In recent years, the Seattle Seahawks have enjoyed postseason byes and playing playoff games at CenturyLink Field.
Not this year. The Seahawks are the 6-seed in the NFC, which means they will a) not have a bye and b) not play any postseason games at home.
This will be quite a different challenge for them, no?
“Yeah, it’s obviously really different,” Seattle’s KOMO-TV sports director Mike Ferreri said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “You’re not going to get that weekend off at home that they’re becoming accustomed to and just playing at home, where they have such an advantage. But this is a unique group. Even Earl Thomas said, ‘I’d rather go on the road. There’s less distractions. We come together a little better.’ Pete (Carroll) has these guys thinking in such a way that it’s them against the world. ‘Okay, give us the 6-seed. Give us anything you want to give us, and we’re going to deal with it, we’re going to go play our football and we’re going to get to ultimately where we want to be, and that’s back in the Super Bowl.’”
Before the Seahawks can reach the Super Bowl for the third straight season, however, they first have to beat the Vikings in Minnesota this Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Of course, the Seahawks did exactly that in Week 13, dismantling Minnesota 38-7.
In fact, Seattle won its last five road games of the season, this after dropping its first three. Two of those road losses, it is worth noting, came by a field goal in overtime – including one against Cincinnati – and the other came at Lambeau Field.
Since then? Five straight road wins by an average of 21.6 points per game, including an average of 30.0 points over the last three.
“(Winning on the road) is something they’ve become accustomed to,” Ferreri said. “They’ve won five straight road games. They had the back-to-back with Minnesota and then Baltimore only a month ago. Even this past week, which would have been a shorter trip to Arizona – normally in the past they’ve left on a Saturday morning because it is such shorter trip. Pete’s like, ‘We’re not going to mess with that. We’re going to go on a Friday. We’re going to do everything we’ve been doing. We’re going to keep doing it.’ That’s how they’re going to approach this entire time. Even if they happen to advance and have to take a longer trip, they’re going to stay right on course: Do practice on Friday and leave right after. So they have it down. Nothing’s going to stop them. Even the 10 a.m. game – Pete got a little irritated that someone even asked it. Pete’s not going to give any credence to it. (His mindset is), ‘I don’t care. We could play at 6 a.m. We’re going to be ready.’”