The Seahawks won 24-14 at Washington on Sunday and, according to Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times, busted three “tired, outdated or just flat-out wrong” myths in the process.
Here’s O’Neil’s take with the AJC’s comments:
I. Seattle is wasting a championship-caliber defense.
This was the chorus in September after the Seahawks scored fewer than 20 points in four of their first five games. . . . Well, Seattle’s offense has come a long way since then, its relentless ground game combining with an increasingly aggressive game plan for its effective young quarterback to create an efficient, above-average NFL offense.
Comment: Can’t fade that analysis. Those 42 points the Seahawks hung on the 49ers speak volumes even when accounting for a blocked field goal for a touchdown. Sure, the Cardinals had eight turnovers in a 58-0 defeat but it’s rare for any NFL team to give up that many points (and the Falcons didn’t exactly light it up against Arizona). Seattle also put up 50 points on Buffalo–yeah, the Bills are bad but, again, NFL teams only get shredded like that every once in a while.
It’s worth noting, however, that two Seattle’s scoring outbursts came at home (more on that below). Seattle’s offense huffed and puffed to a 20-13 victory against the lowly Rams in the regular-season finale. And the Seahawks managed just 24 points against Washington’s lackluster defense in spite of holding the ball for more than 34 minutes and getting two turnovers.
II. Seattle is not built to come back from big deficits.
This is a logical assumption given the Seahawks’ propensity for running the ball. . . . But Sunday was the third time this season Seattle found itself down by double digits, and the second consecutive time it came back to win. The Seahawks trailed the Patriots by 13 points in the fourth quarter and scored two touchdowns in the final nine minutes to win in October. At Washington, the Seahawks were more methodical, running their way back into the game.
Comment: O’Neil notes that the Seahawks scored first in 13 of its 16 regular-season games so there’s not much to go on. But coming back from down 14-0 in a playoff road game is legit. Of course, the Falcons have been making comebacks all season.
III. The Seahawks can’t win on the road.
There was a time you could make this argument. That, however, was in November when Seattle had lost five of six games on the road, and each of Wilson’s interceptions had occurred away from Seattle.
And while it’s true Seattle hadn’t won a road playoff game since 1983, it’s also true that 44 of the 53 players on Seattle’s roster weren’t alive when that streak started. So while it’s easy to make road games seem like this franchise’s bogeyman, it’s not exactly accurate after Seattle won at Chicago on Dec. 2 and beat Buffalo in Toronto two weeks later.
Comment: It’s not so much when the streak started as the fact the Seahawks had lost playoff road games in 2006, ‘07 and ‘10. But probably shouldn’t put too much stock in the past after that victory at Washington. (Also, if history is the focus, then note that the Seahawks won at least one playoff game each of the last five times they qualified for the postseason while the Falcons . . . well, you know.)
Still, Seattle’s victories at Chicago and Toronto can’t quite erase the memories of ugly flops at Arizona, St. Louis, Detroit and Miami. It’s one thing for the Seahawks to win at Washington, which barely won the mediocre NFC East; they’ll have to reach another level to win at the Georgia Dome, where the Falcons have been tough under coach Mike Smith.
OTHER RECENT STORIES