How the Seahawks Measure Up: Week 14 Edition

I’ll get to the good stuff in a moment, but first I just wanted to say hello and welcome to all the new folks who have started to migrate this way in the wake of the announcement that the Seahawks Insider, along with the rest of the Tacoma News-Tribune, will be disappearing behind a pay wall.  If any of you have an interest in doing some writing yourselves (or if you just have a question or response you don’t want to post for all to see) feel free to contact me directly at heuettm@gmail.com.  I read every email that gets sent my way, and I do my best to respond to queries within a day or two.

As for the comments, I try to stay as hands-off as possible with the moderation, so I won’t step in and delete stuff unless someone is getting abusive or overly disruptive.  I don’t mind off-topic discussions either; the way I see it, conversations are going to go in whatever direction they want to go, and that’s fine with me.  Really, all I ask is that the obscenities are kept to a minimum outside of the R-rated threads I put up after every game.

*        *        *

Man, what a difference a few wins makes.  Early in the season, many of us were fretting that the Seahawks’ problems on offense were going to negate the efforts of what was shaping up to be a truly elite defense.  A few weeks after that, the cause of worry was that the team’s ascending offense was going to waste because the defense was incapable of holding on to a fourth quarter lead.

The win over the Cardinals doesn’t really prove that the defense is fixed by any means.  Arizona’s offense is about as dysfunctional as it gets, and just the week before the Hawks’ defense couldn’t stop the Bears from moving into field goal range to send the game into overtime.  Still, the 58-0 blowout seems to have settled everyone down just enough to shift the topic of conversation over to the playoff hunt.

At this point, the Seahawks are in control of the five seed, and the other teams in the hunt for an NFC wild card berth are pretty weak competition.  The Bears (8-5) currently hold the six seed, but they’ve lost four of their last five games and could miss the playoffs altogether.  The Redskins (7-6) may have to make their final push without their star rookie quarterback as Robert Griffin III is nursing a sprained knee.  The Cowboys (7-6) and Vikings (7-6) are both dealing with near-crippling problems on defense and offense, respectively.  In fact, the above four teams have so many issues that the Rams (6-6-1) could end up stealing the final wild card slot out from underneath all of them.

What’s more, if the Seahawks run the table through the last three games, they could end up with more than just a wild card berth.  If the 49ers lose to the Patriots this Sunday, the Hawks would win the division – and with it home field advantage for at least the wild card round – by beating Harbaugh’s team in week sixteen.  And if the Packers and Giants each lose one of their remaining games, then the Seahawks would leapfrog both of them in the standings (Seattle owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Green Bay) and end up with the number two seed and a first round bye.

But for that to happen, Seattle needs to take care of business in Toronto this week, and they’ll be doing it without two players that were expected to see significant playing time.  CB Walter Thurmond has been playing lights-out fantastic since his return a few weeks back, but he’s been ruled out this week with a hamstring injury.  In his place, CBs Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell will share time at both the starting right corner and nickel back positions.  Neither is as good as Thurmond, but they both played well last week when they were given a chance to step in for a significant number of defensive snaps.

The other player is WR Charly Martin, who was placed on injured reserve today with a calf injury.  Had Sidney Rice not been able to play against the Bills after injuring his foot in the Cardinals game, Martin would have been the choice to start at flanker in his stead.  Luckily, Rice was upgraded to probable when he returned to practice today after sitting out on Wednesday and Thursday, so the loss of Martin doesn’t hurt the team as much as it could have.  Still, the move leaves the Seahawks with just four wide receivers on the active roster: Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and Jermaine Kearse.

The team hasn’t made an official announcement, but it sounds like they might be bringing back Deon Butler to take Martin’s place on the roster.  I would have expected them to just activate another receiver off the practice squad (Phil Bates and Lavasier Tuinei would both be interesting choices), but Butler knows the offense and should be able to step in right away and provide a limited number of snaps.  However, Butler doesn’t appear to have traveled with the Seahawks to Toronto, so who knows.  Also, S Winston Guy is scheduled to return from his four game suspension next week, so a roster spot will need to be opened up for him unless the team plans on putting him on waivers.

