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The Seahawks haven’t managed an opening drive touchdown in almost two years

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

You don’t need me to tell you that the Seattle Seahawks offense has done a piss-poor job not just in overall performance, but particularly the way they’ve started games. Monday night’s loss to the Chicago Bears saw Seattle’s opening possession advance to the Bears’ half of the field before the inevitable punt.

The Seahawks have now gone a league-worst 31 consecutive regular season games without an opening drive touchdown. This weekend against the Dallas Cowboys could make it two full seasons worth of games, and while I don’t know if this is an NFL record, it has to be pretty high up there. In fairness, they did score a first possession touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the 2017 NFC Divisional Round, but then proceeded to get blown out.

Seattle’s last opening drive TD was Week 3 of the 2016 against the San Francisco 49ers, when Christine Michael scored his first touchdown on a 41-yard burst. Since then? Here are the ensuing end results over the next 31 weeks:

Punt
Punt
Punt
Punt
Blocked Punt
Field Goal
Punt
Punt
Field Goal
Field Goal
Punt
Fumble
Field Goal
Punt
Field Goal
Punt
Field Goal
Punt
Punt
Punt
Punt
Punt
Interception
Interception
Field Goal
Punt
Fumble
Punt
Punt
Punt
Punt

A whopping 17 of their 31 opening possessions also saw the Seahawks pick up zero first-downs, including a couple of field goals off of turnovers in which they failed to even get ten yards. Factoring in all scores, Seattle has managed points on the first series 7 of its last 31 games, for a rate of only 22.6%, about 15% below league average. This is remarkably inept. For perspective, the 2013-2014 offenses managed 13 scores (9 FGs, 4 TDs) out of 32 opening drives, which is somewhere around 40.6%.

This essentially goes hand in hand with the Seahawks morphing into one of the poorest starting teams in the NFL. They’ve trailed at halftime in both games this season and nine times last year. Seattle hasn’t led at halftime in 14 out of their last 18 games, which puts them up there with such outstanding juggernauts like the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans. The poor first-half starts have bled into the second-half, and they’ve not won a single game when trailing at the end of the 3rd quarter since the October 2016 comeback at home against the Falcons... a winless streak of 14, by the way.

I’ve repeatedly written about the Seahawks needing to get out of the gate more quickly, and instead they’re sinking in quicksand. Seattle is not built to play from behind and they’re repeatedly playing catch-up football. Russell Wilson has thrown 26 of his last 39 touchdown passes while trailing... that’s not a good thing! I don’t know what else there is to say. The offense has to turn the ship around, and early returns on Brian Schottenheimer leave me with little confidence that there will be appropriate correction.