How the Seahawks Measure Up: 2013 Week 11 Edition

It's been a wild ride the last few weeks, but after struggling through a couple of nailbiters in weeks eight and nine the Seahawks appear to have finally gotten back on track with a dominant win over the Falcons in week ten.  Bottom line, there's not a lot to seriously worry about when your favorite team is sitting on the best record in the NFC.  Not only that, their nearest divisional rival, the 49ers, are now two games out of first place after losing to the Panthers last week, and the Cardinals and Rams are both hampered by middling offensive production. 

Life is good for Seahawks fans, and it's only going to get better as Percy Harvin, Breno Giacomini, Max Unger, and Russell Okung return from injury.

You'll notice that I've made a few additions this time around, the most notable of which is a new stat (Points Left on the Field) that's been a side project of mine for a while now, and I'm hopeful that it's ready to see the light of day.  As always, feedback is always welcome; I love hearing from you guys, and if you have any requests (stats-wise, I mean) or if there's anything I can do to make these articles more interesting and/or readily understandable I'm all ears.

(Note: green highlights denote notably positive stats — think top ten material, where applicable — while orange highlights mark notably negative stats)

Rushing Averages
 

Game Yards/Rush Attempt Yards/Game  

Yards/Rush Attempt Allowed

Yards/Game Allowed

1 (CAR)

2.69 70  

5.15

134
2 (SF) 3.66 172   5.00 100
3 (JAX) 4.33 156   2.04 51
4 (HOU) 5.97 179   4.31 151
5 (IND) 6.41 218   3.76 109
6 (TEN) 4.58 151   3.30 66
7 (ARI) 4.22 135   1.67 30
8 (STL) 2.93 44   5.41 200
9 (TB) 5.66 198   5.39 205
10 (ATL) 5.02 211   4.00 64
Total

4.65 (6th)

153.4 (2nd)   4.20 (20th) 111 (15th)


Aside from two down games versus St. Louis and Carolina — this year everyone has a down game when they go up against the Panthers' 2nd ranked scoring defense — the Beast Mode-fueled run game has consistently been one of the best in the league week in and week out.  I remember reading somewhere this week that Lynch once again leads all backs in yards gained after first contact and is number one in broken tackles by a hefty margin.  I mean, there aren't many players in the league capable of exerting this kind of raw power while maintaining their balance along the sideline — he is a rare, rare talent, and I plan on enjoying the hell out of watching him for however long he still has it in him to play at this level.

The run defense, on the other hand, has been having an inordinate amount of trouble corralling some pretty lukewarm run games in the last few weeks.  Some credit has to go to the Rams and Buccaneers for some great blocks and carries, but after watching some All-22 video (y'know, when the baby would let me) it looks to me like the biggest issue is the Seahawks' linebackers have been missing their gap assignments either because they've made a mental mistake or because they're trying too hard to make up for previous errors by forcing a big play.  If the LB coach Ken Norton, Jr. can get his guys to calm down a bit and play disciplined ball again, the run defense should tighten up in a big way.

Also, the play of Brandon Mebane, Tony McDaniel, and (to a lesser extent) Clinton McDonald on the interior d-line has been nothing short of awesome.  Mebane in particular is having an All-Pro worthy season — if I was playing on the o-line for Minnesota, I'd be having nightmares about blocking number 92 all week long.

(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 (CAR) 9.70 12.80 300 75.76% 3.03% 0.00%
2 (SF) 7.47 17.75 118 42.11% 5.26% 5.26%
3 (JAX) 11.41 15.76 323 72.41% 17.24% 3.45%
4 (HOU) 5.35 10.25 91 52.17% 0.00% 4.35%
5 (IND) 6.77 14.00 205 48.39% 6.45% 3.23%
6 (TEN) 8.29 11.17 253 74.19% 0.00% 0.00%
7 (ARI) 8.10 13.06 209 62.07% 10.34% 0.00%
8 (STL) 7.72 13.90 91 55.56% 11.11% 0.00%
9 (TB) 8.35 11.42 217 73.08% 7.69% 7.69%
10 (ATL) 11.04 15.11 279 73.08% 7.69% 0.00%
Total 8.53 (3rd) 13.30 (3rd) 208.6 (24th) 64.15% (8th) 6.79% (3rd) 2.26% (13th)
Defense
Game Yards/Pass Attempt Yards/ Pass Completion Net Passing Yards/Game Completion % TD % Int %
1 (CAR) 5.43 7.81 119 69.57% 4.35% 0.00%
2 (SF) 4.54 9.77 107 46.43% 0.00% 10.71%
3 (JAX) 6.18 13.06 214 47.37% 0.00% 5.26%
4 (HOU) 7.24 11.45 325 63.27% 4.08% 4.08%
5 (IND) 7.90 14.31 208 55.17% 6.90% 0.00%
6 (TEN) 5.90 10.06 157 58.62% 0.00% 6.90%
7 (ARI) 5.73 8.60 204 66.67% 2.22% 4.44%
8 (STL) 5.10 10.53 139 48.39% 0.00% 6.45%
9 (TB) 7.08 9.44 145 75.00% 12.50% 0.00%
10 (ATL) 4.78 7.48 162 63.89% 2.78% 0.00%
Total 6.02 (2nd) 10.15 (3rd) 178 (2nd) 59.34% (13th) 3.01% (5th) 3.92% (3rd)


