Seahawks won't play any 10 a.m. games in playoffs, and that's a good thing

And here is your official "cart before the horse" story for the Seahawks playoff run.

The NFL schedule makers have been kind to the Seahawks this year. They will not play a 10 a.m PST game in their run to the Super Bowl. And history shows that's a good thing.

Only two NFL teams located in the Pacific time zone have ever reached the Super Bowl when having to play a playoff game with a morning kickoff.

- 1980: Oakland won an AFC Divisional game in Cleveland. That was a 9:30 a.m. PST kickoff

- 1994: San Diego won the AFC Championship Game in Pittsburgh. That was also a 9:30 a.m. PST kickoff

That doesn't mean other West Coast teams haven't won one of these morning games. It just means they haven't reached the Super Bowl if they had to deal with at least one 10 a.m. PST (or earlier) kickoff at any point during the journey.

The way this year's NFC playoffs line up, the Seahawks won't have to worry about that. The Seahawks will host the Detroit Lions at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday in the Wild Card round.

Because Seattle is the No. 3 seed, the Seahawks are guaranteed to play the second-seeded Falcons in Atlanta if they win. That game is already scheduled for next Saturday at 1:35 p.m. Pacific time.

If the Seahawks advance to the NFC Championship, whether it's at home or on the road, that game is already scheduled for noon Pacific time.

Some players and coaches will play off the 10 a.m. start like it's no big deal. Some say it's a huge difference because they're just not used to being mentally or physically ready to play that early.

Here's a stunning statistic that appears to back up the latter sentiment. Going back to 2002, five teams that have played a 10 a.m. PST playoff game have been shut out. One was an East Coast team -- the 2005 New York Giants against the Carolina Panthers. The other four were West Coast teams.

Well, one West Coast team: Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks

•2010: After falling behind 21-0 at halftime, the Seahawks lost at the Bears 35-24 in the Divisional round.

•2012: The Seahawks trailed the Falcons 20-0 at halftime before losing in the final seconds of the Divisional round, 30-28.

•2015: In record-low temperatures, Seattle was shutout by the Vikings 3-0 at halftime of their Wild Card game. But the Seahawks won 10-9.

•2015: One week after that Vikings game, the Seahawks were down 31-0 at halftime before finally losing to the Panthers 31-24.

That's 75-0 for Carroll's Seahawks in the first half of 10 a.m. PST playoff games.

The Seahawks in their history have played eight playoff games that started 10 a.m. or earlier. They've won two: The aforementioned game at Minnesota last year and a 27-20 upset of the Miami Dolphins in 1983.

One last historical note: The 1979 L.A. Rams won games at Dallas and at Tampa Bay to get to Super Bowl XIV. Neither game was a 10 a.m. or earlier kickoff. The Seahawks may have to repeat that feat to get to Houston.

Copyright 2016 KING


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