The Seattle Seahawks travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals in Week 6. Cincinnati might only be 2-3 but they are an extremely dangerous team that normally starts slowly before making a deep run in the playoffs. The Bengals still have an extremely talented roster and no team should overlook them.
There are some advantages for Seattle entering the game, though. The Bengals are near the bottom of the league in run defense which should mean that Seahawks running backs Kenneth Walker III and Zach Charbonnet can have productive days. If nothing else, the threat of Seattle running successfully should help Geno Smith and the Seattle receivers feed off Walker and Charbonnet.
Or the Bengals know that Seattle wants to run the ball and will load up to stop it. Seattle needs to stick with running the ball even if stuffed often early. And maybe this will be the game that Seattle rookie receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba takes off and finds the open holes in the defense in his first NFL game in the state where he went to college.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll will have his team ready...as always
As far as preparation, though, the Seahawks should be completely ready for the 10 am PT kickoff as they have one of the best coaches in the league in knowing how to approach the early start to the game. Seattle usually has more travel miles than any other NFL team and 2023 is no different. The closest competition for Seattle is in San Francisco which is around 13 hours or more if you are driving. Every other team in the league has another team closer to them.
But after decades of suffering through 10 am PT kickoffs, including the 2000s before Pete Carroll arrived in 2010 when the team had a combined 10 am PT record of 17-27. Mind you, Seattle has some really good teams between 2001 and 2006, but they didn't have a coach who knew how to prepare them for early kickoffs. Carroll does.
In Seattle's last 18 10 am PT kickoffs, the Seahawks have gone 15-3. In their last 32 games with early starts, Seattle is 23-9. Carroll takes his teams to cities where the 10 am games are on Friday after practice, while most teams take their teams the day before. The extra night allows the Seahawks to acclimate a bit more to the time difference. Seattle also goes through workouts prior to the game at the same time they would at a home game so the team isn't having to get off routine. Let's hope Seattle can get yet another victory in an game that starts around brunch for most on the west coast.