As you can see, Wilson is more or less back to his 2012 form.  He doesn't amass a lot of throws or overall yardage, but according to his averages when he does throw he makes it count. 

Perhaps the greatest example of this is the game against St. Louis.  Despite facing a suffocating pass rush that barely gave him any time at all to survey the field, he still managed to post top-ten numbers in yards per attempt, yards per completion, touchdown percentage, and interception percentage.  It's a good thing he's too short to succeed at the pro level, right Mel Kiper? (Remind me, how is Brandon Weeden doing again?)

 

Game Team Passer Rating Team Passer Rating Allowed Passer Rating Differential
1 (CAR) 115.72 97.19 +18.53
2 (SF) 63.93 20.09 +43.84
3 (JAX) 135.20 45.39 +89.81
4 (HOU) 49.73 81.59 -31.86
5 (IND) 78.70 103.95 -25.25
6 (TEN) 98.45 46.77 +51.69
7 (ARI) 122.05 70.42 +51.64
8 (STL) 117.59 36.76 +80.83
9 (TB) 91.35 133.68 -42.33
10 (ATL) 134.62 84.49 +50.12
Total 104.30 (4th) 70.36 (2nd) +33.94 (2nd)

 

(Note: for an explanation of this stat, check out this fantastic aritlce over at Cold Hard Football Facts.)

If you want a short explanation of how the Seahawks managed to beat the Rams despite allowing Robert Quinn and Chris Long to beat Russell Wilson to death in the pocket on every snap, look no further than this stat.  Richard Sherman and friends held St. Louis' Kellen Clemens-led passing attack was held to a passer rating even lower than the one they allowed Jacksonville back in week three, and you know what a one-sided slaughter that game was.

Over the last month or so, the lone blip on the radar has been the game against the Buccaneers.  I could go on again about the Seahawks playing down to the level of a vastly inferior opponent and all that, but Mike Glennon really did have a legitimately great game.  If Tampa Bay fans find solace in anything this season, it's that their team might have finally found itself a franchise QB — quite possibly the first legitimate one that franchise has had in its 38 year history. 

Yes, the pass interference call that negated an Earl Thomas interception was pure elemental bullshit, but even if that had been allowed to stand (thereby negating the rest of that drive and taking one of Glennon's TDs off the books) he still would have ended the game with a passer rating roughly 18 points higher than Wilson's.  The kid did well, and he might have won that game for the Bucs if his coaches hadn't gotten so embarrassingly conservative with their play calls once they built up a three score lead.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they did because it gave Seattle's players the opportunity they needed to get their bearings and pull off a comeback win, but Glennon is someone who definitely bears watching going forward.

 

  Offense   Defense   Team Differentials
Game Sacks Allowed (%) QB Hits Allowed Sacks + QB Hits Allowed %   Sacks (%) QB Hits Sacks + QB Hits %   Sacks Diff. Sacks + QB Hit Diff.
1 (CAR) 2 (5.71%) 1 8.57%   1 (4.17%) 1 8.33%   -1 -1
2 (SF) 4 (17.39%) 6 43.48%   3 (9.68%) 5 25.81%   -1 -2
3 (JAX) 2 (6.45%) 6 25.81%   3 (7.32%) 8 28.57%   +1 +3
4 (HOU) 5 (17.86%) 10 53.57%   4 (7.55% 12 30.19%   -1 +1
5 (IND) 2 (6.06%) 3 15.15%   2 (6.45%) 5 22.58%   0 +2
6 (TEN) 2 (6.06%) 4 18.18%   3 (9.38%) 5 25.00%   +1 +2
7 (ARI) 3 (9.38%) 9 37.50%   7 (13.46%) 13 38.46%   +4 +8
8 (STL) 7 (28.00%) 10 68.00%   3 (8.82%) 5 23.53%   -4 -9
9 (TB) 0 (0.00%) 6 23.08%   3 (11.11%) 6 33.33%   +3 +3
10 (ATL) 1 (3.70%) 3 14.81%   2 (5.26%) 4 15.79%   +1 +2
Total 28 (9.56% – 29th) 58 29.35%   31 (8.54% – 6th) 64 26.17%   +3 +9

 

(Note: I transposed the differential stats somehow, so everything that should have been positive was negative and vice-versa, and the following paragraph of commentary was based on those erroneous numbers.  Whoops.  The stats in the table are now fixed.  I blame the baby for distracting me while I put all this together — she makes a good fall guy, what with not being able to talk and all.)

