BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 09/08/2017

Seahawks’ miserable history in road openers

The Seahawks have won only eight season-opening road games in their history, and in only one of those did they beat a team coming off a playoff campaign.

Aaron Rodgers has owned the Seahawks in recent meetings. / Wiki Commons

Throw out the 2012 “Fail Mary” game and the NFC Championship corker two seasons later, when Seattle rallied improbably to win in overtime after trailing 19-7 with four minutes remaining in regulation, and the Seahawks have not enjoyed much success against the Green Bay Packers. Especially at Lambeau Field, where the teams will re-engage Sunday (1:25 p.m. PT kickoff) in the 2017 season opener.

Seattle hasn’t won there this century.

The last victory was in 1999, Mike Holmgren’s first year as coach of the Seahawks. Since then, Seattle has dropped seven consecutive contests at Lambeau, including a 38-10 shellacking Dec. 11 in which QB Russell Wilson notched the same number of interceptions (five) as Aaron Rodgers had incompletions (18-for-23).

In Wilson’s two games in Green Bay, the Seahawks have been outscored 65-27.

Not only are the Seahawks accommodating visitors at Lambeau, they pull pratfalls more often than not when they open a season on the road.

In the Pete Carroll era (since 2010), Seattle is 1-3 in road openers, the only win coming in 2013 when the Seahawks launched what would become a Super Bowl-winning campaign with a 12-7 victory over the Panthers in Charlotte. Over the course of franchise history, the Seahawks are 8-15 in road openers.

Paltry as is that mark, it’s actually worse than it seems. In only one of those eight road wins did Seattle defeat a team that reached the playoffs (or had a winning record) the previous season. And seven of the eight wins came against clubs that went on to finish with losing marks, further diminishing the road win. A closer look at the eight season-opening road wins:

Year Opponent Score Prev. Yr. How opponent fared after losing
1985 Bengals 28-24 8-8-0 Finished 7-9-0 under Sam Wyche
1988 Broncos 21-14 10-4-1 8-8-0 after losing Super Bowl XXII
1994 Redskins 28-7 4-12-0 Finished 3-13 under Norv Turner
1998 Eagles 38-0 6-9-1 Finished 3-13 under Ray Rhodes
2001 Browns 9-6 3-13-0 7-9-0 with Tim Couch at quarterback
2004 Saints 21-7 8-8-0 8-8-0 with Aaron Brooks at quarterback
2006 Lions 9-6 5-11-0 3-13-0 with Jon Kitna at quarterback
2013 Panthers 12-7 7-9-0 Went 12-4-0, won NFC South

Seattle’s only win on the road in an opener over a club that had a winning record the previous season was Sept. 4, 1988 at Mile High Stadium, where the Seahawks, with two touchdowns from Curt Warner, defeated John Elway and the Broncos 21-14.

Denver was coming off a 42-10 loss to Washington in Super Bowl XXII and, after losing to Seattle to open 1988, fell to 8-8 in a Super Bowl hangover year.

Green Bay isn’t coming off a Super Bowl, but almost. After starting 4-6 last year, the Packers reeled off six consecutive victories, including the rout of Seattle, to finish 10-6. Green Bay then knocked the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys out of the playoffs before falling to Atlanta 44-21 in the NFC Championship game.

During Green Bay’s eight-game winning streak, Rodgers threw 21 TDs, one interception and had a passer rating of 117.87, including an absurd 150.8 against the Seahawks (second-highest passer rating against Seattle, trailing Doug Flutie’s perfect 158.3 for Buffalo Dec. 23, 2000).

In his past two games against Seattle, Rodgers has five TDs and no picks for a rating of 132.7. No quarterback has done better against Seattle. In fact, Rodgers has a higher career passer rating against the Seahawks than any modern-era Hall of Fame quarterback (based on a minimum of five games vs. Seattle):

Quarterback GMS. Rec. Cmp.-Att. Pct. Yards TD-INT Rate
Aaron Rodgers 7 5-2 125-181 69.0 1352 9-1 105.0
Peyton Manning 5 2-3 114-171 66.6 1388 6-3 95.8
Joe Montana 7 5-2 115-186 61.8 1421 9-5 90.4
Kurt Warner 10 6-4 236-345 68.4 2667 15-13 90.1
Dan Fouts 17 9-8 371-568 65.3 4453 30-24 89.2
John Elway 30 20-10 547-957 57.1 7013 44-27 83.8
Brett Favre 7 4-3 136-223 60.9 1499 13-10 81.7

No non-NFC North team has notched more sacks against Rodgers than Seattle’s 17 (Dallas has 16), but that hasn’t mattered much since Rodgers and the Packers have outscored Seattle by an average of 27-18 in Rodgers’ seven contests against them, including 38-12 at Lambeau.

Sacks aside, the Seahawks have been easy pickings for Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Packers are Russell Wilson’s biggest nightmare.

In his past two outings against Green Bay, Wilson has tossed two touchdowns and nine interceptions for a passer rating of 43.94. Five of those picks were nine months ago.

Given that, it’s a surprise Green Bay is only favored by three.


YourThoughts

  • Chris Alexander

    Seahawks will excise their Lambeau demons, turn the table on the Packers, and come home with a 38-10 win.

    • Kevin Lynch

      Based on Steve’s table of results above the only time the Hawks have opened with a road win that big has come against teams that were weak the year before and weak the year the Hawks beat them. But in a year of natural and national and astronomical anomalies and abnormalities maybe anything is possible. And maybe pigs can still sprout wings. But I’m not looking for pork in the treetops come Monday morning. Except maybe in Port Lauderdale.

      • art thiel

        NFL couldn’t have booked a harder place/team for Seahawks to try to start off well.

    • art thiel

      This is one of the side effects of the legalization of marijuana.

  • ll9956

    This wil be a challenging contest for the Hawks. Rawls is injured and had a grand total of two carries in the pre-season. Lockett had zero carries in the pre-season. Chancellor has said that he isn’t able to deliver the hits like he used to. I also worry that he may have slowed up a tiny bit. If he gets beat by a young, fast WR, it won’t matter if he can deliver hits or not. I usually don’t put much stock in the predictions by the “experts”, but I think they have it about right in this case. Needless to say, I hope I’m wrong.

    • Chris Alexander

      Rawls was a full participant in practices the last 2 days and is expected to play/start. Will he be at 100%? Probably not. But that’s okay because Lacy has something to prove to the Packers and will be playing with some extra energy. I think the Hawks will be fine on offense and our defense is strong. The fact that Vegas only has us as 3 point underdogs on the road against the Packers is pretty telling. I think we’ll come home with the win. Maybe not by the 38-10 score that I’m predicting but a win nonetheless.

      • art thiel

        Rawls/Lockett are mystery guys. Long layoffs from NFL-caliber hits are hard to measure.

    • art thiel

      If Chancellor ends up on a WR, they’re in way more trouble than we know.

      I think the losses in FA are going to hurt the Packers early in the season.