Anyway, on to the stats.

(Note, for explanations of some of the stats included in this piece, please see the first article in the series.)

Rushing Averages
 

Game Yards/Rushing Attempt Yards/Game  

Yards/Rushing Attempt Allowed

Yards/Game Allowed

1 (ARI)

3.48 115   2.15 43
2 (DAL) 4.44 182   3.06 49
3 (GB) 4.38 127   4.00 84
4 (STL) 5.26 179   2.78 75
5 (CAR) 2.80 98   4.32 82
6 (NE) 3.27 85   3.35 87
7 (SF) 4.69 136   5.47 175
8 (DET) 7.00 133   3.82 84
9 (MIN) 4.33 195   9.00 243
10 (NYJ) 4.05 174   3.82 84
11 (MIA) 3.56 96   6.75 189
12 (CHI) 5.50 176   4.13 132
13 (ARI) 6.76 284   2.69 43
Total

4.55 (6th)

152.31 (4th)   4.45 (21st) 105.38 (11th)


The rushing stats for the offense just keep getting better every week, in no small part because the added threat of the run option forces the defense to split their attention between Russell Wilson and his running back on every handoff.  Also, the mere threat of the option run has an effect on opponents similar to the 46 defense Buddy Ryan ran with the Bears back in the ‘80s – sometimes Ryan only used it for a couple of snaps a game, but offenses had to devote some of their practice time each week to figuring out how to beat it.  Likewise, any time opposing defenses spend practicing to stop the Seahawks’ option game is time taken away from practicing to stop everything else the Seahawks’ offense does.

Granted, neither of the last two teams are known for their ability to stop the run (Chicago’s run defense is ranked 25th and Arizona’s is 18th), but it’ll be interesting to see how well the Bills hold up against their former teammate Marshawn Lynch.  Buffalo was awful at stopping the run earlier in the year (the 49ers racked up 311 yards on the ground against them back in week five), but they’ve now held their last four opponents to under 100 rushing yards.

The Seahawks’ run defense managed to hold the Cardinals to below three yards per carry, but as I said earlier stopping Arizona’s offense isn’t much of an accomplishment these days.  As you can see, they’re now ranked 21st in the league against the run, which is a far cry from the top five ranking they enjoyed through the first few weeks of the season.  I think the Seahawks are going to win this one, but after watching them give up 6.75 yds/att against the Dolphins, I have to admit to being a little worried about how well they’re going to fare against C.J. Spiller, who currently leads all running backs with 6.6 yds/att.

(To continue reading, please click on "Read More" below.)

