Seahawks vs. Dolphins: Seattle Must Overcome Road Woes

Todd Pheifer@tpheiferAnalyst IIINovember 24, 2012

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 28: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up prior to the start of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 28, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

On paper, the Seattle Seahawks should be able to handle the Miami Dolphins and move to 7-4 on the season.

If only paper were a real indicator.

The home-field advantage of CenturyLink Field has been well documented, and the Seahawks really seem to draw energy from the ruckus crowd.

A 5-0 record at home is a major reason why this team is 6-4.

At this point in the season, the Atlanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens are the only other teams in the NFL that are undefeated at home. The difference is that the Falcons are 4-1 on the road and the Ravens are 3-2.

Seattle? The Seahawks are 1-4 away from the friendly confines of home. Not exactly the mark of a complete team.

Of the other 13 teams above .500, only two of them have losing records on the road. Pittsburgh and Indianapolis are both 2-3 away from home.

What is with the Seahawks on the road?

When you look at the road losses, it is not hard to feel like the road record should be better. Losing to a quality team like the San Francisco 49ers is understandable, but the losses to Arizona, St. Louis and Detroit were frustratingly winnable.

And yet, each game has a big “L” next to it. What gives?

Do the Seahawks have a mental block when it comes to playing in hostile environments? Or is this something that will be better in the second half of the season?

There is no reason for the Seahawks to lose this game to the Dolphins.

Is there a different strategy for winning on the road? There should not be, but everyone knows that it is easier to win at home.

You assume that the game plan for the Seahawks will be fairly straightforward. The ‘Hawks will look to establish the run and let Russell Wilson pick his spots. On defense Seattle will stack the box, contain the run, and dare rookie QB Ryan Tannehill to challenge Optimus Prime (Richard Sherman) and the rest of the secondary.

According to The Miami Herald, the Miami offensive line has struggled with consistency (sound familiar?), which is good news for Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons.

The Dolphins do not run the ball particularly well (21st in the NFL), and their passing game is also subpar (24th). Over the last two weeks, the Dolphins have averaged 57 yards on the ground against two of the worst run defenses in the NFL.

On defense, the Dolphins are solid against the run, but they also have not faced that many elite backs. Marshawn Lynch should be able to have a good day. The good news for Russell Wilson is that Miami is giving up 266 yards per game through the air, which is good for 27th in the NFL.

Given Wilson’s growing confidence, Seattle may try to air it out a bit more.

Have the Seahawks matured and established their identity to the point where they will play with more authority on the road?

The bottom line is that this team needs to believe that they can win away from home. Granted, they may believe, but they have not backed it up.

It would be a lot better to go into Chicago at 7-4 instead of 6-5.

The road woes just need to be overcome. I think they will get it done in Miami.