 6-2 away from CenturyLink and outscored its opponents by an average of 23-15. Compare that to a home record of 7-1 and an average margin of victory of 29-14, and you understand full well why it is important for the rest of the NFL that Seattle loses as many games as possible on the road this season.
Fortunately for fans in other cities, Carroll’s team doesn’t have an easy away schedule. Including the Chargers, they take on a total of six teams that either earned a playoff spot or won 10 games a season ago.
In order for teams like the San Francisco 49ers to have a realistic shot at earning home-field advantage in the playoffs and avoiding the Link come January, Seattle is going to have to return to 2012 form away from the Pacific Northwest. It may very well be a long shot, but this one game against San Diego could tell us a lot about where the Seahawks are as odds-on favorites to hoist a second consecutive Lombardi.
Photo: USA Today