The Sehawks' differentials here are consistently poor, but as most of you already know from watching the games that the problem here isn't the defense, which has been doing a generally fine job putting pressure on QBs.  No, the error lies with the way the replacements on the o-line have been letting opposing teams knock Wilson around like a pinata.  The 68% hit/sack rate from the Rams game is so staggeringly awful it defies description — I can't remember ever seeing a stat line like that in pro ball, and I hope to never see one again (well, at least not one that goes against the Seahawks again, anyway).  Giacomini and Unger should be returning this week, so we should see a marked improvement in protection on the right side of the line, and the overall protection should improve dramatically once Okung finally returns to the lineup.

On defense, it has been an absolute pleasure watching Michael Bennett disrupt offensive game plans every week.  Losing him off waivers to Tampa Bay in a ridiculous bit of practice squad juggling stands as one of the bigger failings of the blessedly short Jim Mora/Tim Ruskell era.  He leads the team in sacks (6.5) and QB Hits (16), and he's done it through his remarkable ability to split double teams and punish QBs from just about every possible position on the defensive line.  The dude's a beast, and I'm damned glad to see him back in a Seahawks uniform.


Special Teams Averages

Game Kick Yards/Return Punt Yards/Return   Kick Yards/Return Allowed Punt Yards/Return Allowed
1 (CAR) - 12.00   - 5.00
2 (SF) 24.00 15.50   26.00 0.00
3 (JAX) 22.50 8.25   27.00 -1.50
4 (HOU) 18.33 15.00   26.00 1.00
5 (IND) 19.50 14.00   26.75 -
6 (TEN) 31.67 7.50   30.25 -
7 (ARI) 9.00 7.00   19.33 -
8 (STL) - 3.00   26.33 1.75
9 (TB) 18.67 30.67   21.50 0.00
10 (ATL) 22.00 18.33   21.33 -
Total 20.82 (28th) 13.03 (6th)   25.20 (25th) 1.36 (1st)

 

The kick return game might be dead in the water without Leon Washington, but Golden Tate has been nothing short of spectacular as a punt returner.  The only really bad game he's had was against St. Louis, but there's no shame in that one — the Rams' punt coverage unit is second only to the Seahawks in fewest punt return yards allowed (3.2 yds/ret).

The Hawks' punt coverage unit is so good right now that most of their last several opponents haven't even bothered to try to return a single punt.  Between Ryan's expert placement and Jeremy Lane's lights-out play downing punts and returners alike downfield, opponents are having a hell of a time giving their offense a shorter field with which to work.  The kick coverage unit hasn't played particularly well this season, but with special teams ace Michael Robinson back on the roster the future is looking a whole lot brighter.

I understand that my love for special teams play isn't shared by most football fans, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the stellar job the Seahawks have done in finding backups who are just as good on special teams duty as they are playing their normal position.  You probably already know how great Heath Farwell and Robinson are, but Lane is swiftly emerging as a third truly great special teams ace for the Hawks, and Chris Maragos and Jermaine Kearse are also coming on strong as of late. 

I also can't help but notice that Football Outsiders has the Seahawks ranked as having the 2nd best special teams unit in the NFL.  I'm not a big fan of a lot of their proprietary stats, but they're generally pretty accurate when it comes to overall rankings like this.

 

Game Field Goals (%) Kickoffs to End Zone (%) Kickoff Touchbacks (%)   Yards/ Punt Net Yards/ Punt Punt+ (%)
1 (CAR) 2 of 2 (100%) 4 of 4 (100%) 4 of 4 (100%)   49.50 47.00 3 of 4 (75.00%)
2 (SF) 2 of 2 (100%) 6 of 6 (100%) 4 of 6 (66.67%)   34.00 34.00 4 of 5 (80.00%)
3 (JAX) 1 of 1 (100%) 7 of 8 (87.50%) 6 of 8 (75.00%)   35.00 35.75 3 of 4 (75.00%)
4 (HOU) 3 of 3 (100%) 6 of 6 (100%) 4 of 6 (66.67%)   46.33 42.83 4 of 6 (66.67%)
5 (IND) 4 of 5 (80%) 7 of 7 (100^) 3 of 7 (42.86%)   38.50 38.50 2 of 2 (100%)
6 (TEN) 2 of 2 (100%) 5 of 5 (100%) 1 of 5 (20.00%)   48.67 35.33 1 of 3 (33.33%)
7 (ARI) 2 of 2 (100%) 5 of 6* (83.33%) 4 of 6* (66.67%)   41.33 41.33 3 of 3 (100%)
8 (STL) - 2 of 4 (66.67%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   44.78 44.00 8 of 9 (88.89%)
9 (TB) 2 of 2 (100%) 5 of 7* (71.43%) 4 of 7* (57.14%)   42.50 42.50 2 of 2 (100%)
10 (ATL) 4 of 4 (100%) 8 of 8 (100%) 5 of 8 (62.50%)   41.00 31.00 1 of 2 (50%)
Total 95.65% (5th) 55 of 60 (91.67%) 35 of 60 (58.33%)   42.58 (29th) 40.20 (24th) 31 of 40 (77.50%)

