Seattle were not dominant in their 24-7 win in New York, but they won. They were far from brilliant, but they kept their foot firmly on the Giants’ throat. They were flawed, but they were good. And they are far from out of the running in the NFC.
The boring pick
Seattle burst into contention in 2012, when a young defense and a good run game found the perfect partner in the agile, big-armed, Russell Wilson. Since then the ‘Hawks have gone 60-25-1, won a Super Bowl, and been inches from a second. Their success has been taken for granted, and as such, their qualities pretty firmly ignored.
Before the season few were excited about their prospects or talking them up. They were going to win the NFC West by default, and make a run at the Super Bowl again. YAWN! The levels of apathy were surprising.
Some detractors correctly pointed to the uncertainty at the running back position and the desperate state of the offensive line. After all, the rough blocking had got Wilson hurt in 2016 and really limited them in the playoffs.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Those points almost don’t matter though. Because the Seattle Seahawks are still very much the Seattle freakin’ Seahawks.
|Points per Game||Yards per Game||Turnover differential per Game||Passer rating against||Yards per carry against|
Seattle’s great 2013 defense that lead them to a championship was better than the current side, but the margin is very minimal. Barely a point a game difference, and while the turnovers differential is down for the 2017 group a lot of that has to do with teams figuring out not to challenge Richard Sherman and little else.
The biggest difference is in yards per carry against, but a lot of that can be put on the game against Tennessee in Week 3 when the Titans racked up 195 yards on them and will level out as the season goes on.
The defense is still anchored by the same names as in 2013. Earl Thomas, Sherman, Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner… the supporting cast may change but the main players are still there, and they are still crushing opponents.
That Titans game is the only time they have given up more than 20 points, and that is including a trip to Lambeau Field and a game against the Rams, who are averaging 36.7 points a game against non-Seattle opponents.
The Seahawks offense isn’t the most explosive or dominant, but it doesn’t have to be given the support they get from the defense. Wilson’s 2017 stats are very comparable to 2013.
Without Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks are relying on Wilson to move the chains himself, which is obviously impacting his yards per attempt and touchdown percentages, but he is being very careful with the ball despite his poor protection, and it is helping keep the offense above water despite a 0.4 yard per carry drop since 2013.
The thing about Wilson and the Seahawks offense, is that despite it’s inconsistencies it is still extremely dangerous. Wilson’s feet haven’t been as big a factor in picking up positive yards, but he has been brilliant in avoiding negative ones, and his big arm means that any broken play is a potential touchdown.
Despite the Rams’ surprising competency this year, the Seahawks are still very much the team to beat in the NFC West, and with Aaron Rodgers’ injury and Atlanta’s shakiness they are all set to once again be the team to beat in the conference.
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