We are living in a bizarro world right now where the Seattle Seahawks have not been demonstrably better at CenturyLink Field than when they have to make “business trips” to other cities.
There’s a really good chance that the Seahawks will beat the 1-6 Atlanta Falcons this Sunday. If that happens, Seattle will move to 4-0 on the road, something they haven’t accomplished since 1980. They’ll also be 3-0 in 10 AM games, tacking on to their 3-0 mark from last year. Three straight years of at least a .500 regular season road record would also be a first in franchise history.
In case you’re wondering, that 1980 team lost its final nine games of the season to finish 4-12, and had the dubious distinction of being the only Seahawks team in franchise history to go 0-8 at home.
While the 1980 squad crashed and burned and erased a lot of the optimism from the 1978 and ‘79 seasons, the 2019 Seahawks are looking to make a playoff run and win their first postseason game since the 2016 season. It’s beyond cliche to say it, but winning on the road is not an easy feat even against terrible opposition — ask the Dallas Cowboys against a then winless New York Jets team just two weeks ago — so Seattle’s great road record is very encouraging.
Dating back to the 2017 season, the Seahawks are 12-7 on the road and 12-8 at home (not including playoffs). For what it’s worth, 12-8 at home is the worst 20-game stretch at CenturyLink Field in the Russell Wilson era, and the only span you can find worse than this would be the mostly terrible 2008-2011 teams, all of whom finished with an overall sub-.500 record.
If you span out to the entire NFL, 12-7 is the seventh-best road record since 2017, and they can move into a tie for fifth with a win over Atlanta. Their form at CenturyLink Field is a middling 14th, 1.5 games behind the perennially mediocre Tennessee Titans. Seven of their ten worst games in terms of points allowed have come at home, likewise of five of their seven worst games in terms of points scored during that timespan. The only plus side in favor of CenturyLink Field is that seven of their nine highest point totals were home.
Is there reason to be worried about the decline of Seattle’s home-field dominance? Maybe. But they are a remarkably better road team than they were in the peak years (2003-2007) of Mike Holmgren. I don’t know how much longer the home struggles and road success will last, but a long-time area of weakness has suddenly kept the Seahawks afloat in the playoff race.