* = A squib or other intentionally short kickoff has been omitted from the total.

(Note: Punt+ is a stat that I introduced last year as another way of gauging whether a punt play resulted in a favorable outcome for the Seahawks.  To find the punt+ total, I tallied all the punts that ended in 1) a fair catch, 2) the opponent being forced to start their next drive inside their own 20 yard line, 3) a return for zero yards, or 4) was intentionally kicked out of bounds (as opposed to one that was shanked).)

As I said last time, this is the sort of thing I was hoping to see when I started tracking punt+ stats last year.  The better the offense gets, the less field Ryan generally has to work with when he heads out to punt the ball, which negatively affects his averages.  As you can see, a very high percentage of his punts are resulting in poor field positions and/or no return yardage for opponents, which means he's doing his job consistently well even though his yards per punt averages make him out to be one of the least effective punters in the league.  And as you saw from the previous table, he's also doing a spectacular job of not out-kicking his coverage unit, which is why three of Seattle's last five opponents didn't record a single punt return.

Hauschka continues to be an asset on field goals (he's the leading scorer in the NFL), with his lone miss of the year coming as the result of a blocked kick.  And as for kickoffs, his 35 touchbacks through week ten has easily eclipsed his total from the 2011 season (26) and is close to beating his 2012 total as well (36).  I'd call that improvement.


Run-Pass & Turnover Differential
 

Game Run-Pass Differential Turnover Differential Result
1 (CAR) +9 +1 Win
2 (SF) +22 +4 Win
3 (JAX) +15 +1 Win
4 (HOU) -24 +1 Win
5 (IND) +4 0 Loss
6 (TEN) +19 0 Win
7 (ARI) +2 0 Win
8 (STL) -27 +2 Win
9 (TB) -2 -3 Win
10 (ATL) +22 +1 Win


(Note: For an explanation of this stat, check out this article here.)

The percentages have been sharply in Seattle's favor most of the year, but against Tampa Bay they got away with an extremely low percentage win.  Teams that end games behind in both run-pass differential and turnover differential only win those games about 5.2% of the time.  Even if you discount the -2 run-pass differential as too small to be statistically insignificant, that only raises the win rate to 20.9%.  In other words, the win over the Buccaneers was not a very high quality win, but I also wouldn't count on the Seahawks being caught flat-footed by an inferior opponent like that again anytime soon.

 

Toxic Differential
 

Game Explosive Plays (Run/Pass)

Explosive Plays Allowed (Run/Pass)

Explosive Play Differential   Take- aways Turn- overs Turn- over Diff.   Toxic Diff.
1 (CAR) 8 (2/6) 2 (1/1) +6   2 1 +1   +7
2 (SF) 7 (4/3) 6 (4/2) +1   5 1 +4   +5
3 (JAX) 11 (2/9) 4 (0/4) +7   3 2 +1   +8
4 (HOU) 6 (4/2) 13 (4/9) -7   3 2 +1   -6
5 (IND) 11 (6/5) 5 (1/4) +6   2 2 0   +6
6 (TEN) 9 (5/4) 2 (0/2) +7   2 2 0   +7
7 (ARI) 9 (2/7) 3 (0/3) +6   2 2 0   +6
8 (STL) 3 (1/2) 11 (6/5) -8   2 0 +2   -6
9 (TB) 13 (6/7) 6 (3/3) +7   0 3 -3   +4
10 (ATL) 11 (4/7) 2 (1/1) +9   1 0 +1   +10
Total 88 (36/52) 54 (20/34) +34   22 (2nd-T) 15 (16-T) +7   +41

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

The loss of Sidney Rice has not slowed the Seahawks' offense down one bit.  If anything, the increased playing time for both Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse has actually made the offense more explosive than ever — if they'd only known, the Rams might have told their defenders to take it a little easier on ol' Sidney. 

Better yet, the Hawks might finally be figuring out how not to turn the ball over multiple times in every game.  Hopefully that trend continues, because they've already matched their total for games with 2+ turnovers for the entire 2012 season (6). 

