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Seahawks looking for rare (and much-needed) September road win

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Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

On the surface, even acknowledging this is a divisional game against an unknown commodity (at least at an NFL level) at quarterback, the Seattle Seahawks should be able to go to Glendale and once again defeat the Arizona Cardinals. There are only three winless teams in the NFL and Arizona is one of them, having scored just 20 points along the way, while the defense has gone from elite to average-at-best.

One thing that is often brought up is the fact that Seattle has made it a habit of starting off September slowly, particularly on the road. So far in 2018 that narrative has proven to be true, having started 0-2 with both games away from home, just as they did in 2011 and 2015. In fact, the Seahawks have only won a September road game twice under Pete Carroll: the 12-7 season opener against the Carolina Panthers in 2013, plus the miraculous 23-20 overtime win over the eventual 2-14 Houston Texans in the same season. Not coincidentally, this is both the only time the Seahawks began a season 4-0, and they won the Super Bowl.

If you stretch it all the way back to 2008, the Seahawks are 2-15 in September road games (not 2-17 like I accidentally tweeted), which is dead-last among all NFL teams... including the Cleveland Browns. Six of those defeats have come against the divisional opponents, with three of them courtesy of the Rams. That’s ten years worth of early-season failures, and the Seahawks have been more good than bad during that span. You could just chalk it up to randomness — Seattle is 33-31-1 in regular season road games beyond September since ‘08 — or something else that largely boils down to Carroll’s approach to a sixteen-game season, but “dead-last in win percentage” in any category tends not to be a positive.

On the plus side, the Seahawks have not lost at Arizona since (gulp) September 2012, which was Russell Wilson’s first career start. Since then, the Cardinals have scored a grand total of 56 points through five home matchups. This is surely a much worse Arizona team than even the non-playoff squads of 2013, 2016, and 2017. If the Seahawks can’t close out September by beating the Josh Rosen-led Cardinals, then we have to brace for the worst knowing they have the 4-0 Los Angeles Rams coming into town to kick off October. If there was ever a time to reverse recent trends, it’s now.