Pete Carroll has the best winning percentage against the NFC west of all four current divisional head coaches. This may or may not come as a surprise to you; it has often felt like the days of the Seahawks’ dominance in the West are a distant memory, but the data actually paints quite a different picture. Since 2010, Pete Carroll has maintained a 59.2% win percentage over the rest of the West, according to data pulled from StatHead. The only other coach who has an overall winning record is Sean McVay with the LA Rams. This left me wondering, though — have the Seahawks declined in this regard? That is, is this simply a residual thing that is the product of the fact that Carroll is far and away the longest tenured coach in the division? Hardly.
If you only start counting from 2017 — when Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay took the head coaching positions with the San Francisco 49ers and Rams, respectively — Pete Carroll has still boasted the best record and winning percentage relative to his fellow coaches. This is particularly impressive when you consider the fact that both of these opposing teams have made a Super Bowl appearance (the Rams have done it twice and won once) during this time span. See the table below.
NFC West head coach record vs Division
On the flip side, however, this could be interpreted as Pete Carroll playing the role of Jeff Fisher, where the Seahawks simply serve to frustrate the more successful teams in the division. But Seattle has been a consistent playoff contender as well, even if they haven’t exactly looked like it during the postseason. Still, winning a bunch of Divisional games is great, but it doesn’t necessarily equate 1-to-1 with overall team success. But this at least serves to remind us that Carroll — for all his warts and inconsistencies — is still in the midst of an impressive career as the most successful coach this team has ever had. With games remaining against the Niners and Rams, the Hawks have an opportunity to finish with their best divisional record since 2014, when they went 5-1. Even if they manage to split in their remaining two NFC West games, they would finish 4-2, which they also did in 2020 — the last season they made the playoffs and the last time they won the NFC West.
The 49ers wrecked the Seahawks in their first meeting; their 27-7 victory remains as Seattle’s largest margin of defeat this season. A lot is on the line in this one, and the Hawks seem to be good for at least one surprising win every season, but the odds are not in their favor. But the odds weren’t in favor of the Seahawks posting a winning season, either, and they still have a decent opportunity to do just that over the final weeks of the NFL season. Will Pete Carroll once again frustrate Kyle Shanahan and add to his already impressive resume? We are about to find out.