Thankfully throughout that long, painful streak the defense has been able to produce enough takeaways to keep the differential at least even for all but one game, which is what has kept the Hawks firmly in holy-crap territory with their overall toxic differential.  A 40+ in that category is the sort of result that coaches dream about their entire careers, and very few teams ever succeed in realizing those dreams.  We're witnessing a truly special season here — make sure you enjoy it while it lasts.


Down Efficiency

 

1st Down Efficiency
Game 4+ Yds <4 Yds   4+ Yds Allowed <4 Yds Allowed
1 (CAR) 12 (46.15%) 14 (53.85%)   13 (59.09%) 9 (40.91%)
2 (SF) 7 (25.00%) 21 (75.00%)   9 (40.91%) 13 (59.09%)
3 (JAX) 23 (65.71%) 12 (34.29%)   8 (28.57%) 20 (71.43%)
4 (HOU) 12 (46.15%) 14 (53.85%)   18 (43.90%) 23 (56.10%)
5 (IND) 11 (36.67%) 19 (63.33%)   14 (51.85%) 13 (48.15%)
6 (TEN) 22 (68.75%) 10 (31.25%)   8 (38.10%) 13 (61.90%)
7 (ARI) 15 (50.00%) 15 (50.00%)   11 (34.38%) 21 (65.63%)
8 (STL) 4 (25.00%) 12 (75.00%)   13 (41.94%) 18 (58.06%)
9 (TB) 17 (54.84%) 14 (45.16%)   16 (55.17%) 13 (44.83%)
10 (ATL) 18 (60.00%) 12 (40.00%)   9 37.50%) 15 (62.50%)
Total 141 (49.65%) 143 (50.35%)   119 (42.96%) 158 (57.04%)

(Note: First down is important.  Not only does gaining solid yardage on first down get your offense on track to a manageable third down, on average 40-45% of a team's total offensive play calls in every game happen on first down.  If you can gain four or more yards on 40-50% of your first down plays, your offense is doing fine.)

The Seahawks' offense and defense are still in the middle of the 40-50% window for 4+ plays this season, but they're on the right ends of that particular range and so far they appear to be improving their performance as the season wears on.

 

Down Conversion Efficiency
Game 1st & 2nd Down Conversions 3rd & 4th Down Conversions   1st & 2nd Down Conversions Allowed 3rd & 4th Down Conversions Allowed
1 (CAR) 11 (57.89%) 8 (42.11%)   8 (53.33%) 7 (46.67%)
2 (SF) 11 (55.00%) 9 (45.00%)   8 (66.67%) 4 (33.33%)
3 (JAX) 22 (78.57%) 6 (21.43%)   10 (62.50%) 6 (37.50%)
4 (HOU) 9 (56.25%) 7 (43.75%)   21 (58.33%) 15 (41.67%)
5 (IND) 18 (72.00%) 7 (28.00%)   10 (47.62%) 11 (52.38%)
6 (TEN) 16 (61.54%) 10 (38.46%)   7 (50.00%) 7 (50.00%)
7 (ARI) 14 (60.87%) 9 (39.13%)   14 (60.87%) 9 (39.13%)
8 (STL) 5 (71.43%) 2 (28.57%)   16 (61.54%) 10 (38.46%)
9 (TB) 18 (66.67%) 9 (33.33%)   14 (60.87%) 9 (39.13%)
10 (ATL) 15 (53.57%) 12 (42.86%)   10 (58.82%) 7 (41.18%)
Total 139 (63.47%) 79 (36.07%)   118 (58.13%) 85 (41.87%)

 

(Note: My down conversion numbers are going to be quite a bit different from everyone else's because I include all scoring plays (i.e. if you score a TD on second down or a field goal on fourth, I count those as equivalent to a down conversion) as well as all first downs awarded by penalties.  You generally want your offense to generate 65-75% of its down conversions on either first or second down, but that's only meaningful if they're also doing well on the next table in third down efficiency — sometimes a high conversion rate for 1st & 2nd downs just means you suck on third downs.)

It looks like a stark contrast, doesn't it?  The defense has done a good job of forcing teams into third and fourth down situations (their ability to stop teams on third down is somewhat more problematic, but we'll get to that shortly), while the offense has struggled just to keep themselves within sight of the bottom edge of the 65-75% range. 

However, part of the offense's stats here may actually be the result of their ability to pull of explosive plays — when you pick up yardage in chunks, you don't need to convert as many downs to move the ball down the field.  And even when they've stalled out on third down, they've been able to count on Hauschka to trot out on fourth down and finish off the drive with a three-point gain.  Either way, I'm not too terribly worried about the numbers here.

