“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.”
– John Wooden
This quote from the legendary basketball coach hits home for most every professional sports team each and every season. And it couldn’t ring truer for the Seattle Seahawks this year as they shot out to a 2-0 start to the season.
What can you read into this fast start?
The last time the team started 2-0 and ended with a losing season was in 1994 when they finished 6-10. So that looks promising. However, last season the Seahawks started 0-2 but battled their way to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth.
So honestly, it is tough to read too much into this hot start. On paper, it looks encouraging—but it is only two games.
Their first game was a sloppy one-point victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, which could have gone either way. And this past weekend it was just a two-point win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Yes, a win is a win. But I don’ think the Seahawks can really feel great about either victory. They got lucky against the Bengals missing star receiver A.J. Green and the Steelers lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger early in the game. Both players are huge contributors to their respective teams and not having to face either was big.
Now this week they host the New Orleans Saints, who will be without perennial all-star signal-caller Drew Brees who had thumb surgery and will miss the next six or so weeks.
The ball sure is bouncing the Seahawks’ way.
It is a long season and there are plenty of games to be played, but a fast start never hurts while the team finds its footing.
The mistake-filled game against the Bengals was a typical Seahawks opener; conservative play calling with a heavy emphasis on the running game. The offensive line struggles were concerning, and Russell Wilson was running for his life.
What was most troubling was the fact that Cincinnati is just not very good. At the end of the season, I would imagine they will be near the bottom of the standings and out of playoff contention. The Seahawks made them look much better than they are.
The Pittsburgh win was a different story. Traveling across the country for an early game on the road against a team coming off a Week 1 shellacking is not an easy task.
They benefited from the injuries to Big Ben and running back James Connor. If it were not for two Chris Carson fumbles, this could have—and should have—been a blowout.
Wilson seemed to shake off the rust from Week 1 and was efficient. The play calling was crisper, and the Hawks were able to move the ball when it counted. However, the offensive line needs to get healthy if the Hawks are truly going to compete with the Rams for a division title. They still have trouble with pass protection (four sacks and six holding penalties) and can’t seem to create running lanes at crucial points.
Wilson’s scrambling late in the game sealed the victory, but fumbles and missed assignments kept this from being a runaway. But as with the Bengals, the Steelers’ window of excellence appears to be closing. Now with Roethlisberger out for the season, it will be a tall task to make any noise and compete for the playoffs. Come the end of the season, this Seattle victory might not look as impressive.
Ten times, the Seahawks have started the season with two wins and six of those times ended with a playoff berth. That includes the 2013 Super Bowl win.
So things look bright for the Hawks as they have parlayed some fortunate bounces into a quick start to the season. There is a lot of work to do as the schedule gets nasty with some promising young teams (Cardinals, Browns, Ravens) on the horizon.
On top of all that, the NFC West appears to be up for grabs and may be the most competitive division in football. Both the Rams and 49ers are in the same boat as the Seahawks with 2-0 starts to the year.
While it is easy to get excited about an unbeaten start to the 2019-20 NFL season, caution must be advised. A team never wants to peak too early in the year and needs to save its best for December. But right now, Seahawks fans will take 2-0 and will cheer for it to continue.