Passing Averages
 

Offense
Game Yards/Passing Attempt Yards/ Pass Completion

Net Passing Yards/Game

Completion % TD % Int %
1 (ARI) 4.50 8.50 139 52.94 2.94 2.94
2 (DAL) 7.55 10.07 133 75.00 5.00 0.00
3 (GB) 6.19 13.00 111 47.62 9.52 0.00
4 (STL) 6.40 9.41 140 68.00 0.00 12.00
5 (CAR) 8.84 11.63 212 76.00 4.11 8.00
6 (NE) 10.85 18.31 283 59.26 11.11 0.00
7 (SF) 5.30 13.56 115 39.13 0.00 4.35
8 (DET) 6.74 9.44 236 71.43 5.71 2.86
9 (MIN) 7.92 11.65 190 68.00 12.00 0.00
10 (NYJ) 10.55 16.23 189 65.00 15.00 0.00
11 (MIA) 8.30 10.67 216 77.78 7.41 0.00
12 (CHI) 7.92 12.74 283 62.16 5.41 0.00
13 (ARI) 9.82 18.00 209 54.55 4.55 4.55
Total 7.65 (8th) 12.13 (7th) 188.92 (29th) 63.05 (10th) 6.16 (3rd) 2.64 (16th)
Defense
1 (ARI) 5.97 10.75 210 55.56 2.78 2.78
2 (DAL) 6.28 10.91 247 57.50 2.50 2.50
3 (GB) 5.72 8.58 184 66.67 0.00 0.00
4 (STL) 7.19 13.12 211 54.84 3.23 3.23
5 (CAR) 4.86 11.75 108 41.38 0.00 0.00
6 (NE) 6.81 10.97 388 62.07 3.45 3.45
7 (SF) 6.09 10.00 138 60.87 4.35 4.35
8 (DET) 7.18 10.35 331 69.39 6.12 2.04
9 (MIN) 2.82 5.64 43 50.00 0.00 4.55
10 (NYJ) 5.28 11.00 101 48.00 0.00 4.00
11 (MIA) 9.73 14.06 246 69.23 3.85 3.85
12 (CHI) 8.96 13.71 226 65.38 7.69 0.00
13 (ARI) 3.41 7.00 111 48.72 0.00 10.26
Total 6.21 (3rd) 10.63 (7th) 195.69 (4th) 58.47 (8th) 2.71 (2nd) 3.16 (6th)


After doing great things through the air against Miami and Chicago, the Seahawks’ passing attack took a game off against Arizona.  To be fair though, with all the yardage the Cardinals were giving up on the ground, neither Wilson nor Flynn had to do much to keep the chains moving.  Their low completion percentage isn’t a cause for concern either, as it was mainly due to several why-the-hell-not deep tosses that resulted in incompletions, and this weekend I expect to see Wilson do a lot better than the lousy 2-of-7 on deep throws he posted against the Cardinals.

Arizona’s quarterbacks were so awful last week that the pass defense’s numbers for that game are virtually meaningless, which means we need to focus instead on the much less pleasant stat lines from the Miami and Chicago games.  Ryan Tannehill is a far better quarterback than I gave him credit for being prior to that game, but Seattle’s defense made him look like the second coming of Johnny Unitas.  My stats credit Tannehill with eight explosive pass plays: two in the first three quarters of play, and six (!!!) in the fourth quarter.  If that isn’t a late game collapse, I don’t know what is.

That said, the defense’s performance actually improved significantly in the Bears game.  Jay Cutler’s 56 yard completion to Brandon Marshall towards the end of regulation was really, really bad, but it was also the only explosive pass play the Seahawks allowed in the fourth quarter of that game.  Really, aside from the 56-yarder the defense kept the Bears’ passing attack in check all game long – prior to that pass, Cutler had been held to just 177 passing yards (7.08 yds/att, 11.06 yds/cmp).
 

Game

Sacks (%)

Sacks Allowed (%)

Sack Differential

QB Hits

QB Hits Allowed

Sack & QB Hit Diff.

Sacks & QB Hits %

Sacks & QB Hits Allowed %

1 (ARI) 1 (2.7%) 3 (8.11%) -2 5 7 -4 16.22 27.03
2 (DAL) 1 (2.44%) 2 (9.09%) -1 6 4 +1 17.07 27.27
3 (GB) 8 (17.02%) 1 (4.55%) +7 12 3 +16 42.55 18.18
4 (STL) 2 (6.06%) 2 (7.41%) 0 3 4 -1 15.15 22.22
5 (CAR) 4 (12.12%) 2 (7.41%) +2 6 2 +6 30.30 14.81
6 (NE) 1 (1.69%) 2 (6.90%) -1 5 6 -2 10.17 27.59
7 (SF) 2 (8.00%) 2 (8.00%) 0 3 3 0 20.00 20.00
8 (DET) 2 (3.92%) 0 (0.00%) +2 7 3 +6 17.65 8.57
9 (MIN) 4 (15.38%) 1 (3.85%) +3 7 5 +5 42.31 23.08
10 (NYJ) 3 (10.71% 4 (16.67%) -1 4 7 -4 25.00 45.83
11 (MIA) 1 (3.70%) 2 (6.90%)