 

3rd Down Efficiency
Offense
Game 3rd & ≤1   3rd & 2-3 3rd & 4-6   3rd & 7-10 3rd & 11+   3rd Total
1 (CAR) -   3 of 3 (100%) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   2 of 4 (50.00%) 0 of 4 (0.00%)   6 of 13 (46.15%)
2 (SF) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   - 2 of 4 (50.00%)   1 of 4 (25.00%) 2 of 6 (33.33%)   7 of 20 (35.00%)
3 (JAX) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 4 (50.00%)   1 of 3 (33.33%) 1 of 1 (100%)   5 of 11 (45.45%)
4 (HOU) 0 of 2 (0.00%)   0 of 2 (0.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%)   2 of 5 (40.00%) 1 of 4 (25.00%)   3 of 14 (21.43%)
5 (IND) -   0 of 3 (0.00%) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   1 of 5 (20.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%)   2 of 12 (16.67%)
6 (TEN) 0 of 1 (0.00%)   2 of 3 (66.67%) 5 of 7 (71.43%)   0 of 1 (0.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   7 of 15 (46.67%)
7 (ARI) 3 of 4 (75.00%)   3 of 4 (75.00%) 0 of 1 (0.00%)   1 of 1 (100%) 1 of 3 (33.33%)   8 of 13 (61.54%)
8 (STL) 1 of 1 (100%)   1 of 3 (33.33%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   0 of 1 (0.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   2 of 11 (18.18%)
9 (TB) -   3 of 5 (60.00%) 4 of 5 (80.00%)   1 of 2 (50.00%) -   8 of 12 (66.67%)
10 (ATL) 2 of 2 (100%)   3 of 3 (100%) 3 of 5 (60.00%)   1 of 2 (50.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   9 of 15 (60.00%)
Total 8 of 14 (57.14%)   15 of 27 (55.56%) 18 of 34 (52.94%)   10 of 28 (35.71%) 5 of 29 (17.24%)   57 of 136 (41.91%)
Defense
Game 3rd & ≤1   3rd & 2-3 3rd & 4-6   3rd & 7-10 3rd & 11+   3rd Total
1 (CAR) 2 of 1 (50.00%)   1 of 2 (50.00%) 3 of 3 (100%)   2 of 3 (66.67%) 0 of 2 (0.00%)   7 of 12 (58.33%)
2 (SF) 1 of 1 (100%)   0 of 1 (0.00%) 2 of 4 (50.00%)   1 of 3 (33.33%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   3 of 12 (25.00%)
3 (JAX) 1 of 1 (100%)   1 of 1 (100%) 1 of 3 (33.33%)   1 of 6 (16.67%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   4 of 14 (28.57%)
4 (HOU) 1 of 1 (100%)   2 of 2 (100%) 4 of 9 (44.44%)   1 of 4 (25.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   8 of 19 (42.11%)
5 (IND) 1 of 1 (100%)   0 of 1 (0.00%) 4 of 5 (80.00%)   3 of 6 (50.00%) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   9 of 15 (60.00%)
6 (TEN) 0 of 1 (0.00%)   3 of 3 (100%) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   0 of 3 (0.00%) 0 of 3 (0.00%)   4 of 12 (33.33%)
7 (ARI) 0 of 1 (0.00%)   3 of 3 (100%) 1 of 3 (33.33%)   2 of 4 (50.00%) 0 of 5 (0.00%)   6 of 16 (37.50%)
8 (STL) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   2 of 3 (66.67%) 1 of 4 (25.00%)   2 of 5 (40.00%) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   7 of 16 (43.75%)
9 (TB) 2 of 2 (100%)   1 of 3 (33.33%) 3 of 3 (100%)   2 of 5 (40.00%) 0 of 2 (0.00%)   8 of 15 (53.33%)
10 (ATL) 1 of 2 (50.00%)   0 of 2 (0.00%) 1 of 4 (25.00%)   3 of 5 (60.00%) -   5 of 13 (38.46%)
Total 9 of 14 (64.29%)   13 of 21 (61.90%) 21 of 40 (52.50%)   17 of 44 (38.64%) 2 of 25 (8.00%)   61 of 144 (42.36%)

(Note: Each 3rd down stat category above constitutes a different package of possible plays. 3rd & 2-3 and 3rd & 4-6 may just be 3rd & medium to most fans, but to an offensive coordinator those two distances involve entirely different sets of plays to be called.  Below you'll find the target conversion rates for each distance.)

3rd Down Distance Target Conversion %
≤1 70%
2-3 59%
4-6 47%
7-10 28%
11+ 18%
Total 41%

 

As per usual, the 3rd down stats for both the offense and defense are a mixed bag.  The offense has been at least competent overall on 3rd this season, but (probably because of their o-line woes) they've been rather subpar when it comes to the highest-percentage category of all, 3rd & ≤1.  But as with the kickoff coverage unit, the return of Michael Robinson should only help the team's conversion rate in those situations — never underestimate the value of a solid old-school blocking fullback in short yardage situations.

