The Seattle Seahawks have long boasted one of the NFL’s best home field advantages, primarily because of boisterous fans who have broken noise records and caused minor earthquakes. On three occasions the Seahawks have gone a perfect 8-0 at home, with 2002 and 2008 representing the only times they’ve had a losing record at what we now know as Lumen Field.
This year has been a bit different. There haven’t been any fans at Lumen Field due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s no reason to believe they’re going to be around at all given the pandemic has rapidly accelerated. And yet, in a season that has seen road teams have experienced a high level of success, the Seahawks are just one of three undefeated home teams left in the NFL.
At 5-0 the Seahawks have already surpassed last year’s win total. Indeed they were bizarrely lackluster at home in 2019 and 2017, going 4-4 each time while turning in a strong 6-2 in 2018. Still, 14-10 over three years is hardly an intimidating home record. The 2020 Seahawks have righted the ship and have had critical defensive stands at the heart of four of those victories.
You can’t take anything for granted, but they really should be no worse than 7-1 when their home schedule is finished. The New York Giants and Jets come to town in December, with the finale against the Los Angeles Rams which potentially could decide the division if not clinch it outright for Seattle. At a minimum those New York games have to be Ws. I know the Giants have played better in recent weeks and nearly knocked off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but 100% of their wins are still against their fellow NFC East incompetents.
The lack of fans is one thing, but these are human beings and creatures of habit. CenturyLink Field has familiar surroundings, a familiar playing surface, and the only traveling they need to do is from the team bus to 800 Occidental Way.
You may not think home field advantage matters all that much because of the lack of fans, but the Seahawks beg to differ. This all obviously changes if the playoffs come in a bubble format, but there’s still every reason to push for the #1 seed.