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Seattle Analysis


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I did some research on Seattle and found some obvious, but interesting facts to take into consideration.

For the purposes of this discussion, I am ignoring the last loss against the Packers, when Holmgren rested his starters.

The most interesting sta was the rankings of the defenses that Seattle played against. The score of the games follow, with Seattle's opponents' defensive rankings in parentheses:

Jax - L - 14-26 (6)

ATL - W - 21-18 (22)

ARI - W - 37-12 (8 - yeah, I couldn't believe it either)

WAS - L - 17-20 OT (9)

HOU - W - 42-10 (31)

DAL - W - 13-10 (10)

ARI - W - 33-19 (8, still weird, isn't it?)

STL - W - 31-16 (30)

SF - W - 27-25 (32)

NYG - W - 24-21 (24)

PHI - W - 42-0 (23)

SF - W - 41-3 (32)

TEN - W - 28-24 (19)

As has been noted, Seattle's schedule was fairly weak. SEA played against top 10 defenses just 5 times, and in those five games, they averaged 22.8 points per game (this number is wildly skewed by the two games against the Cards. But NFL.com and ESPN both list the Cards as the 8th best. If you take out those two games, the numbers plummet to 14.6), and were 3-2 in those games (not to pile on, but 2 of those were against ARI, and the other was against Dallas, who, if you remember, GAVE the game to SEA at the end). Against the rest of the field, Seattle averaged 32 a game.

I also went back and looked at each game individually. Seattle was generally playing with a lead. This allows them to ram Shaun Alexander into the opponent. The reason for this is that they score Toushdowns. For the year, SEA scored 57 TDs, their opponents scored 24. That's an amazing differential. SEA generally jumps out against poor defenses with quick scores, while their opponents can only muster FGs. This allows their defense to tee off on the opponents' QB, which is why they ended the season with 50 sacks, and only 27 against.

This is not the case against the better defenses, however. If we exclude ARI, we will see that JAC, DAL, and WAS all got out to early leads, and matched SEA's TD production. Against Dallas, SEA had to come back to win that game. Again, were it not for one of the dumbest interceptions ever by Bledsoe, that game would have gone to OT.

What does all this tell us?

We need to get a quick start, and score TDs. SEA has not often played a physical, dominating defense. We need to smack them around. And contain Alexander (obviously). In the first game against them, we held Shaun to 98 yards, with 34 coming on the one long run. (As a side note, we have dramatically cut down on those big plays that killed us in the first half of the season - Bell's TD runs, Glenn's flea flicker, Shaun's long run, Priest's TD reception, Tiki's run, etc) This needs to continue. If we can hold him down, and get some pressure on Hasselbeck, we can win this game. SEA just has not faced good defences this year.

I am interested also in looking at the offensive side of the ball, but don't have the energy yet this morning. I will see what I can do this afternoon. Thoughts?

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