-1

1 5 -5 7.41% 24.14%
12 (CHI) 1 (3.70%) 2 (5.13%) -1 4 2 +1 18.52% 10.26%
13 (ARI) 3 (7.14%) 1 (4.35%) +2 6 3 +5 21.43% 17.39%
Total 33 (6.93%) 24 (6.58%) +9 69 54 +24 21.43 21.37%


In general, the hit/sack percentages for the offense have followed a relatively predictable pattern.  When the Seahawks have faced a dominant pass rusher, Wilson tends to get hit or sacked on one out of every four dropbacks; against teams without a single strong pass rusher he gets hit closer to one in every five or six dropbacks (the Jets game being a notable exception).  Against the Bills’ Mario Williams (six sacks in his last four games), expect Wilson to be under a lot more duress than he was versus the Cardinals and Bears.

On defense, the Seahawks’ pass rush has been maddeningly inconsistent, so much so that it’s hard to know what to expect from them each week.  Will they steadily pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick like they did Mark Sanchez and John Skelton, or will they leave him largely untouched like they did Tannehill and Tom Brady?  (For the record, the Bills’ offense ranks 15th overall in sack percentage allowed).

Special Teams Averages
 

Game Yards/ Kick Return Yards/ Punt Return Field Goal % Yards/ Punt Net Yards/ Punt Punt+ % Yards/ Kick Return Allowed Yards/ Punt Return Allowed
1 (ARI) 44.33 12.50 75 46.25 37.00 50.00 22.00 9.25
2 (DAL) 20.00 7.00 100 53.75 53.25 75.00 21.80 1.00
3 (GB) 21.00 2.50 - 51.50 49.50 66.67 23.00 4.00
4 (STL) 69.00 0.50 100

49.00

44.50 50.00 12.00 18.00
5 (CAR) 16.00 7.80 100 40.67 36.33 100 20.25 13.00
6 (NE) 20.00 14.50 100 60.00 43.00 0.00 21.50 17.00
7 (SF) - 2.50 75 48.50 31.00 50.00 20.50 23.33
8 (DET) 17.00 9.67 50 48.33 46.33 100 21.00 6.00
9 (MIN) 19.00 10.50 100 48.75 48.50 75.00 26.33 0.33
10 (NYJ) 17.00 13.33 - 42.50 41.50 83.33 27.00 3.00
11 (MIA) 61.00 15.00 - 40.00 40.00 100 - -
12 (CHI) - 0.50 100 39.60 39.60 100 17.75 0.00
13 (ARI) 18.0 7.80 100 42.00 38.33 100 22.22 5.50
Total 28.38 (3rd) 8.46 (19th) 86.36% (14th) 46.67 (12th)) 42.39 73.68 21.75 (6th) 9.04 (13th)


(Yes, I know that I like special teams stuff far, far more than anyone else seems to, but tough – it’s my article, and if I want to spend eleventy billion paragraphs talking about punting, then I’m going to spend eleventy billion paragraphs talking about punting.  Okay, so it might actually be just two paragraphs, but you get the point.)

As you can see, I’ve added a new stat to this table, punt+.  Jon Ryan’s 42.39 yds/punt average is great, but over the last few weeks his punt averages have dropped enough to make me want to investigate things further.  I mean, shortening the length of a punt could point to an injured punter or a slump, but it could also be an intentional change in strategy or simply a byproduct of punting in shorter yardage situations. 

To calculate the punt+ percentage, I just counted up all of Ryan’s punts that were 1) downed inside the 20 yard line and/or 2) resulted in a fair catch, 3) resulted in a takeaway, 4) resulted in a return for no gain or a loss of yards, or 5) were punted out of bounds, then divided that tally by his total number of punts.  As statistical metrics go, it’s pretty rough, but I found it interesting enough to keep it around for awhile.

