Michael Robinson spent the first seven weeks of the NFL season at home waiting for the right job opportunity to come his way and making observations about what was happening in the league.
When the fullback rejoined the Seattle Seahawks this past week – the team Robinson spent the previous three seasons with – one of his first remarks had nothing to do with Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch or Richard Sherman.
“We’ve grown up, definitely, across the board. We’ve learned how to win on the road,” Robinson said. “We’ve learned how to take that excitement, that juice that we have here and we’ve learned how to put that on the road now and win some nice games on the road. We’ve learned how to make the big plays in the clutch and how to finish games.”
Once considered patsies when outside the noisy confines of their home field, the Seahawks (6-1) have morphed from pushovers to consistent winners away from home. They’ve started this season 3-1 away from Seattle, matching last year’s road win total, and have a chance to improve on that mark tonight in St. Louis (3-4) against the Rams.
The change in Seattle’s results away from home is dramatic compared to just a few seasons ago. In Pete Carroll’s first season in 2010, the Seahawks went 2-6 on the road and were never closer than 15 points in their losses. They lost by 30 in Oakland and 23 in Tampa Bay.
The road problems carried early into Carroll’s second season before a turn began to be made with the team. Instead of getting routed on the road, Seattle started being competitive.
“We weren’t playing very well, and when you don’t play very well, you get your butt kicked. That’s happened in the first year. There were some bad games, even to the first half of the second year, I guess,” Carroll said. “It’s really just getting your football in order. It’s where you don’t make the mistakes that get magnified on the road when a team gets crazy and wild and all of that.”
In their last 16 road games, the Seahawks are 8-8 and none of the losses have been by more than 10 points. Seattle’s five road losses last season were by a combined 24 points.