It’s been sixteen seasons since CenturyLink Field (then known as Seahawks Stadium) became the home of the Seattle Seahawks, and it is one of the best home field advantages arguably in any of the four major sports leagues (NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA). Including the playoffs, Seattle has played 139 home games at CLink, and boast a record of 99-40.
2017 was an unusual year for the Seahawks, as they finished with a mediocre 4-4 home record, yet were 5-3 on the road. If you’re 5-3 on the road, normally you’re good enough to be in the playoffs, but obviously that was not the case for last season’s team. Two of the four losses came against Washington and Arizona Cardinals (again), and that probably shouldn’t be a surprise given their respective histories.
Washington is the only team the Seahawks have never beaten in a regular season game at CenturyLink, which is insane. They beat Seattle 14-3 in 2002 with Shane Matthews at the helm, 20-17 in 2008 against one of the worst Seahawks teams ever, 23-17 in 2011 with Rex Grossman at QB leading a 10-point comeback in the final quarter, and most recently 17-14 in 2017 despite missing practically half of its starting offensive players. In postseason play, however, the Seahawks bested Washington 20-10 in 2005 and 35-14 in 2007, with Marcus Trufant and Jordan Babineaux each scoring pick-sixes in a wild fourth quarter.
The Arizona Cardinals spoiled the Seahawks’ grand opening, prevailing 24-13 despite Jake Plummer throwing for 98 net yards passing. Seattle took the next five games after that, but Arizona has won six of the last ten, good for an overall mark of 7-9, which makes a certain ex-Rams coach all hot and bothered right now. Thankfully Bruce Arians is gone, so maybe order will be restored and the 58-0 beatings can resume.
From there, only five other teams have won multiple times in Seattle since 2002, and all 31 opponents have had at least two cracks.
As you might expect, the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams are near the top of the leaderboard, each with 4-13 records. The Rams are still the only team to ever win a playoff game at CLink, back when it was known as Qwest Field, and that came months after rallying from 27-10 down with only a few minutes left in the game to win 33-27 in overtime. That 2004 season sure sucked, didn’t it? They’re other victories were 42-7 last year, plus ending Seattle’s record-setting streak of consecutive games with a lead, stunning the Seahawks 23-17 in 2015.
For the 49ers, their first appearance at CLink doubled as the T.O. Sharpie Game. The next win would be in 2006, on one of the stormiest nights in Seattle history. Two seasons later, some dude named JT O’Sullivan rallied San Francisco from 17-0 down to win 33-30 in OT, as Brian Russell was repeatedly victimized in coverage by a 90-year-old Isaac Bruce. Their most recent triumph was in Jim Harbaugh’s first season back in 2011, as they dashed Seattle’s slim playoff hopes 19-17, but Marshawn Lynch did become the first man to score a rushing TD on that defense all season. Since then, it’s been a loooooong drought, and to make matters worse for the Niners? Seattle is undefeated at Levi’s Stadium, so they’ve won as many games in Santa Clara as the Niners have in 17 cracks at CenturyLink.
Next up at a very impressive 3-3 are the Atlanta Falcons, who beat Seattle in 2010, 2011, and 2017. That 2010 game prompted chants for Charlie Whitehurst after Matt Hasselbeck was benched, which was just sad. In 2011, the Falcons raced out to a 27-7 lead and held on for a 30-28 victory, as Stephen Hauschka missed from 61 yards out to potentially win the game. Last year’s Monday Night Football showdown marked Seattle’s first MNF home loss since 2004 (more on that later), and of course Blair Walsh missed the FG that would’ve sent the game into overtime.
The final two teams with multiple CenturyLink Field wins are the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, both with records of 2-3. Philadelphia took the first two games in 2002 (27-20) and 2008 (26-7), but the Seahawks have restored order, outscoring the Eagles by a combined 81-39 over the last three meetings (2011, 2016, 2017). The Cowboys and Seahawks almost always play it close in Seattle, with four of the five games requiring 4th quarter comebacks for the winner. Dallas did it on Monday Night Football in dramatic and controversial fashion, Seattle returned the favor in 2005, then again in the 2006 playoffs courtesy of Tony Romo’s blunder, only for Dallas to exact revenge in 2014. The one blowout was 27-7 Seahawks in 2012, which was Russell Wilson’s first career win.
There are still ten teams with 0-fer marks at CenturyLink Field, and unsurprisingly all except the Detroit Lions (0-4) are in the AFC. Seattle’s 2018 home schedule is an opportunity for the Green Bay Packers (1-4), Minnesota Vikings (1-3), Kansas City Chiefs (1-1), and Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) to get their second wins. Dallas comes to town in Week 3 for Seattle’s home opener, and they have a chance to improve to 3-3 all-time. It’ll be nice to see them try, but we all know the Seahawks are going 8-0 in the regular season and then 2-0 in the playoffs.
(Seriously though, the Seahawks better not be a middling home team in 2018.)