Renton – Believe it or not, the Seattle Seahawks trip on Sunday to face the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium could be the soothing balm the team needs to ease its road woes.
How bad has it gotten for the Seahawks?
Seattle has lost nine of its last 11 outside of Qwest Field since the beginning of the 2008 season. The Seahawks face a tough three-game stretch of road games, beginning Sunday against Arizona. The stretch also includes trips to Minnesota and St. Louis. Seattle finishes its season with five of its last eight games on the road.
Slow starts have been an issue for Seattle on the road. The Seahawks have been outscored by an average of 18 to 8 in the opening halves of this team’s three road games this season – all losses.
The Seahawks have to go back into the team’s collective memory banks to 2004 to find a win against a playoff team on the road, a Dec. 12 victory against Minnesota, and that came against an 8-8 Vikings team.
Seattle would have to rewind even farther back – to 2002 – for a road win over a playoff team with a winning record.
That came against a 9-6-1 Atlanta team, with Seattle earning a 30-24 overtime win against the Falcons in December of that year.
But even with that unsuccessful bit of history in the rear view mirror, the Seahawks do have some positives to look to heading into Sunday’s contest against the Cardinals in the desert. Arizona currently is struggling at home, going 1-3 so far at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Turnovers have been the main issue for the Cardinals. Arizona has turned it over 12 times at home, but only seven times on the road, where the Cardinals are 4-0 this season.
When asked about his team’s struggles on the road becoming a mental block for his team, Mora said he did not discount that as a possibility, but reiterated that the Seahawks need to change their fortunes if they want to continue to hold out hope that they can make an unlikely playoff run.
“I wouldn’t be forthcoming if I said I didn’t worry about it,” Mora said. “Yeah, I do worry about it. You always worry about your team’s psyche. But really, we’re not going to change the way we prepare because we believe that we’re doing the right things.
“We’re always going to look for better ways and try to tweak things. Really what needs to happen is we need to go out and execute and play well and make some plays and get some breaks and find a way to get a win. We’re going to prepare to win and we’re going to go down there and do our best to win, and if it happens it’ll certainly be a boost.”
Even with the struggles the team has had – both on the road and at home against quality opponents – Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said he and his teammates understand what is at stake on Sunday, on the road against Arizona.
“I think it needs to be known that this game is way more important because of how we shot ourselves in the foot earlier in the season,” Hasselbeck said. “And because of the adversity we faced earlier in the season.
“We really have faced our fair share of adversity already. And so because of that we’ve got a 3-5 record, which is not something we anticipated. And we’ve got a game here that we’ve basically got to win. You try to win them all, but I mean we know that this one is very important.”
Hasselbeck said after practice on Thursday that he feels as good as he’s felt in more than a month. The veteran Seattle quarterback, who banged up his shoulder against Detroit last week, was one of three Seattle players listed on the team’s injury report, along with offensive tackle Sean Locklear (ankle) and cornerback Ken Lucas (neck). All three were full participants in practice. ... Locklear and Damion McIntosh continue to split reps with the first unit at left tackle. ... Cornerback Roy Lewis has appealed a $5,000 fine from the league for a late hit. Lewis earned the fine for hitting Detroit’s Derrick Williams out of bounds at the end of a kickoff return last week. Lewis was penalized with a personal foul. Linebacker Lance Laury also was fined $5,000 by the NFL for a late hit on the same play, and also plans to appeal.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437