by A.J. Coltrane
Expectations for the Seahawks have been sky-high this year, but are they a great team or just a good team? Popular opinion says “Great defense, great running game, great quarterback, they added a stud wide receiver in Percy Harvin, the young guys are maturing and improving … Super Bowl here we come!”
As the season has rolled on, the team health has been less than ideal. Most people I’ve talked to feel like the offense and defense will get a *lot* better when the starters return from injury. That remains to be seen, and it assumes that the collective team health actually improves and that nobody else gets newly hurt.
Bill Barnwell at Grantland offers this opinion:
Are the Seahawks a good team or are they the caliber of the best team in football? So far, it seems like the former. In the best-team pocket, they have that blowout win over the 49ers at home. In the other, they have narrow victories over the Panthers, Texans, and Titans, and a close loss to the Colts. I think they have the talent level to be the best team in football, and they’re only going to get better as their injured/suspended players (Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin, and soon Percy Harvin) come back and get back in the swing of things. But the results haven’t been there yet.
Concerns: (As a refresher, there are now 32 NFL teams)
1. The Seahawks are 24th in passing yards per game.
2. They’re 5th worst in offensive sack percentage (Sacks divided by attempts.)
3. They’re 28th in offensive 3rd down conversion percentage. (link) (Or 5th worst again.)
4. They have the 5th most penalties on the year, and they’re 3rd in penalty yards. (same link as #3.)
5. Last year the Seahawks had the 4th healthiest team in the league. They’re not nearly that healthy this year.
The Good Stuff:
1. They’re 2nd in rushing yards/ game.
2. They’re 8th in rushing yards/ attempt.
3. The defense is 2nd in yards allowed per game. It breaks out to 2nd in passing yards allowed, 11th in rushing yards allowed.
4. They’re 3rd in points allowed per game.
I’m of the opinion that the Seahawks have a great defense, a good running game, and a fringy passing game. Overall I’d go with “good” or “very good”. We’ll see if that’s enough.