Whipping Washington should be a breeze for the Seattle Seahawks.
Nobody loves performing under the bright lights more than Pete Carroll’s Seahawks.
Look at the numbers. The Hawks are 10-1 under Carroll in prime-time games. And they haven’t lost a Monday Night Football game since Dec. 6, 2004.
That’s a streak of eight consecutive MNF wins, and those are by huge margins, their advantage being 208-65.
Now they’re 2-1, and Washington and its backup quarterback are coming off an unsightly 45-14 loss to the New York Giants.
Those are the kinds of things that make Seattle the betting favorite by more than a touchdown.
And those contribute to this being a potentially tricky game for them.
It’s on Monday night, but it might have that Monday morning, get-back-to-work feel to the Seahawks.
With the bye week, they haven’t played since the Sept. 21 overtime win over Denver.
A chance they’ll be sluggish, right?
Well, last season they also followed their bye with a Monday night game, and they blasted New Orleans, 34-7.
This is the pattern we’re seeing with the Seahawks: Whenever it seems they’re vulnerable to getting caught in a trap game, where circumstances might work against them, they tend to answer the challenge.
But if we’re going to consider history in this assessment, it’s fair to point out that the Seahawks haven’t beaten the Redskins in the regular season since 1998.
They scored important wins in the playoffs after the 2005 and ’12 seasons. But that’s still a six-game regular-season losing streak, which is the worst string of losses they’ve suffered to any team in the league.
There’s some reasons, too, to think that Washington might not be as nearly as bad as it looked against the Giants.
That Thursday night game was just four days after the Sept. 21 loss to Philadelphia in a bruising, 37-34 contest.
Washington coach Jay Gruden and quarterback Kirk Cousins were dutifully gracious in their press conferences this week. Gruden said he can’t see any weaknesses in the Seahawks, and Cousins added that his four-interception effort against the Giants was something that would stick with him.
Gruden even helped point out their weaknesses: Washington is minus-five in turnovers and has converted just 18 of 49 third-down opportunities.
Cousins seemed uncharacteristically bad against the Giants. Just a couple weeks ago he had the second-best passer rating in the NFC behind Seattle’s Russell Wilson.
“Kirk threw for 400 (yards) just a couple weeks ago, so he’s done some really good things,” Carroll pointed out.
Part of Seattle’s string of losses at Washington included one at this same point of the 2005 season, when the Seahawks were on their way to their first Super Bowl. Kicker Josh Brown banged a late field goal attempt off the left upright and the Hawks ended up losing in overtime to fall to 2-2.
The danger in examining such history, though, is that it just so rarely applies to the current Seahawks.
Remember those troubles playing games on the East Coast? They won all four last season — Giants, Atlanta, Carolina and, oh, yeah, the Super Bowl in New Jersey.
Remember the troubles on the road? They’ve won eight of their past 11.
Remember some of those years when they had inexplicably flat games when they were favored on the road? They beat the spread in seven of nine road games last season.
So, the bye week, the road trip, the geography, the struggling opponent — does any of it disrupt the Seahawks?
They’ve lost once this year, in a game at San Diego where they wilted on an extraordinarily hot afternoon.
The forecast for Monday night is seasonally mild. So forget that scenario.
Carroll offered some thoughts on the factors at work heading into the this game.
“I know our team is ready to go,” he said. “They really want to play football. This is a young, hungry team. This is not a team that’s living in the past.”