Looking at the numbers, it's not hard to see why the Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Here's a look at some statistics that help illustrate Seattle's 2017 season.
Ultimately, the only numbers that really mattered for the Seahawks this year were 9 and 7. Winning just nine games and losing seven meant that for the first time since 2011, the Seahawks are out of the playoffs, their season already in the rearview mirror before the new year began.
But there were a lot of numbers compiled along the way that contributed to that unfortunate and unexpected state.
Here is a look at 10 numbers that helped define the season.
Seattle’s home record, the first time since 2011 that Seattle has not had a winning record at home. Seattle was 34-6 at home since 2012 before this season, when the Seahawks lost four of their last five at CenturyLink to finish 4-4. True, three of those losses could basically be blamed on missed Blair Walsh field goals if you wanted to. But teams hardly seemed awed by CenturyLink this year — two of Seattle’s wins also came down to the wire against the 49ers and Houston. Making CenturyLink feared again will be a key to the Seahawks resuming their former place as one of the best teams in the NFC.
Penalties the Seahawks had this season, which is a franchise record, for 1,342 yards, the second-most in NFL history. The Seahawks under Pete Carroll have always committed a lot of penalties and been successful anyway. But this year was another story. Consider that Seattle committed 10 or more penalties in a game 11 times — in the seven in which they committed fewer than 10 penalties the Seahawks went 5-2, including their two marquee wins at the Rams (7-40) and against the Eagles (a season-low five penalties for 46 yards). Carroll admitted Tuesday that has to change.
Interceptions for each of Bobby Wagner, Earl Thomas, Justin Coleman and Richard Sherman, which tied for the team lead this year. It’s the lowest total to ever lead the Seahawks for a season, which isn’t necessarily a big deal other than to illustrate that many of the key players on defense missed games this season, which helped hold down the numbers for almost all of the team’s star players.
Field goals over 50 yards. This year was only the second time since 1995 Seattle didn’t have a field goal over 50 yards. Walsh had only one attempt — the 52-yarder that could have sent the Atlanta game to overtime. Which is a reminder that one of the attractions to Walsh had been his prowess in making 50-yarders — he had made the first 12 of his career while with the Vikings, an NFL record. Breaking that record this year, though, was none other than Stephen Hauschka, who hit a 13th straight in October with Buffalo, a streak that began when he hit all seven of his 50-yard plus attempts in his final two year with the Seahawks.
Rushing touchdowns by a tailback, scored by J.D. McKissic in the blowout of the Colts in the fourth game of the season. Seattle had never had fewer than four rushing touchdowns by a tailback in a non-strike season. McKissic’s TD was also the only offensive TD scored this season that was not accounted for by QB Russell Wilson either throwing or rushing, which is its own kind of amazing stat.
Rushing touchdowns for the season by the Seahawks, with Wilson scoring the other three. That tied the non-strike season low for the Seahawks of four in 1992, when Seattle went 2-14.
Rushing yards for Baltimore’s Alex Collins, a running back waived by Seattle prior to the season, a total that almost matched the total of 994 of all of the tailbacks the Seahawks used in 2017 — Mike Davis (240), Chris Carson (208), McKissic (187), Eddie Lacy (179), Thomas Rawls (157) and C.J. Prosise (23). Who knows if Collins would have had the same success in Seattle — fumbling issues and Carson’s were the biggest reasons for his release — but his increasing success in Baltimore as the year progressed served as an additional dagger of frustration to Seahawks’ fans. Davis’ 240 is the lowest total for tailback to lead the Seahawks in a non-strike season — the lowest had been the 327 of David Hughes in 1984, the year Curt Warner got hurt in the first game. Wilson led all Seattle rushers with 550. In other words, there are lots of numbers that illustrate how much the Seahawks’ running game struggled this season and how it has to get better in 2018.
Number of points the Seahawks scored this season in the fourth quarter, tied with Tampa Bay for the most in the NFL and a franchise record. The previous fourth-quarter season high for the Seahawks was 1983 when the Seahawks scored 132. Seattle allowed just 64 points in the fourth quarter, giving Seattle by far the biggest positive point differential in that quarter this season. If only Seattle had been able to pair those fast finishes with quick starts, which brings us to our next number. …
Number of points Seattle scored in the second quarter, which was actually a bigger issue for the Seahawks than the first quarter. Teams almost always score fewer points in the first quarter for the maybe obvious reason that the game begins with a kickoff and everything is even. Seattle scored 56 first quarter points this year, the same as it allowed, ranking 21st in the NFL in points scored in that quarter — not good but not as bad as the second quarter when Seattle was outscored a whopping 122-69. The points allowed ranked 25th in the NFL and the points scored 28th, which all-too-often put the Seahawks in a big hole heading into the second half, and too often leaving Seattle too far behind to make it all the way big. The Seahawks have always thrived on being a fourth quarter team. But this year it caught up to them.
Seattle’s punts this season, fourth-most in team history behind the 108 of the woefully offensively challenged 1992 team and the 95 of the 1984 and 2011 teams. That number speaks in large part is the hit-or-miss nature of Seattle’s offense this year. Seattle was hardly terrible offensively, scoring 366 points, tied for the 14th most in team history and actually ahead of the 354 of last season. But what the Seahawks didn’t do much this season is grind out drives consistently — according to FootballOutsiders.com, Seattle went three-and-out on 29.4 percent of its drives, 29th in the NFL and ahead of only the Jets, Browns and Bears. That led to lots of punts and lots of possessions for the opponents, and ultimately a few too many losses for the Seahawks to absorb.