Greatness On The Road  

Marriott  

Russell Wilson helps ease Seattle Seahawks' East Coast pain

  • By Jim Reineking NFL.com
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It's tough to win on the road, especially if your home base is tucked away in the remote northwest corner of the nation and you must fly to play football on the opposite coast.

Greatest on the road ...

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks' record of futility in games played on the East Coast and starting at the 1 p.m. ET time slot is well-known. Last season, the Seahawks went 1-4 in games that started at 1 p.m. ET, with their only victory coming in overtime against the Chicago Bears, who are based in the Central Time Zone (last year's win over the Panthers came in a game with a 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff time). Since 2010, the Seahawks are a dismal 4-9 (including playoff games) in 1 p.m. ET starts. Despite that abysmal showing in early games, the Seahawks managed to make the playoffs in 2012 (they countered a 3-5 road record with a dominant 8-0 mark at the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field -- which has developed quite a reputation as a raucously loud venue for both of Seattle's football teams).

Home-field friendliness and 12th Man karma don't follow the Seahawks on the road, so the Seahawks' vision quest of a return trip to the playoffs got off to a rocky start in Charlotte, where the Seahawks struggled early against the Carolina Panthers. However, behind Wilson, the Seahawks managed to get it together in the second half, transforming a 7-3 deficit into a hard-fought 12-7 win, with Wilson's long-distance strike to Jermaine Kearse proving to be the game-winning tally.

Also considered:

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

In the only game in Week 1 that featured two teams with new coaches, it was the veteran tandem of Andy Reid and Smith that came out on top. And, it wasn't even close as the Chiefs steamrolled the overmatched Jacksonville Jaguars in the first game in NFL history with a 28-2 final score. It was also the Chiefs' most lopsided season-opening win in 50 years (a 59-7 boat-racing of the Denver Broncos in 1963).

Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson had a big game in that opening-day rout 50 years ago, and Smith was up to the Kickoff Weekend challenge in Jacksonville. Smith threw for two touchdowns and had a 94.4 passer rating. It should be noted that the Chiefs only had eight touchdown passes in the entire 2012 season, and had only one game in which a quarterback had a passer rating better than 94.4. Smith also completed passes to nine different receivers as the Chiefs posted their highest point total since a 28-0 win over the Oakland Raiders in Week 7 of the 2011 season (a win that also happened on the road).

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill, who is entering his second season in the NFL, is looking to end the Dolphins' run of four consecutive losing seasons. That crusade got off to a nice start at Cleveland's FirstEnergy Stadium. Tannehill threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Brian Hartline that put the Dolphins on top of the Browns for good, and then completed 6 of 7 passes for 78 yards in Miami's game-clinching touchdown drive in the fourth quarter in what ultimately turned into a 23-10 win. The win helped the Dolphins end a 1-6 run in Week 1 games.

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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