As the year winds down and the holidays are in full force, this is a time many people cherish. In a normal, non-pandemic year, it means gathering with friends and family and celebrating life and enjoying good food and exchanging gifts. To most, it is truly, as the song says, "the most wonderful time of the year."
Under Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have historically performed very well in December and into January during the regular season. Since taking over in 2010, Carroll is 33-18 in the months of December and January in regular season games, a .647 winning percentage. Carroll owns a .595 winning percentage in September and October combined. When the calendar turns to November, his winning percentage goes up to .655 the rest of the season.
Russell Wilson, who just clinched his ninth consecutive winning season to open his career, also seems to love the season of the holidays. He owns a winning percentage north of .640 in every month of the season, but it jumps to .683 in December and January regular season games. He also has 76 passing touchdowns in December, at least 10 more than in any other month.
December is where a lot of the magic happens in special seasons. Divisions are clinched, playoff berths are earned, division rivals are defeated, and records are set. The games feel just a little bit bigger in December in the NFL as the playoff picture begins to come into focus.
Seattle, historically, hits their stride in December, when it is needed most. This season needs to be no different. The three remaining games are the three most important games of the season. First, because two of them are against divisional foes in the Rams and 49ers. Second, because the Washington Football Team is no joke, as they handed the Steelers their first loss of the season then turned around and beat San Francisco on the road. Lastly, the Rams have showed no signs of slowing down, so if the Seahawks have any hope of winning the NFC West and hosting a playoff game, they need to win out, which includes beating their division rivals after Christmas Day.
It's hard to quantify how or what makes the Seahawks so much better in November and December. It could be the offense and defense finally have a rhythm and are comfortable in their respective systems. Or that the coaches have figured out how to best utilize their personnel. Perhaps it's because the Seahawks are so well coached and conditioned that they thrive while other teams wilt.
What the last three weeks of the regular season won't lack is fun. It's fun to have your favorite team be in the heat of the playoff race. Heck, you could be on the other end of that 40-3 drumming with the franchise going nowhere. Wherever the Seahawks end up at the end of this regular season, a lot will have to do with the final three games of the season. So mix up some hot cocoa, bake some cookies, and find your favorite cozy blanket and sit back and watch the Seahawks strive to achieve greatness once again. You never know when these days will be over.
This time of year is not just about Seattle's past success, but about the opportunities the next three games present. There is still a lot to be decided in the NFC playoff picture and the Seahawks are right in the thick of it.
Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson thrive when it matters most. They seem to lock arms and skip down Occidental Avenue every December and sing a familiar tune, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! When the Seahawks keep winning, and we will keep grinning as the playoffs are near!"