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Seahawks' challenge: Win on road at Carolina

Seattle is 5-14 on the road since Carroll took over as head coach

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By Eric D. Williams
The News Tribune
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With the Seahawks 0-2 on the road this season against NFC West division rivals Arizona and St. Louis, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll says his team needs to establish a winning formula away from home to become a playoff contender.
"The emphasis this week is that we have to get our game right on the road," Carroll said. "I thought we had a good approach to it, and we feel good about the way we're playing -- we're playing hard and all that. But we haven't been successful in a number of areas on the road as we've been at home.
"So that's a big challenge for us, we have to get this thing stepped up."
Carroll's teams are an unimpressive 5-14 on the road since he took over as head coach for Seattle. The Seahawks have had their share of big wins away from CenturyLink Field during Carroll's tenure, including a big win against the defending Super Bowl Champions, the New York Giants, in Week 5 last year, and back-to-back victories at Chicago in 2010 and 2011.
However, Seattle has not won with any consistency on the road, which is an issue if you expect to make the postseason.
Fullback Michael Robinson does not believe effort or preparation is an issue.
"I just think that we didn't make enough plays in those games," Robinson said about losses against the Cardinals and the Rams. "I think we brought the juice. I think we were focused. We just didn't make enough plays to win those games."
One of the things that Carroll preached when he took over was playing the same at home or on the road, so players were not expecting to put forth some type of Herculean effort to get a road win.
The Seahawks also established similar routines when they travel on the road, which include traveling on Fridays if they were head east of the Mississippi River in order to get their body clocks right.
"We do a great job around here of preaching, waking our bodies up every morning," Robinson said. "Whether it's having a 7 a.m. lifting group or guys having early meetings. Guys do a great job of stretching and waking their bodies up so they're alert and ready to go for their day."
Getting their routines synched up is important, as Seattle faces three of four road games during the Month of October -- including three games in the next 11 days.
After this afternoon's game at Carolina, Seattle hosts New England next week, followed by a Thursday night contest at NFC West rival San Francisco.
The Seahawks then get 10 days to prepare for a game against Detroit in Motown on Oct. 28.
While the Seahawks would like to get off to a fast start against the Panthers, similar to the way they started against the Rams last week, it's not a necessity according to Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.
"You always want to get off to a good start, whether you're home, away or on the moon," said Richard Sherman, smiling. "But it's the same old thing, just try to go out there and play good, sound defense.
"I think we've play good, solid football in all the games we've been in. And the stats show that, so we're just trying to go out there and do the same thing."
Prime numbers

No. Name (position) Ht./Wt./Year
3 Russell Wilson (QB) 5-11/206/first
Seattle's rookie quarterback needs a breakout performance, or he could be on the bench next week against New England.
89 (WR) 5-10/189/second
Seattle's leading receiver last season has just four receptions on the year through four games. Hawks need Baldwin to step up on third down.
92 Brandon Mebane (DT) 6-1/311/sixth
The Cal product is playing at a high level, and Seattle will need another solid effort from Mebane to control line of scrimmage against Carolina's potent run game.
50 K.J. Wright (LB) 6-4/246/second
One of the best tacklers on the team, Wright needs to make sure he wraps up against bruising running QB Cam Newton.
No. Name (position) Ht./Wt./Year
1 Cam Newton (QB) 6-5/245/second
The Panthers need and expect more leadership and maturity from the quarterback position.
69 Jordan Gross (OT) 6-4/305/10th
The Utah product is still one of the better pass blockers in the league, but will have his hands full with Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin.
59 Luke Kuechly (OLB) 6-3/235/first
Rookie out of Boston College needs to step up in the run game with veteran MLB Jon Beason likely out.
30 Charles Godfrey (DB) 5-11/210/fifth
Panthers leading tackler and most talented playmaker in the back end of Carolina's defense.
-- Eric D. Williams, The News Tribune
Story tags » NFLSeahawks

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