What 2-0 would mean for the Seattle Seahawks
Seaside Joe 1290: The Seahawks are looking to be 2-0 for 13th time in franchise history, which would also send the 49ers into a freefall
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Over 12 years of covering the Seahawks, I’ve often written about the road ahead and why the future schedule could or couldn’t be fortuitous for Seattle. That has sometimes led to arguments with people about “trap games” and “not looking ahead for fear of losing focus on the next game” because my answer to that has always been: I’m not on the Seahawks. I can look ahead all I want without fear of screwing things up for Seattle.
This season, I’ve become more aware of the error of my ways.
I believe the Seahawks should win as many games as they possibly can, just as they did in 2010 and 2011, leading to great things in 2012 and beyond, so we’re just going to take this game by game. Whatever happens after Week 2’s game against the San Francisco 49ers is to be discussed and decided when the time comes. It’s still true that I don’t work for the Seahawks and I can’t have any impact on their failures or successes by overlooking an opponent or looking ahead.
But those fantasies are still just fictional until we know for sure what’s going to happen against the 49ers.
So I’m not going to look at the Falcons in Week 3. However, I do want to lay out some stakes for Week 2. First, the Denver Broncos was the most important game of the season for Seattle. Now, the first meeting against San Francisco is the most important game of the season for Seattle. Here’s what a win would mean for the Seahawks and the 49ers.
The Seattle Seahawks have started 2-0 twelves times in franchise history: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1994, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2013, 2019, and 2020.
Of those 12 teams, only one team finished with a losing record. Without looking it up, can you name that team? What about the two Seahawks teams on that list that finished 8-8?
A two-game lead over the 49ers
A win on Sunday would mean that the 49ers are 0-2 and that Seattle opens the season with a two-game lead over a division rival that just went to the NFC Championship game. The Seahawks are 29-17 all-time against San Francisco and they’ve won 17 of their last 20 against the Niners. A win would make that 18 of 21. Dominance.
The three losses were by 2 points, 3 points, and 5 points.
The 49ers would be 0-2
This has happened 14 times in San Francisco’s history: 1950, 1955, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 2000, 2004, 2010, and 2017. The 49ers have never rebounded from an 0-2 start to finish with a winning record and their best record in any of those seasons is 6-10. They finished 2-14 in three of the last seven seasons in which they started 0-2.
More pressure for Kyle Shanahan to bench Trey Lance
The decision to start Trey Lance over Jimmy Garoppolo this season has been predicated on a few simple facts: a) the team spent a lot to get Lance and John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan don’t want to look stupid, b) Garoppolo isn’t especially good, and c) the 49ers have been under the assumption that the team is good enough to carry a mediocre quarterback to the playoffs.
Notice that none of those reasons are “Because Trey Lance is really good and deserves to be a starter in 2022.”
But if the 49ers start 0-2, then reason C comes under fire to such a degree that 0-3 will have those guys mentioned in reason A fearing for their long-term job security. Remember: Shanahan/Lynch has finished 6-10 or worse in three of their five seasons at the helm. You just saw how likely it is that the 49ers will be 6-10 or worse if they start 0-2.
Ironically, benching Lance this season might be better for the team and worse for Lynch/Shanahan at the same time. To rock the boat to that degree only weeks/months after committing to Trey Lance, it will crack the foundation of the organization and make for a very awkward locker room.
Seaside Joe is a family show so I’m not going to embed the tweet, but apparently Lance’s “independent study” is making it rain on strippers between NFL games. This is really the first time I’m aware of in which Lance’s commitment and competitive desire comes into question because I do think at this level, you can’t be having “Varsity Blues” moments.
No number one pick, no Bryce Young
Back in 2013, the Houston Texans started 2-0 and then lost their next 14 games, leading to the number one pick and Jadeveon Clowney. It’s really kind of amazing because the Texans lost five of those games by a field goal or less, and nine of those games by a touchdown or less. However, it is extremely unlikely that the Seahawks could start 2-0 and then end up with something they’ve never had before: the number one pick in the draft.
I know a lot of people disagree with me on Young’s strangehold on the top position and that’s fine, just place your own number one pick in his place and I’m not going to argue with you. Look at some of the teams who could end up starting 0-2 this week:
0-1 Panthers at Giants; Colts at 0-1 Jaguars; 0-1 Jets at Browns; Commanders at 0-1 Lions; 0-1 Falcons at Rams; Bengals at 0-1 Cowboys; 0-1 Cardinals at 0-1 Raiders; also the 0-0-1 Texans at 0-1 Broncos.
The big ones for me would be the 0-0-1 Texans, 0-1 Lions, 0-1 Panthers, 0-1 Falcons, and 0-1 Cowboys. Sorry Dak, sorry Jared, sorry Baker, sorry Davis, but I think all of those teams are targeting a quarterback if they pick first. Yes, even the Cowboys.
That’s for those of you wondering about a trade up. It would have to be the Jets, Jaguars, or Cardinals to consider a team trading down from 1, and I do not think that Arizona is making any deals like that with Seattle.
Geno Smith keeps job another week
In most scenarios of a Seahawks win this weekend, Geno Smith starts and finishes the game. Barring injury or Drew Lock playing the second half hero, Smith would be 2-0 for the first time ever.
7-8 guarantees a winning record
A win would mean Seattle has two of the nine necessary to finish with a winning record. That alone would earn Pete Carroll a lot of credit with Seahawks fans that he means what he says.
A win would also mean that the Seahawks need only go 6-9 the rest of the way to guarantee a better record than their final season with Russell Wilson. That’s some “A-Rod to the Rangers” level revenge.
Survive another week without Jamal Adams
You could definitely argue that Adams was the most talented player on Seattle’s defense going into the season. I sort of overlooked the fact that the Seahawks held Denver to 16 points and two goal line stands without their best player on the field.
1-0 with Kenneth Walker III
Seaside Joe’s favorite running back makes his debut on Sunday and I believe he will change the dynamic of Shane Waldron’s playcalling to a notable degree.
1-0 on the road, 1-0 in the division
Two kinds of wins that all teams pray for each year.
Better record than:
The Packers, Cowboys, Rams, 49ers, Cardinals, Patriots, Bengals, Titans, Raiders, Chargers, and Broncos.
The Seahawks are expected to lose. But if they win, what will people expect of them next?