Currently, the Seahawks’ punt unit is on a roll right now with a 100% punt+ performance in each of the last three games – against Miami, six of Ryan’s seven punts were downed inside the 20 yard line – but they’re going to have a hell of a time keeping that streak alive against the Bills, who are currently ranked first in the league in punt returns with an average of 17.2 yards per return.  At least, the Seahawks’ coverage unit will if Buffalo’s star return man Leodis McKelvin (18.7 yds/ret) is active for the game, but he is listed as questionable with a groin injury. The only other Bills player credited with any returns at all this year is CB Justin Rodgers, and his stat line for the season is the polar opposite of intimidating (2 returns for 0 yards).

In the return game, Leon Washington is putting together a pretty great season.  There have been a few games were he was a nonfactor (versus Chicago and San Francisco in particular), but returners get their hands on the ball so few times per game that it’s next to impossible to avoid having a couple of down games every season.

Run-Pass & Turnover Differential
 

Game Run-Pass Differential Turnover Differential Result
1 (ARI)

+11

0 Loss
2 (DAL) +17 +2 Win
3 (GB) -8 0 Win
4 (STL) +7 -2 Loss
5 (CAR) +23 -1 Win
6 (NE) -20 0 Win
7 (SF) -8 0 Loss
8 (DET) -12 -1 Loss
9 (MIN) +24 +2 Win
10 (NYJ) +22 +1 Win
11 (MIA) +2 +1 Loss
12 (CHI) +6 -1 Win
13 (ARI) +19 +7 Win


As you might have guessed from all the green in the table above, things are looking up for the Seahawks.  The loss to Miami was pretty low percentage – teams that finished positive in both differentials in 2011 lost the game just 8.3% of the time – but a +2 run-pass differential is a pretty weak positive, so I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over that outcome.  Besides, the Hawks have finished positive in both differentials in four of their last five games, with the one exception being their positive run-pass, negative turnover win against Chicago (42.3% win probability), which means they are putting together a lot of high-quality wins.  In other words, the odds of the team sustaining its current level of success are pretty good.

Toxic Differential
 

Game Explosive Plays Explosive Plays Allowed Explosive Play Differential Take- aways Turn- overs Turn- over Diff. Toxic Diff.
1 (ARI) 2 6 -4 2 2 0 -4
2 (DAL) 6 6 0 2 0 +2 +2
3 (GB) 4 3 +1 0 0 0 +1
4 (STL) 6 5 +1 1 3 -2 -1
5 (CAR) 5 6 -1 2 3 -1

-2

6 (NE) 6 7 -1 2 2 0 -1
7 (SF) 5 5 0 1 1 0 0
8 (DET) 6 6 0 1 2 -1 -1
9 (MIN) 9 8 +1 2 0 +2 +3
10 (NYJ) 9 2 +7 3 2 +1 +8
11 (MIA) 6 13 -7 1 0 +1 -6
12 (CHI) 10 6 +4 0 1 -1 +3
13 (ARI) 16 2 +14 8 1 +7 +21
Total 90 75 +15 25 (8th) 17 (9th) +8 +23

(Note: Explosive plays are defined here using Brian Billick’s criteria of 12+ yards for runs and 16+ for passes.)

Here we can see a bit more of what went wrong in Miami.  The Seahawks’ offense had six total explosive plays in that game, while the defense allowed the Dolphins to rack up thirteen (in case you’re wondering, eight of those plays were allowed in the fourth quarter).  Disgusting, I know, but I find that the stats for the Cardinals game make for a nice salve.  Yes, Arizona’s offense is crap, but their defense has been pretty great — and the Seahawks pulled off no less than 16 explosive plays against them (9 rushing, 7 passing).