The defense, for all the good things it's done, is still struggling on third down.  For whatever reason, they've been rather weak at stopping teams in 3rd & 2-3 and 3rd & 7-10 situations, and I'm honestly at a loss for how to read a deficiency this oddly specific.  If any of you has some ideas, I'm all ears.

 

Expanded Red Zone & Scoring Efficiency

Offense
Game Total Expanded Red Zone Trips* ERZ Trips w/ score ERZ Trips w/o score   Total Red Zone Trips* RZ Trips w/ score RZ Trips w/o score
1 (CAR) 3 2 (66.67%) 1 (33.33%)   3 2 (66.67%) 1 (33.33%)
2 (SF) 5 4 (80.00%) 1 (20.00%)   3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
3 (JAX) 8 7 (87.50%) 1 (14.29%)   5 5 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
4 (HOU) 4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   1 1 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
5 (IND) 7 6 (85.71%) 1 (14.29%)   3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
6 (TEN) 5 4 (80.00%) 1 (20.00%)   4 3 (75.00%) 1 (25.00%)
7 (ARI) 6 6 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
8 (ST) 1 1 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   1 1 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
9 (TB) 7 5 (71.43%) 2 (28.57%)   6 5 (83.33%) 1 (16.67%)
10 (ATL) 6 6 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   2 2 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
Total 52 (5.2/G) 45 (86.54%) 11 (13.46%)   32 (3.2/G) 29 (90.63%) 3 (9.38%)
Defense
Game Expanded Red Zone Trips Allowed* ERZ Trips w/ Score Allowed ERZ Trips w/o Score Allowed   Red Zone Trips Allowed* RZ Trips w/ Score Allowed RZ Trips w/o Score Allowed
1 (CAR) 2 1 (50.00%) 1 (50.00%)   1 1 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
2 (SF) 3 1 (33.33%) 2 (66.67%)   2 1 (50.00%) 1 (50.00%)
3 (JAX) 5 3 (60.00%) 2 (40.00%)   5 3 (60.00%) 2 (40.00%)
4 (HOU) 5 4 (80.00%) 1 (20.00%)   3 2 (66.67%) 1 (33.33%)
5 (IND) 4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   1 1 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
6 (TEN) 3 2 (66.67%) 1 (33.33%)   1 1 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
7 (ARI) 6 5 (83.33%) 1 (16.67%)   3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
8 (STL) 5 3 (60.00%) 2 (40.00%)   4 3 (75.00%) 1 (25.00%)
9 (TB) 4 4 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   3 3 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
10 (ATL) 2 2 (100%) 0 (0.00%)   1 1 (100%) 0 (0.00%)
Total 39 (3.9/G) 29 (74.36%) 10 (25.64%)   24 (2.4/G) 19 (79.17%) 5 (20.83%)

* = ERZ & RZ trips that ended in end-of-game kneeldowns have been omitted from this total.

(Note: Because NFL kickers have improved so much over the years, it makes more sense to begin charting a team's scoring efficiency on drives inside their opponent's 35 yard line rather than waiting for them to get to the 20.  Some analysts call this the "orange zone," but that name sounds dumb.  Until something better comes along, I'm going to stick to calling it the "expanded red zone," or ERZ for short.)

This time around I've decided to add regular red zone stats to the mix in order to get a more complete picture of how well the Seahawks are playing at both ends of the field.  As it turns out, both sides of the ball are performing admirably.  The offense is scoring 86.54% of the time when they get inside their opponent's 35, and inside the 20 they've failed to score on just three drives all season long (all three failures were the result of turnovers).  Meanwhile, the defense is holding opponents to a 74.36% scoring percentage inside their own 35 and to an equally impressive 79.17% inside the 20.

Put all that together, and you have a team that averages one more trip into their opponent's red zone & ERZ per game than they allow their opponent, and when they get their they score over 10% more often than the other team (12.18% more often in the ERZ & 11.46% more often in the RZ).  I know that doesn't sound like much, but over the course of a game that adds up — and over the course of this season, it's added up to a 9-1 record.

