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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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February 5, 2008 12:30 PM

Giants = road warriors; Seahawks = road warier

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Remember the Giants team that came to Seattle in 2005 and was rattled by the din of Qwest Field? The one so flustered that someone to the NFL about the noise of Qwest Field at some point before the two teams played again in the first month of the following season?

Well, three consecutive road victories in the NFC playoffs and then a Super Bowl victory pretty much erased that legacy, and the Giants' ability to find success away from home is a big part of the difference between the Giants celebrating the third Super Bowl title in franchise history and the Seahawks being stuck 25 years and counting since their last playoff victory on the road (December 1983).

  Giants Home Road   Seahawks Home Road
Record   3-5 7-1     7-1 3-5
Points allowed   26.1 17.8     13.9 22.5
Rush yds. allowed   94.9 100.5     86.3 119.3
Pass yds. allowed   202 212.6     220 218.1
Sacks   28 25     29 16
Turnovers   10 15     23 11

Each team won 10 games this season. One showed an ability to win on the road, the other did not. One won on the road in the playoffs, the other did not. Look at the defensive breakdowns of the two teams, home vs. away. They are almost exact opposites.

That discrepancy was one of the most fundamental baffling things about the Seahawks season. A difference in offensive performance home vs. away would be more logical. Offense relies more upon timing and precision. Seattle doesn't play in a dome, but if the offense somehow felt more comfortable in conditions it was familiar with, well that would make more sense.

Defense is more about recognition, reaction and good old fashioned elbow grease. Now, the Qwest crowd certainly helps the pass rush because the offensive tackles can't necessarily rely upon hearing the quarterback's cadence, but must instead watch for the snap, but it's hard to believe that that split-second advantage translates into a difference of 9 points per game.

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Posted by Cititravis

2:30 PM, Feb 05, 2008

this is the type of analysis that used to make the tribune blog good, Keep this up and I will become a loyal follower. Thank you.

Posted by Kiet

2:33 PM, Feb 05, 2008

I think it's great for the Giants that they were able to win the Super Bowl after having played so well on the road this year but I believe you're sending the wrong message. Ask any NFL coach and he'll tell you that you have to take care of things at home first. That's why the Seahawks are a consistently good team and the Giants are still a streaky team that just happened to get hot down the stretch. If both teams duplicated their home records next year, who would you bet would have a better overall record? Being able to win on the road is good but there is no excuse to lose at home if you're a good team.

Posted by JohnnyZee

2:38 PM, Feb 05, 2008

It would be interesting to compare miles traveled as well. While the Giants have had road games, I would doubt seriously they traveled AS FAR as the hawks have had to as most of the teams in the NFL are in the Central/East time zones. It would be interesting to see how teams fared by miles traveled.

Posted by More of Mora

Posted by pkgoode

6:46 PM, Feb 05, 2008

Good analysis. The Giants' record is a bit fluky but give them their due. Still, you can't count on a successful season when you are 3-5 at home. I still think that a conference finalist-level team has to dominate at home, beat the weak sisters on the road, and beat at least two good teams on the road. The best way to do that is to play consistently excellent defense because -- as Danny observes -- it's expected that the offense will be less consistent on the road. Having said that, it's alarming how flat Hasselbeck can look on the road against weak defenses. The road loss to Arizona was inexcusable -- it shouldn't have come down to the botched handoff in the first place. The defense didn't show up in Cleveland or Atlanta, and the offense was MIA in Carolina. Four of their road losses were winnable games. They could have been 14-2 this year with home field through the playoffs. The schedule was a gift that they did not take advantage of.

Posted by UWubba

6:17 AM, Feb 06, 2008

The Giants, losing at home, went on road trips to prove something. The Hawks, losing on the road came home to prove something. Given that you can't play all the important games at home - unless you win on the road: Advantage, Giants.

Posted by Scott

8:16 AM, Feb 06, 2008

Blah blah blah, quit whining Danny. I would argue that Seattle Dallas or Green Bay would have had a shot at beating the Patriots on Sunday - the Pats just didn't show up, is more what it was. I wouldn't go reading all of this into it. We had a decent season and let's leave it at that.

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