Down Efficiency
 

Game 4+ Yards on 1st Down <4 Yards on 1st Down 4+ Yards Allowed on 1st Down <4 Yards Allowed on 1st Down
1 (ARI) 10 (34.48%) 19 (65.52%) 7 (26.92%) 19 (73.08%)
2 (DAL) 9 (36.00%) 16 (64.00%) 9 (37.50%) 15 (62.50%)
3 (GB) 14 (70.00%) 6 (30.00%) 13 (48.15%) 14 (51.85%)
4 (STL) 19 (67.86%) 9 (32.14%) 11 (44.00%) 14 (56.00%)
5 (CAR) 13 (48.15%) 14 (51.85%) 10 (43.48%) 13 (56.52%)
6 (NE) 16 (66.67%) 8 (33.33%) 20 (55.56%) 16 (44.44%)
7 (SF) 13 (56.52%) 10 (43.48%) 11 (40.74%) 16 (59.26%)
8 (DET) 14 (53.85%) 12 (46.15%) 15 (46.88%) 17 (53.13%)
9 (MIN) 18 (56.25%) 14 (43.75%) 10 (41.67%) 14 (58.33%)
10 (NYJ) 11 (37.93%) 18 (62.07%) 12 (57.14%) 9 (42.86%)
11 (MIA) 7 (30.43%) 16 (69.57%) 18 (62.07%) 11 (37.93%)
12 (CHI) 17 (53.13%) 15 (46.88%) 11 (40.74%) 16 (59.26%)
13 (ARI) 14 (45.16%) 17 (54.84%) 8 (36.36%) 14 (63.64%)
Total 175 (50.14%) 174 (49.86%) 155 (45.19%) 188 (54.81%)


(Note: Good offenses tend to gain 4+ yards on 40-50% of their first down plays.)

Interestingly, the pattern over the last few weeks in first down efficiency is the same for both the offense and defense: a poor showing in Miami, followed by two vastly improved performances against the Bears and Cardinals.  If nothing else, that would seem to indicate that whatever problems the team had against the Dolphins, they weren’t limited to just one side of the ball.
 

Game Conversions on 1st & 2nd Down Conversions on 3rd & 4th Down Conversions Allowed on 1st & 2nd Down Conversions Allowed on 3rd & 4th Down
1 (ARI) 9 (45.00%)

11 (55.00%)

12 (66.67%) 6 (33.33%)
2 (DAL) 10 (52.63%) 9 (47.37%) 10 (58.82%) 7 (41.18%)
3 (GB) 7 (63.64%) 4 (36.36%) 10 (47.62%) 11 (52.38%)
4 (STL) 16 (80.00%) 4 (20.00%) 7 (41.18%) 10 (58.82%)
5 (CAR) 9 (50.00%) 9 (50.00%) 9 (69.23%) 4 (30.77%)
6 (NE) 10 (62.50%) 6 (37.50%) 17 (58.62%) 12 (41.38%)
7 (SF) 8 (53.33%) 7 (46.67%) 15 (75.00%) 5 (25.00%)
8 (DET) 16 (72.73%) 6 (27.27%) 15 (57.69%) 11 (42.31%)
9 (MIN) 20 (74.07%) 7 (25.93%) 12 (70.59%) 5 (29.41%)
10 (NYJ) 12 (66.67%) 6 (33.33%) 8 (72.73%) 3 (27.27%)
11 (MIA) 9 (56.25%) 7 (43.75%) 18 (78.26%) 5 (21.74%)
12 (CHI) 15 (60.00%) 10 (40.00%) 13 (61.90%) 8 (38.10%)
13 (ARI) 17 (70.83%) 7 (29.17%) 4 (44.44%) 5 (55.56%)
Total 158 (62.45%) 95 (37.55%) 150 (61.98%) 92 (38.02%)


(Note: as always, down conversions by penalty and all scoring plays are included in the above stats.)

No surprises here, and not much change, either.  Following the Jets game, the offense was converting on 62.9% of the time on first and second down, while the defense was allowing conversions on first and second down 60.85% of the time.  Three games later, those season averages have barely changed.
 

