Coach Pete Carroll calls a certain practice day each week "Turnover Thursday."
"I call it ‘No-Turnover Thursday,’" Wilson said, mindful of his standing edict to take supreme care of the ball on offense.
He’s done that this season. Wilson threw 34 touchdown passes, a Seattle record, with just eight interceptions.
This week’s Thursday practice stripping the ball and picking off passes defensively while wrapping tight grips over the ball and safe throws offensively took on added importance.
Carolina, Seattle’s foe Sunday in the NFC divisional playoffs in Charlotte, North Carolina, led the league during the regular season with a turnover margin of plus-20. That was six turnovers better than the second-best margin, Kansas City’s (not accidentally, the red-hot Chiefs are another of the final eight teams still alive in the postseason).
The Panthers had 39 takeaways (24 of them interceptions) and just 19 giveaways. Cam Newton threw for 35 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions.
These numbers are why the Panthers went 15-1.
The Seahawks were tied with New England and the New York Giants for fifth in the NFL with a turnover margin of plus-5.
Defensive end Bennett realizes in his third season with the Seahawks that Carroll’s focus on turnovers each Thursday is more than a catchy slogan and lip service.
"I think when you emphasize on certain things and points, and you have it around the building, it gets embedded in guy’s minds," Bennett said. "You think about (Bill) Belichick or (Bill) Parcells or guys like that, and you think about Coach Carroll, they have a mindset and a philosophy, all the way to (Alabama coach) Nick Saban. When guys constantly see it, and see it all over, they begin to get brainwashed and it becomes a part of you, a part of your DNA. I think when they do that, you see guys take it with them. Guys leave here and they take that same mentality and go to other teams.
"When you see that, and a day named after it, it just becomes part of you. You think getting the ball back is just a normal thing."
Seattle has a turnover margin of plus-4 in its last six road games, all victories.