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Seattle silence: No one's talking about this

At home, Seahawks haven’t been the same lately


SEATTLE – There are any number of storylines to latch onto for this Packers-Seahawks game.

Quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson ranking 1-2 on the NFL's all-time list for passer rating is a good one.

The Packers returning to the scene of two of the franchise's more infamous defeats in the "Fail Mary" and the 2014 NFC title game is a tired one.

And then there's the unexpected one.

For all the talk about how difficult it is for visiting teams to play at CenturyLink Field, and the Packers' recent history there is worthy evidence, the fact is in their last eight home games, the Seahawks are 2-6.

Yeah, that's right, 2-6. Who woulda thunk it?

After Seattle started out 3-0 at home last season, it dropped four of its last five home games. And this year, the Seahawks are 1-2 in their insanely loud backyard, a big reason they're just 4-5 overall and trying to get something going just like the 4-4-1 Packers are.

So, while trying to get the first road win of 2018 in a place that hasn't treated Green Bay favorably for a decade may not sound all that appealing at first, is it actually a better opportunity than anyone is letting on?

"Nobody said anything about it," veteran Tramon Williams – who needs no reminder of his then-final play with the Packers four years ago – said of Seattle's recent home struggles, "but I was there last year in Arizona, and we beat them the last game of the season. So I know they're not undefeated at home or anything like that. I understand we can go in there and get a win.

"But six of eight? I would never have guessed it."

Who would? Seattle's overall home record in the Wilson-Pete Carroll era is crazy good. When Wilson took over as the starting QB in 2012, the Seahawks won 14 straight before dropping one at home. Four of Wilson's first five years there, they went 7-1 or better in the regular season at CenturyLink.

In the postseason, the franchise has lost just one game in the stadium's history – the first time it hosted one in the 2004 playoffs. Since then, 10-0 under Mike Holmgren and Carroll in January.

So there's good reason for the reputation. But, statistically anyway, it's fading.

That's not to say Seattle is suddenly being dominated at home. Far from it. Of those six home losses dating back to the middle of last season, five have been by one score, and four by three points or less.

Meaning, if you're going to beat the Seahawks at their place, you're going to have to do it at crunch time. Take a look at their two home losses this year.

Back in Week 5, the Rams entered the fourth quarter down by seven and scored a touchdown early in the final period. They missed the extra point but got a stop and then put together a 61-yard drive for a field goal. After another stop, L.A. drained the final 3:28 and Wilson didn't get a last shot. Final: 33-31.

Then two weeks ago, a pick-six of Wilson by the Chargers midway through the fourth quarter made it a two-score game. The visitors then faced the more typical furious onslaught, with the Seahawks getting a touchdown, a three-and-out, and a drive to the doorstep. But the Chargers became the first AFC team to win at Seattle since 2011 by deflecting a Wilson pass into the end zone on the final play of the game to hang on, 25-17.

Two different ways to win there, but both required clutch moments in the fourth quarter. To come out on top, there's no avoiding late-game execution, which the Packers found out the hard way on their last visit despite controlling the game's first 56 minutes. The Rams were nearly flawless down the stretch. The Chargers almost let it get away but made the final play.

From the Seahawks' perspective, there's almost certainly no talk of only two home wins in the last calendar year. Their view is they have five of their last seven games at home, and they've already won three on the road, so a sub-.500 season to this point can easily start going the other direction with a win on Thursday night.

From the Packers' perspective, one road win after an 0-4 start away from Lambeau Field might be all it takes to begin a second-half run. What better place to turn the tide than at CenturyLink.

The 2-6 mark says it's not the Herculean task it's assumed to be, even if no one is talking about those numbers.

"That's the first I've heard of it," said center Corey Linsley, who played the first game of his career at CenturyLink in the 2014 opener.

"I'm always like flipping the statistics in my head, and in all honesty that tells me they're trying to break that trend.

"It's our job to keep it going."

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