Because players had to stay in the Seattle area, which led to spending large amounts of time around the Seahawks practice facility, where they might not have in a normal year, coach Pete Carroll said Monday this may have been the best bye week the team has ever had.
The real judgment of that, of course, comes Sunday in Glendale, Arizona, when the Seahawks take on the Cardinals.
Secure a much-valued win on the road against what appears to be a rapidly improving team, and then indeed it was a good bye week.
And if the only way to really judge bye weeks is how the team plays in the following game, Seattle has been pretty good managing the week off during Carroll’s tenure.
Seattle is 7-3 following byes dating to Carroll’s arrival in 2010, and 6-2 since Russell Wilson came aboard in 2012. Each of those winning percentages basically matches overall numbers for Carroll (64%) and Wilson (68.4%).
So maybe there isn’t a ton to glean from how the Seahawks have played following byes because it’s how they usually play all the time anyway.
But the games following bye weeks have produced some memorable moments.
Here’s a rating of Seattle’s post-bye week games since 2010, from best to worst.
2013 — Seahawks vs. Saints
Seattle 34, New Orleans 7
Any worry that the Week 12 bye might stunt the team’s momentum — the Seahawks were 10-1 going into their week off — was quickly muted as the Seahawks blasted a 9-2 Saints team on Monday night, taking a 17-0 first-quarter lead and a 34-7 lead midway through the third quarter. Seattle ultimately outgained New Orleans 429-188 in what might have been the most dominant regular-season performance of the year for the eventual Super Bowl champs.
2018 — Seahawks at Lions
Seattle 28, Detroit 14
Following the trip to London to beat the Raiders, Seattle had its bye in Week 7 and then another trip to Detroit, an emotional affair for all involved as it was the first following the death of owner Paul Allen. Russell Wilson had a perfect passer rating of 158.3, going 14 of 17 for 248 yards and three touchdowns to spark the win, while Michael Dickson had his famous extemporaneous fake punt run out of the end zone late to clinch it.
2019 — Seahawks at Eagles
Seattle 17, Philadelphia 9
This wasn’t the most dominant performance of the year for the Seahawks last season. But coming as it did, following the Monday night win at San Francisco, and then the bye, it seemed hugely significant in announcing that the Seahawks were legit contenders for one of the top seeds in the conference. It also set a team record as a sixth consecutive road win to start the season.
2014 — Seahawks at Washington
Seattle 27, Washington 17
There was no sign of a Super Bowl hangover on this Monday night as the Seahawks improved to 3-1 in a game they could have won much more decisively as Percy Harvin memorably had three touchdowns called back due to penalty — two on the same drive. Seattle was forced to kick field goals at the end of each of those drives instead. Harvin would amazingly be a former Seahawk after just one more game.
2010 — Seahawks at Bears
Seattle 23, Chicago 20
Things were looking up for Seattle after a win in the Windy City to make the Seahawks 3-2 in Carroll’s first year (they would get to 4-2 before going on a skid and then infamously winning the division at 7-9). This game also was the first for Marshawn Lynch as a Seahawk. He had 44 yards on 17 carries and scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 13:45 left. That was the first of 18 times Lynch would score on 1-yard runs in his Seattle career (but oh for a 19th).
2016 — Seahawks vs. Falcons
Seattle 26, Atlanta 24
Maybe this game, following a Week 5 bye, should rank higher considering Atlanta went to the Super Bowl that season. But this was the game when Richard Sherman had his sideline outburst following a blown coverage that led to a 36-yard touchdown pass to Julio Jones, which in turn led to a 21-0 Atlanta run before Seattle righted things to hold on to the win. Seattle was 4-1 after this game but finished 10-5-1, with Sherman’s outburst seeming to hang over the team for a while and the season ending with a blowout in the playoffs to the Falcons three months later.
2017 — Seahawks at Giants
Seattle 24, New York Giants 7
You’re forgiven if you barely remember this game, which came following a Week 6 bye. Doug Baldwin got in a little argument with offensive line coach Tom Cable as the teams left the field at halftime with the 1-5 Giants ahead 7-3 before Wilson threw three TDs in the second half to restore order — the first to Baldwin.
2015 — Seahawks vs. Cardinals
Arizona 39, Seattle 32
Now to the losses. Following a Week 9 bye, Seattle hosted Arizona in a Sunday night showdown for NFC West supremacy. Seattle lost, but not after one of the craziest games in the team’s recent history. Seattle fell behind 19-0 before scoring 21 straight in under seven minutes in the late third and early fourth quarters to retake the lead, then allowing the Cardinals to go on late drives of 83 and 80 yards to win it and take control of the division.
2012 — Seahawks at Dolphins
Miami 24, Seattle 21
Following a Week 11 bye in Wilson’s rookie year, the Seahawks turned in a mistake-filled outing that turned into a last-second loss against the Dolphins and dropped their record to 6-5 and making things look bleak for a playoff berth. Seattle, though, rebounded to win its next five to spark the true beginning of the Carroll-Wilson era of success.
2011 — Seahawks at Browns
Cleveland 6, Seattle 3
A bye in Week 5 didn’t allow Tarvaris Jackson to get healthy, so the Seahawks had to give Charlie Whitehurst one of his only four starts as Seattle’s QB. With Lynch also sitting out with an injury, suffice to say it did not go well as Whitehurst was 12 of 30 for 97 yards with a pick and was sacked four times. Of Seattle’s 11 drives, only one went for longer than 14 yards.