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Why can’t Pete Carroll win on the road in the Divisional Round?

Divisional Round - Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks fans have become accustomed to the team’s slow starts under Pete Carroll over the years, and it seems that there is no place where that is exemplified better than when the Hawks play on the road in the postseason. There’s no question that Carroll is one of the best in the NFL when it comes to generating buy in among his players and creating unity towards a single goal. However, on the flip side, one of the things he is worst at appears to potentially be game planning for the divisional round of the playoffs.

Normally this is where I’d put an idea out there and then let the comments section ramble on about small sample sizes and what not, but since it’s the offseason we’re going to do this a little bit different. I’m simply going to put the data here, and then I’ll step away and let the comments section tell me what’s going on.

Obviously, there are several factors to consider, including that when playing on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs, teams are facing a superior opponent coming off a bye, so winning is certainly no small task. That said, something that resembles a close game in the first half would be greatly appreciated, at least from this fan.

So, here’s the possible trend that we can look to dissect today, and that’s the performance of Carroll’s teams in the first half on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs. Carroll has coached the Seahawks in five such contests, and in each and every one of them, well, let me stop there and just let the numbers speak for themselves.

Here are the halftime scores of the five divisional games Carroll has coached for the Seahawks when playing on the road.

That’s a total combined score at the half of those five games of 112-13, or an average of 22.4-2.6. An average halftime deficit of 19.8 points, an average which was actually lowered by the Hawks 18 point deficit to the Packers on Sunday.

In any case, Carroll did coach one divisional round playoff game for the New England Patriots on the road after the 1997 season, and I’ll let readers decide if that one holds to trend.

Nothing to do with the performance of the Seahawks or a Carroll coached team on the road in the playoffs, but just as a trivia factoid, the three points the Patriots had in that road playoff game against the Steelers were scored by Adam Vinatieri. Yes, the same Adam Vinatieri who played for the Indianapolis Colts this season.

Back to the discussion of Carroll in the playoffs, he’s now 0-6 on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs, and here’s how his teams have performed in the second half in those six games.

  • 1997: New England Patriots 3, Pittsburgh Steelers 0
  • 2010: Seattle Seahawks 24, Chicago Bears 14
  • 2012: Seattle Seahawks 28, Atlanta Falcons 10
  • 2015: Seattle Seahawks 24, Carolina Panthers 0
  • 2016: Atlanta Falcons 17, Seattle Seahawks 10
  • 2019: Seattle Seahawks 20, Green Bay Packers 7

So, in short, it’s 119-16 in favor of the opponent in the first half of these six games and 109-41 in favor of Carroll’s team in the second half.

That’s ... Interesting? Concerning? Random?