Our weekly look at the Seahawks' statistical rankings shows the defense is again leading the NFL in fewest points allowed.
Time for our weekly look at where the Seahawks rank in major team statistical categories and assess what it means.
2016 —336.7, 22nd
2015 — 378.6, 4th.
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Comment: This number would have taken a huge hit if not for the 127 yards the Seahawks gained in overtime. As is, the Seahawks’ average dropped 16 yards per game and six spots. The current pace would be the lowest for Seattle in the Russell Wilson era — the Seahawks averaged 303.8 yards in 2011.
YARDS PER PLAY
2016 —5.23, 23rd.
2015 — 5.85, 5th.
Comment: This number has also dropped a bit the past two weeks — and would also have taken a huge hit if not for overtime. More telling is that the Seahawks are averaging more than half-a-yard per play less than a year ago, which was the second-best mark in franchise history.
2016— 82.7, 27th.
2015 — 141.8, 3rd.
Comment: This just keeps dropping, down from 88.5 YPG and 25th in the NFL last week. It would also be on pace to be the worst yards per game average in team history (which also shows how rushing numbers have dropped through the years). The lowest rushing yards per game average in team history is 87.0 in 1989. But here’s good news — the Saints have allowed an NFL-high 11 rushing touchdowns and have a generally bad defense. So the Seahawks could get at least somewhat well this week.
RUSHING YARDS PER PLAY
2016 — 3.1, 31st.
2015 — 4.5, 7th.
Comment: As noted last week, this continues to be on pace to be the worst in team history — Seattle has never averaged less than 3.3 yards per carry in a season (the 1992 team, generally considered the worst offense in team history, averaged 4.0 thanks to Chris Warren having a breakout season with 1,017 yards and 4.6 per carry.) It dropped slightly from 3.2 last week. Minnesota is the only team with a lower average at 2.6.
2016 —254, 14th.
2015 — 236.9, 20th.
Comment: This number also has dropped a little bit the last few weeks but showing in part both the way the NFL works now, and the way the Seahawks’ offense is evolving, would still be on pace to rival Seattle’s franchise record of passing yards in a game — 254.8 set in 2002.
YARDS PER PASS
2016 — 7.5, 11th.
2015 — 8.3, 3rd.
Comment: This has dropped a half-yard in the past two weeks. But the good news now is New Orleans is allowing 8.0 yards per attempt, 27th in the NFL.
2016 — 18.5, 28th.
2015 — 26.4, tied for 4th.
Comment: This took a huge hit after the Seahawks failed to score a touchdown for the second time in a game this season. But Seattle will never have a better chance than this week to beef up this stat with the Saints allowing 32.5 points per game, worst in the NFL.
2016 — 310.2, 6th.
2015 — 291.8, 2nd.
Comment: So just as the overtime helped the offense keep some of its numbers looking a little more respectable, it hurt the defense a little — the Seahawks were first in the NFL last week allowing 283 yards per game. Arizona gained 141 of its 443 total in the overtime period. Another big test for Seattle this week with the Saints averaging 421 yards per game, second in the NFL.
RUSHING YARDS ALLOWED
2016— 84.2, 5th.
2015 — 81.5, 1st.
Comment: The Cardinals rushed for 132 yards, 17 in overtime, only the second time this year Seattle has allowed 100-plus on the ground, the other being the 135 the 49ers got when the bulk of it came on two meaningless drives in the fourth quarter. Recall that Arizona came into the game averaging 124 rushing yards per game, fourth in the NFL. Seattle had been at 74.6 rushing yards per game allowed last week, third in the NFL.
YARDS ALLOWED PER RUSH
2016 — 3.3, 4th.
2015 — 3.6, 3rd, tied.
Comment: While Arizona averaged 3.6 yards per carry, the Seahawks’ season stats remained about the same, at 3.3 overall and fourth in the NFL. As noted every week so far, Seattle’s YPA allowed per rush is on pace to be stingier than last season when the Seahawks led the NFL in fewest total rushing yards allowed.
PASSING YARDS ALLOWED PER GAME
2016 — 226.9, 9th.
2015 — 210.3, 2nd.
Comment: The overtime really hit this number as the Seahawks allowed Carson Palmer to throw for 124 of his 342 total in the extra session. Seattle has now allowed 300 or more passing yards each of the last two weeks — Atlanta got 310 the previous game. Seahawks were at 183.8 yards, fourth in the NFL, before the Atlanta game. Another big test comes this week with the Saints averaging an NFL-best 339 passing yards per game.
PASSING YARDS PER PLAY ALLOWED
2016 —6.9, 9th.
2015 — 6.6, 5th.
Comment: Seattle was at 6.4 and fifth prior to the Atlanta game. Palmer needed 49 attempts to pass for 342 yards but was also sacked four times for a loss of 31. Palmer’s longest pass in regulation was just 24 yards before he got the 40-yarder in overtime.
POINTS ALLOWED PER GAME
2016 —14.0, 1st, tied.
2015 — 17.3, 1st.
Comment: The Seahawks’ defense moved up in the stat they care about the most. Seattle is now tied for first with Minnesota, each having allowed 84 points in six games, 14.0 per game.Seattle was allowing 15.6 points per game, third in the NFL, prior to the five quarters against the Cardinals. Seattle has allowed the fewest points in the NFL four years running, the longest streak in the Super Bowl era and one it certainly wants to continue.