Offense
Game Converted 3rd & ≤1 Converted 3rd & 2-3 Converted 3rd & 4-6 Converted 3rd 7-10 Converted 3rd & 11+ Converted 3rd (Total)
1 (ARI) 1 of 1 (100%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 2 of 7 (28.57%) 2 of 4 (50.00%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 7 of 16 (43.75%)
2 (DAL) 2 of 2 (100%) 2 of 4 (50.00%) 4 of 5 (80.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 8 of 16 (50.00%)
3 (GB)

0 of 1 (0.00%)

- 2 of 6 (33.33%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 11 (18.18%)
4 (STL) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) - 2 of 9 (22.22%)
5 (CAR) 1 of 1 (100%) - 3 of 6 (50.00%) 3 of 6 (50.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 7 of 14 (50.00%)
6 (NE) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 4 of 12 (33.33%)
7 (SF) 1 of 1 (100%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 2 of 6 (33.33%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 4 of 13 (30.77%)
8 (DET) - 0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 4 (50.00%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 3 of 10 (30.00%)
9 (MIN) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 1 of 4 (25.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 3 of 12 (25.00%)
10 (NYJ) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 3 of 6 (50.00%) 1 of 4 (25.00%) 2 of 2 (100%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 6 of 14 (42.86%)
11 (MIA) 2 of 2 (100%) 2 of 2 (100%) 2 of 4 (50.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 7 of 14 (50.00%)
12 (CHI) 1 of 1 (100%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 4 of 5 (80.00%) 2 of 6 (33.33%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 8 of 15 (53.33%)
13 (ARI) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 2 of 4 (50.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 4 of 11 (36.36%)
Total 13 of 20 (65.00%) 10 of 27 (37.04%) 26 of 57 (45.61%) 12 of 39 (30.77%) 4 of 24 (16.67%) 65 of 167 (38.92%)
Defense
1 (ARI) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 5 (40.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 4 of 11 (36.36%)
2 (DAL) 1 of 1 (100%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 3 of 4 (75.00%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 5 of 11 (45.45%)
3 (GB) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 5 of 7 (71.43%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 10 of 18 (55.56%)
4 (STL) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 3 of 5 (60.00%) 6 of 14 (42.86%)
5 (CAR) - - 2 of 5 (40.00%) 1 of 6 (16.67%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 3 of 12 (27.27%)
6 (NE) 2 of 2 (100%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 2 of 2 (100%) 3 of 7 (42.86%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 9 of 16 (56.25%)
7 (SF) - 1 of 2 (50.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 7 (28.57%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 3 of 11 (27.27%)
8 (DET) 3 of 3 (100%) 1 of 1 (100%) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 4 of 6 (66.67%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 11 of 15 (73.33%)
9 (MIN) - 1 of 1 (100%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 2 of 6 (33.33%) - 3 of 10 (30.00%)
10 (NYJ) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 1 of 5 (20.00%) - 3 of 12 (25.00%)
11 (MIA) 2 of 2 (100%) 1 of 2 (50.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 0 of 2 (0.00%) 3 of 10 (30.00%)
12 (CHI) 1 of 1 (100%) 0 of 3 (0.00%) 2 of 3 (66.67%) 5 of 5 (100%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 9 of 15 (60.00%)
13 (ARI) - 1 of 2 (50.00%) 1 of 4 (25.00%) 2 of 6 (33.33%) 1 of 3 (33.33%) 6 of 15 (40.00%)
Total 12 of 17 (70.59%) 9 of 23 (39.13%) 16 of 37 (43.24%) 29 of 66 (43.94%) 8 of 27 (29.63%) 75 of 170 (44.12%)


The Seahawks' offens and defense continue to move in opposite directions on third down.  Against the Dolphins and Bears, the offense has improved in everything but third and ≤1 situations, and showed particular improvement in third and 11+ situations, where prior to the game in Miami they hadn't made a single conversion since week one.  Huzzah, etc.

