Under Pete Carroll, Seahawks nearly perfect in prime time
SEATTLE (AP) As part of the program he has built in Seattle, Pete Carroll insists that all games are equal and those with a higher profile carry no extra significance for the team.
Except Seattle has proven to be nearly unbeatable in prime time during Carroll’s six seasons in charge.
”We put everything into every game as far as we can take it, regardless of when it is, who it is, where we’re playing, what the ramifications may be, or what logo they’re putting on the screen on TV. It doesn’t matter,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks are 13-2 in regular-season games on Thursday, Sunday or Monday nights since Carroll’s arrival in 2010, the only two losses coming in 2012 at San Francisco and in Week 2 of this season at Green Bay.
Beyond just winning, the Seahawks have been dominant in those victories, winning by an average margin of 13.5 points per game. At CenturyLink Field, Seattle’s dominance in prime time is even more pronounced, winning by an average margin of 18.5 points.
All those blowouts at home even led to unfounded speculation at one point that the NFL didn’t want to put the Seahawks in prime time at home for fear of another blowout that would cause viewers to lose interest.
”There’s a real discipline that it takes to consider every game exactly the same,” Carroll said. ”It has nothing to do with not respecting the opponents. We respect them so ultimately every time we go. It calls for everything that we have to play the best we can possibly play.”
Along with their general prime-time excellence, the Seahawks have been exceptional on Monday nights. Seattle enters Monday’s game against Detroit on a nine-game winning streak on Mondays. That’s tied for the second-longest streak in the history of Monday Night Football, behind only Oakland’s 14 consecutive wins from 1975-1981. Seattle’s last Monday night loss was a 43-39 home defeat to Dallas in December 2004.
Detroit hasn’t been nearly as successful in prime time. The Lions are 21-32-1 all-time in Thursday, Sunday or Monday night games. Since 2011, they’re 2-7 in prime time.
”The great thing about professional football is the fact that our stage is pretty big and we do get a lot of coverage,” Detroit coach Jim Caldwell said. ”Often times, it’s the guys that have been in those games that usually jump out at you and stand out because they understand it and know what it’s like. It’s a bit different atmosphere, I think. It’s a great atmosphere.”
Not everyone is thrilled with playing these night games. Richard Sherman is one of those who would prefer to play first thing, not seeing the allure of playing in prime time. He’s not one who enjoys sitting around most of the day waiting for kickoff to arrive.
”It’s just another football game where you lose a lot of the day and you have to play at night for some apparent reason,” Sherman said. ”I wish we could play early. I hate playing at night. I feel like it’s a day wasted.”
And because every game is now available for viewing in some format through technological advances, the luster of playing a prime-time showcase game has worn off.
”So whether the league’s watching or not, it doesn’t make too much of a difference,” Sherman said. ”It doesn’t affect, honestly I don’t think, how guys play.”
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