 

Game Total Net Yards/ Game Total Points/ Game Yards/Point Average   Total Net Yards Allowed/ Game Total Points Allowed/ Game Yards/Point Average
1 (CAR) 370 12 30.83   253 7 36.14
2 (SF) 290 29 10.00   207 3 69.00
3 (JAX) 479 45 10.64   265 17 15.59
4 (HOU) 270 23 11.74   476 20 23.80
5 (IND) 423 28 15.11   317 34 9.32
6 (TEN) 404 20 20.20   223 13 17.15
7 (ARI) 344 34 10.12   234 22 10.64
8 (STL) 135 14 9.64   339 9 37.67
9 (TB) 415 27 15.37   350 24 14.58
10 (ATL) 490 33 14.85   226 10 22.60
Total 362 (11th) 26.5 (6th) 13.66 (8th)   289 (3rd) 15.9 (3rd) 18.18 (5th)

 

This one is another set of stats courtesy of the stats guys over at Cold Hard Football Facts (you can find them there listed under scoreability and bendability).  In a nutshell, the idea here is that a low yards/points stat for an offense points to them being highly efficient with their drives, i.e. they aren't settling for too many field goals and they aren't piling up yardage only to have drive after drive end in punts and turnovers.  Conversely, you want your defense to have a high yards/point stat, 'cause that means they're really making opposing teams work hard for every last digit they put up on the scoreboard.

As you can see, the only teams who have really stymied the Seahawks' offense in terms of yards per point have been the Panthers and the Titans, while the only teams to make the most of the yards they were able to gain versus the Hawks' defense were the Colts and, inexplicably enough, the Cardinals.  (As long as I'm thinking about it, what the Colts were able to do in this category is even more impressive considering they accomplished it despite only managing to pull off 5 explosive plays in that game.)

In short, you can consider the table above yet another shining example of Seattle's overall prowess this season.

 

Game Expanded Red Zone Potential Points ERZ Points Scored ERZ Points Left on Field   ERZ Potential Points Allowed ERZ Points Allowed ERZ Points Allowed Left on Field   ERZ Points Left on Field Differential
1 (CAR) 21 6 15   10 7 3   +12
2 (SF) 27 23 4   17 3 14   -10
3 (JAX) 44 45 -1   35 17 18   -19
4 (HOU) 16 16 0   27 20 7   -7
5 (IND) 33 26 7   16 20 -4   +11
6 (HOU) 31 20 11   13 6 7   +4
7 (ARI) 34 34 0   30 22 8   -8
8 (STL) 7 7 0   31 9 22   -22
9 (TB) 45 27 18   24 24 0   +18
10 (ATL) 26 26 0   10 10 0   0
Total 284 230 54   213 138 75   -21

 

Okay, this one is going to take a little explaining.  I wanted a way to measure how efficient the Seahawks have been at capitalizing on their scoring opportunities, as well as how well they've done preventing their opponents from scoring in similar situations.  The way I figured it, if a team drives its way inside their opponent's expanded red zone, they should at least come away with a field goal, and if they get inside the red zone they should settle for nothing less than a touchdown. 

And really, that's how I calculated the potential points scored stat — for every non-kneeldown red zone trip, I added 7 points to the potential score, and for every non-kneeldown trip into the ERZ but not the red zone I added 3 points.  I then added up how much those teams actually scored as a result of those trips (thereby discounting all special teams, defensive, and pre-ERZ offensive scores) and subtracted that from their potential score to find out how many potential points they left on the field (i.e. failed to score) for that game. 

A negative Points Left on the Field score, therefore, would mean that a team actually outscored its potential score on those trips, and a negative Points Left on the Field differential would mean that they missed out on that many fewer points than their opponent did.  Surprisingly, the offense seems to be doing a better job in this category than the defense, or at least they are according to my arbitrary highlight cutoff of 8 points (i.e. a single TD plus a two point conversion) — I may rethink that mark as I collect more data, so I wouldn't worry too much about the green & orange you see in those cells.

Really, the main attraction here is the differential, according to which the Hawks have left fewer points on the field than their opponents in half their games this year, and their season total is squarely in their favor by three touchdowns.  I believe I've already said this a few times, but things are looking pretty damned awesome right about now.


Penalties
 

Game Offense Penalized Defense Penalized Special Teams Penalized Penalties/Game
1 (ARI) 5 3 1 9
2 (DAL) 9 1 0 10
3 (JAX) 2 2 0 4
4 (HOU) 5 3 1 9
5 (IND) 4 3 0 7
6 (TEN) 4 2 0 6
7 (ARI) 5 4 1 10
8 (STL) 3 7 0 10
9 (TB) 2 4 0 6
10 (ATL) 3 6 0 9
Total 42 34 3 8 (30th)


The good news is, the special teams unit has been playing squeaky clean this season, and the penalties committed by the offense are slowing to a trickle.  Unfortunately, defensive penalties are on the rise, so the end result is kind of a wash.  Still, as I've said before the defense's aggressiveness is a big part of their success, and that is always going to lead to a larger number of penalties.  In short, I wouldn't count on the Hawks dropping out of the bottom ten anytime soon here.

 

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