(Editor’s note: Technical difficulties at home have forced me to nix the Enemy Reaction: Bye Week special. Unfortunate timing but there’s not much I can do about it!)
Of the many ways you could’ve envisioned the way the 2019 Seattle Seahawks season through ten games, I don’t think “one of two NFL teams left with an undefeated road record” would’ve been in that fantasy.
Last Monday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers gave the Seahawks their first ever 5-0 start on the road, and assured a winning record on the road for a fifth time under Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. Has the Seahawks’ road schedule been particular daunting apart from the 49ers? Not really. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-5 and thoroughly average, the Cleveland Browns are 4-6 and started 0-3 at home, the Arizona Cardinals have one home win all season, likewise for the kinda sorta resurgent Atlanta Falcons.
My retort to my own facts is a simple “Who cares?”
It’s because the Seahawks have taken care of business on the road — including a 3-0 record in the 10 AM games you all despise — that they are in strong position to make the playoffs. Postseason football will be a near certainty if they beat the desperate Philadelphia Eagles, who have a banged up offense that was just held to 10 points by the defensively stout New England Patriots.
Seattle’s best mark on the road is 6-2, which they achieved in the Super Bowl winning 2013 season. The only defeats came against the Indianapolis Colts (playoff team) and San Francisco 49ers (NFC runners-up), both of whom got their winning points in the 4th quarter. Victory on Sunday in Philly means the Seahawks will tie that franchise mark, with a good chance to surpass it given their final two games are against the reeling Carolina Panthers and inconsistent Los Angeles Rams.
Historically speaking, the Seahawks have been terrific in Philadelphia. They’ve won their last four visits to either Veterans Stadium or the current Lincoln Financial Field. The biggest shutout win in the history of Monday Night Football happened in 2005, when Seattle thrashed the Eagles 42-0 without even clearing 200 yards of offense. That game was seven years removed from the 1998 squad winning 38-0 on opening day at Veterans Stadium. In 2007, Lofa Tatupu tormented AJ Feeley by merely existing, as the legendary Seahawks linebacker picked off three passes to secure a 28-24 win.
Russell Wilson’s only trip to Philadelphia ended in a 24-14 victory over Chip Kelly’s Eagles back in 2014. They found out the hard way that an all-out blitz with Russ and Doug Baldwin is never a good idea. (:30 in)
Baldwin is sadly no longer playing football, but Jim Schwartz’s love of blitzing and Tyler Lockett’s ascension to star status has me thinking we could see another entrant in the “Cover-0 blitz backfires” collection.
Anyway, the Seahawks have been an excellent road team at a time when they have been shaky at home. I’m not saying this Eagles game is going to be easy — Seattle is just not interested in “easy” this year — but if you’re like me, how can you not feel confident about the Seahawks’ chances of going 9-2 with what they’ve shown us away from the comforts of CenturyLink Field?
There’s still a lot of season left, but don’t rule out the Seahawks clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs because they kept winning in other teams’ backyards.