Since Russell Wilson was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 the team has enjoyed the most successful period in franchise history, making the playoffs in five out of the last six seasons and currently sitting at 5-5. With half of the six remaining games in the regular season against the cellar dwelling Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks have a great chance to once again make the postseason this year. However, it is the three more difficult games remaining on the schedule that will determine the fate of the 2018 Hawks, with those three games coming against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers.
The first of those three tough games is Sunday in Charlotte, where the Seahawks will take on the Carolina Panthers in an environment which is not exactly conducive to the team playing its best football. While Seattle has posted a 70-35-1 record in the regular season since the start of the 2012 season (78-39-1 including postseason), during that time period the team is just 18-16-1 when playing on a grass surface (19-18-1 when the postseason is included).
For whatever reason, the offense of the Seahawks has simply not performed at its best on grass surfaces, averaging just 19.7 points per game when playing on a grass surface. That is a full five points per game below the team’s overall average of 24.7 points per game since 2012, and more than a touchdown less than the 27.1 points per game the team has averaged on an artificial playing surface.
So far in 2018 the team is 2-3 when playing on grass, having defeated the Cardinals and Oakland Raiders on a natural playing surface, while dropping games to the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams when playing on grass.
Further complicating the potential for a Seattle victory in Carolina could be the fact that the game is set to be played in the early time slot. Playing early games has been another thorn in the Seahawks side for a long time. In spite of the overall record of 70-35-1 since 2012, the Hawks are just 11-9 in that time period when playing in the early slot (12-11 when including the postseason).
So, in short, the Seahawks are facing two forms of their kryptonite when they take the field on Sunday in Carolina. But is that necessarily a bad thing?
We’ve all heard the phrase that two wrongs don’t make a right, but do two forms of negative indicators make for a really bad indicator? Or is this like math where two negatives combine together to multiply into a positive?
Since 2012 when playing in the early time slot on a grass surface, the Seahawks are 5-2 in the regular season, which represents a winning percentage that is better than their overall winning percentage during that period. The only postseason game they have played in the early time slot on a grass surface was the 2015 playoff loss at Carolina, meaning they’re 5-3 when including the postseason.
So, there it is, victory for the Seahawks.
As long as it doesn’t rain.