Seattle's hold on allowing the fewest points in the NFL only got stronger with the 40-7 win over the Panthers.
Time to review where the Seahawks stand in key statistical rankings this year, with a comparison to last year.
2016 —357.9, 15th.
2015 — 378.6, 4th.
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Comment: A number helped greatly by the 534, which was the third time in four weeks Seattle set a season high in total yards — with the season-low 245 in between. And suddenly, Seattle isn’t that far off last year’s all-time record pace.
YARDS PER PLAY
2016 —5.78, 8th.
2015 — 5.85, 5th.
Comment: And just as suddenly, the Seahawks are threatening to break the 5.85 of last season that was the second-best in franchise history, having averaged 7.5, 6.6, 6.6, 6.4 and 7.0 yards in five of the last six games, with only the 4.0 of the Tampa Bay game bringing it down some.
2016— 101.5, 20th
2015 — 141.8, 3rd.
Comment: Seattle remains far off last year’s pace. But the Seahawks improved in this area greatly from the days in mid-season when they were on a pace to be the worst in team history. The Seahawks have had 152, 127 and 240 yards the last three weeks, an average of 173.0 that is second in the NFL only to the 182.7 of Buffalo.
RUSHING YARDS PER PLAY
2016 — 4.1, 19th
2015 — 4.5, 7th.
Comment: Seattle’s average rush per game has gone up a yard in a month — runs of 72 and 75 yards help the average greatly. Seattle was at 3.7 and 26th in the NFL last week before the 240 yards and 8.3 average against the Panthers.
2016 —256.4, 14th.
2015 — 236.9, 20th.
Comment: After getting 294 against the Panthers the Seahawks are again on pace to break the team record of 254.8 set in 2001. The Seahawks averaged 189.4 yards passing per game in Wilson’s rookie season in 2012 but that number has grown since to 202.3 in 2013 and 203.1 in 2014 to then take a significant leap the last two seasons.
YARDS PER PASS
2016 — 7.9, 7th.
2015 — 8.3, 3rd.
Comment: Yards per pass tends to be the stat coaches look at more than totals, and the Seahawks continue to creep up in this category, as well, though the number dropped slightly with Seattle averaging 7.0 last week.
2016 — 22.0, 20th.
2015 — 26.4, tied for 4th.
Comment: Another number that with the outbursts of four of the last five weeks — 28, 31, 31 and 40 sandwiching the five against Tampa Bay — continues to improve. And here’s an interesting stat to consider — Seattle has a points-per-play margin of 0.111. That’s the comparison of the number of points Seattle scores per play versus what it allows on defense. That’s third in the NFL behind New England (0.133) and Dallas (0.125) and ahead of the 0.098 of last season. Seattle also averaged 25.2 in 2014, 26.6 in 2013 and 25.8 in 2012 meaning the Seahawks are on pace to score the fewest points of the Wilson era (the Seahawks averaged 20.1 points per game in 2011).
2016 — 330.3, 8th.
2015 — 291.8, 2nd.
Comment: This is still a number that could come down some as Seattle face two of the three worst offenses in terms of yards per play — Los Angeles and the 49ers — in its final four games. But Seattle is likely to average its most yards per game of the Wilson era.
RUSHING YARDS ALLOWED
2016— 99.3, 14th.
2015 — 81.5, 1st.
Comment: While the yards per game allowed remains middle-of-the-road, more important is the stat below — yards allowed per rush — which is the same as last season. Facing some bad running teams in Green Bay and the Rams the next two games could bring this number down a bit.
YARDS ALLOWED PER RUSH
2016 — 3.6, 4th.
2015 — 3.6, 3rd, tied.
Comment: As noted above, this number remains solid — Seattle allowed 4.2 to Carolina but was on pace far below that until the Panthers got 52 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter.
PASSING YARDS ALLOWED PER GAME
2016 — 231.0, 9th (tied).
2015 — 210.3, 2nd.
Comment: A number that came down a little bit this week but will get tested by a Green Bay team averaging 261.2 passing yards per game, 10th in the NFL, and 284.3 in the last three week.
PASSING YARDS PER PLAY ALLOWED
2016 —6.9 10th.
2015 — 6.6, 5th.
Comment: The 55-yarder in odd circumstances accounted for more than a quarter of Cam Newton’s 182 yards on 32 attempts.
POINTS ALLOWED PER GAME
2016 —16.2, 1st.
2015 — 17.3, 1st.
Comment: Seattle continues to lead the NFL in the most important defensive stat of all — in fact, now with a 1.1-point lead over the two teams behind them, New England and Baltimore, each averaging 17.3 per game. All of which has Seattle well within range to lead the NFL in fewest points allowed for a record fifth straight season.