Why Seattle Seahawks quite simply cannot afford to start 0-2

A look into the annals of the Seahawks show that improving to 1-1 or dropping to 0-2 on Sunday, can make all the difference in how the 2023 season plays out.
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No Seattle Seahawks fan doubts the importance of the team's matchup on Sunday with the Lions. There are plenty of questions that need to be answered, including the general one of whether they are as bad as they appeared to be last weekend against the Rams. What we do know is, they need to find a way to win and get their season back on track.

The thought of dropping to 0-2 likely doesn't bear thinking about for anyone associated with the team. And not just because the Seahawks entered this season with genuine optimism for what they could accomplish. There are also the historical implications of the franchise going winless in their first two games of the regular season.

Basically, let's hope Seattle doesn't lose to the Lions for lots of reasons. Here is why.

Seahawks going 0-2 is all but a disaster

The Seahawks have started a season 0-2 on 18 times since they joined the NFL for the 1976 campaign. Of those 18 times, they have gone on to miss the playoffs on 16 occasions. For the mathematicians among you, that's a failure rate of 88.9 percent.

Breaking it down further, the Seahawks only finished five of those 18 seasons with a winning record. None of those five times included any divisional titles. They also had two .500 seasons, meaning 11 times they had a losing record.

If there is any silver lining, it is that the two playoff seasons came the last two times the Seahawks began the season 0-2, in 2015 and 2018. However, even here the reality is these were two sets of circumstances Pete Carroll's team don't have today. The 2015 version still had the majority of the players coming off two consecutive Super Bowls, while the 2018 edition had the number-one ground game and Russell Wilson throwing a then-career-high 35 touchdown passes.

Starting 1-1 more promising

By contrast, if the Seahawks manage to beat the Lions on Sunday and improve to 1-1, it could make all the difference. Again historically speaking, of the 17 times they have started a season 1-1, they have gone to qualify for the playoffs 10 times. This includes six divisional titles and two Super Bowl appearances, albeit both being losses to conclude the 2005 and 2014 seasons.

Breaking this down further, the Seahawks have finished with 11 winning records in the 17 seasons they started 1-1. Interestingly though, despite the better chances compared to starting 0-2, it's still not all plain sailing. There were also six times they finished with a losing record, although this does include 2010, when they became the first ever team to make the playoffs with a sub-.500 record.

Ultimately though, the Seahawks quite simply can't afford to drop to 0-2 on the season. Fair or not, there is already a lot of doubt surrounding this team after the way they were dismantled during the second half versus the Rams. And while the past doesn't represent the 2023 version of the franchise, those who ignore history are often doomed to repeat it.

For anyone wondering ...

As much as it isn't relevant to the potential scenarios in this article, the Seahawks have started a season 2-0 on 12 occasions. They qualified for the playoffs eight of those times, including the 2013 season when they won their one Super Bowl. Overall, they finished with nine winning records, two .500 records and just one losing season (in 1994).

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