The defense, meanwhile, continues to struggle in stopping offenses from converting in all but third and medium situations.  They've been particularly bad in third and long situations, mostly because offenses have been able to take advantage of the coverage problems the linebackers have had in the middle of the field.

Expanded Red Zone Efficiency

As I’ve explained before, kickers have improved in range and accuracy over the years to the point that it makes more sense to chart a team’s scoring efficiency on drives inside an opponent’s 35 yard line rather than waiting for them to get to the 20.  (Some other football analysts have been calling this range the orange zone, but that name sounds dumb.  Until something better comes along, I’m sticking with expanded red zone.)

Game Total ERZ Trips ERZ Trips w/ score ERZ Trips w/o score   Total ERZ Trips Allowed ERZ Trips w/ score allowed ERZ Trips w/o score allowed
1 (ARI) 6 4 (66.67%) 2 (33.33%)   4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
2 (DAL) 4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   3 1 (33.33%) 2 (66.67%)
3 (GB) 2 1 (50.00%) 1 (50.00%)   3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
4 (STL) 5 3 (60.00%) 2 (40.00%)   5 4 (80.00%) 1 (20.00%)
5 (CAR) 5 4 (80.00%) 1 (20.00%)   3 1 (33.33%) 2 (66.67%)
6 (NE) 3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   6 4 (66.67%) 2 (33.33%)
7 (SF) 3 2 (66.67%) 1 (33.33%)   4 3 (75.00%) 1 (25.00%)
8 (DET) 3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   4 3 (75.00%) 1 (25.00%)
9 (MIN) 6 5 (83.33%) 1 (16.67%)   3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
10 (NYJ) 4 3 (75.00%) 1 (25.00%)   2 0 (0.00%) 2 (100%)
11 (MIA) 3 2 (66.67%) 1 (33.33%)   4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
12 (CHI) 4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   4 3 (75.00%) 1 (25.00%)
13 (ARI) 9 8 (88.89%) 1 (11.11%)   0 0 (0.00%) 0 (0.00%)
Total 57 46 (80.70%) 11 (19.30%)   45 33 (73.33%) 12 (26.67%)

Currently, the Seahawks’ offense is scoring on four out of every five trips inside their opponent’s 35, while the defense is allowing points to be scored on three out of every four trips inside the Seahawks’ 35.  I’m not done playing with the numbers yet (I still need to finish breaking things down to see what emerges when I compare touchdowns scored versus field goals), so expect to see some more bells and whistles added to this section in future articles.

Also, I’d just like to point out that the Cardinals didn’t reach Seattle’s 35 yard line once in that entire game.  Holy crap.

Penalties
 

Game Offense Penalized Defense Penalized Special Teams Penalized Penalties/Game
1 (ARI) 7 5 1 13
2 (DAL) 5 0 0 5
3 (GB) 7 6 1 14
4 (STL) 3 2 0 5
5 (CAR) 5 2 0 7
6 (NE) 2 1 1 4
7 (SF) 2 1 0 3
8 (DET) 1 0 1 2
9 (MIN) 2 2 0 4
10 (NYJ) 4 2 1 7
11 (MIA) 4 4 2 10
12 (CHI) 3 4 1 8
13 (ARI) 6

3

1 10
Total 51 32 9 7.08 (27th)


Granted, there were some bad calls that went against the Seahawks in Chicago (I wanted to put a fist through the screen after they showed a replay following the penalty on Heath Farwell), but the problem here isn’t just that one game.  Rather, the increasing number of penalties on Seattle is a trend that started back in the Jets game, and since then the problem has only gotten worse. 

Also, the Hawks have been racking up those penalties in all three phases of the game, so whatever the problem happens to be (A young roster? Overly physical play? Referees cutting them less slack based on reputation?  Sunspots?) it’s affecting the team as a whole, not just one unit.

 

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