Seahawks in position for another strong finish to the regular season

Dec 26, 2014, 7:17 PM | Updated: 7:55 pm
Finishing the regular-season strong has been a hallmark of the Seahawks under coach Pete Carroll. (...
Finishing the regular-season strong has been a hallmark of the Seahawks under coach Pete Carroll. (AP)

RENTON – This has become Seattle’s annual tradition to finish the regular season.

And this is about much more than the Seahawks hosting the Rams in Week 17 for a third successive year.

It’s December, which means it’s the annual tradition in which the Seahawks start knocking off a list of opponents – in the case of Arizona and San Francisco, beating them twice – and heading toward the playoffs looking mighty nice. Sorry, that’s a little bit corny. It’s also true.

Seahawks’ record by month under Pete Carroll
Year Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 2-1 2-2 1-3 2*-3
2011 1-2 1-3 2-2 3-2*
2012 2-2 2-2 2-1 5-0
2013 4-0 3-1 3-0 3-2
2014 2-1 2-2 4-1 3-0
Total 11-6 10-10 12-7 16-7
*Includes games played in early January

It’s the kind of late-season success that has been the common thread for so much of Pete Carroll’s five years in Seattle. Since Carroll took over in 2010, the Seahawks’ best winning percentage in any month has been in December.

There are a number of theories to explain that. Everything from Carroll’s willingness to give early playing time to younger players producing dividends later in the season to the way he monitors his team’s workload.

But ultimately, Seattle’s December record is evidence the Seahawks have put into practice exactly what Carroll preaches: It’s not about how you start, but how you finish. For the third successive season, the Seahawks have played their way toward the top of the list of contenders.

Two years ago, the Seahawks entered December at 6-5 before winning their final five games by a combined score of 193-60. All Seattle did that year was win the franchise’s first road playoff game in 30 years and come within a play of reaching the NFC Championship Game.

Last season, Seattle suffered more regular-season losses in December than it did in the previous three months combined, but that was more of a compliment to how Seattle began the year than to how the Seahawks finished it. Seattle began December 2013 with a Monday night blowout of New Orleans, which was then seen as the other top NFC contender.

This season it’s not the points Seattle has scored that has put the Seahawks one win away from claiming the NFC’s top seed for the second consecutive year, but the lack of opponents’ scoring. Seattle has given up a total of three touchdowns over the past five games, winning them by a total of 114-33.

And just like a year ago, the Seahawks host the Rams in the regular-season finale needing a victory over St. Louis to clinch the NFC West and the home playoff game that comes with it.

“This is really the prize that you can get right now,” Carroll said after Friday’s practice.

And once again, Carroll has his Seahawks in prime position to vie for that prize.

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Seahawks in position for another strong finish to the regular season