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Disturbing trend from 2018 continues into 2019 for Seahawks

NFL: DEC 22 Cardinals at Seahawks Photo by Michael Workman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nearly a year ago, I took a quick look at how the Seattle Seahawks fared during the 2018 season when they had to play a team for a second time. At that point we had a very small sample of just four opponents they played twice in the same season, so it was difficult to draw any conclusions. However, the simple fact was that the Seahawks played four teams twice during the 2018 regular season, going 3-1 in the first set of games and 1-3 in the second set of games.

That brings us to 2019, where the Hawks have now played two teams, the Los Angeles Rams and the Arizona Cardinals, twice, with a second matchup against the San Francisco 49ers slated to take place in Week 17 on Sunday. Without dwelling on things too much, here’s how the Seahawks have performed under the current coaching staff against teams that they have faced twice during the same season:

2018:

  • Los Angeles Rams: LL
  • San Francisco 49ers: WL
  • Arizona Cardinals: WW
  • Dallas Cowboys: WL

and in 2019:

  • Los Angeles Rams: WL
  • Arizona Cardinals: WL
  • San Francisco 49ers: W?

So, that’s a record of 7-1 the first time around against these opponents, and a dismal 1-5 in rematches. That is, simply put, not exactly a reassuring trend heading into Sunday’s game with the NFC West title and playoff seeding on the line.

So far this season in the two games that the Hawks have played against an opponent they played previously they have been defeated 28-12 and 27-13. That’s a total of 25 points scored in two games, by a team that averages 25.6 points per games. In addition, of those 25 points, six game courtesy of a Quandre Diggs pick-six, meaning the offense put all of 19 points on the board in those two games.

But hold, it gets even worse. Against the Rams in Week 14, the Seahawks opening drive that gained 60 yards on 11 plays and ended in a field goal. Facing the Cardinals in Week 16, the Seattle offense opened the game with a nine-play, 89-yard drive that culminated in a Nick Bellore touchdown reception and a 7-0 lead. That means of the 19 points the Seahawks offense scored in those two games, the majority - 10 - came on the two opening drives and the remaining nine came on the team’s 19 other drives. (Author’s note: The Hawks actually had 21 other drives, but two were non-starters that came just before half, and I didn’t feel like counting those.)

Basically, at the end of the day, so far this season the team has had significant issues putting points on the board when facing an opponent for the second time. We’ll see if they can overcome that issue against the 49ers on Sunday when the winner of the NFC West is decided. However, potentially more concerning when it comes to this subject.

We all watched in horror as the Dallas Cowboys shut down the Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs last year when the two teams played for a second time. Well, if the season ended today, here are the NFC teams that would be in the playoffs by seed:

In short, the Hawks have played four of the five other teams that will be in the playoffs, so if this trend is actually caused by anything meaningful, the playoffs could be a rough road for the team.