The Seattle Seahawks have a fearsome defense and the rest of the NFL is taking notice. There is a swagger and a confidence that goes beyond the statistical measures and right now this defense believes that they can match up against anybody.
Is it possible that this defense could actually get better?
From a statistical standpoint, you could argue that this is already the top defense in the league, or at least on a short list of contenders. These are just a sampling of the numbers, but Seattle has allowed the fewest overall yards (725) and the fewest number of total points (27). The Seahawks are the best team in the league against the pass (146.7 YPG) and are tied for second in take-aways (10).
Could the numbers get better? They could.
To be fair, Seattle is not at the top of every defensive category. They are 12th against the run, though 95.0 yards per game can hardly be considered a failure. The Carolina Panthers rushed for 134 yards but they only managed 125 through the air and finished the game with a meager seven points. Colin Kaepernick had a few nice runs for the San Francisco 49ers, but mostly he was running for his life.
Even the 17 points given up to the Jacksonville Jaguars is a bit deceiving. If Seattle keeps their starters on the field in the second half and Russell Wilson doesn’t throw a pick at the 12-yard line, maybe the Jags don’t even score.
Obviously the numbers are not nearly as important as the wins, but they do show that this defense is balanced and very stingy. What is even more intriguing is that the defense is still not at full strength.
Chris Clemons is finally back. He looked good against Jacksonville, but it may take him some time to get back into the flow. Bruce Irvin comes back in Week 5, and will make a talented group of linebackers even more dominant. In addition, the Seahawks may be able to add Jordan Hill to the mix in a few weeks when he heals from a bicep injury.
More reinforcements for this defense? Crazy.
There is the caution that depth has its limits. It is obviously a huge advantage to have depth, but there are still only 11 men on the field. Everyone must find their role and the reinforcements will have to blend with the existing players.
The key to continued dominance may be the turnovers. It may be unrealistic to expect the Seahawks to keep coming up with 3.33 take-aways per game. However, if this defense could come up with two every week, that would go a long way towards solidifying a win. Last year the Chicago Bears led the league with 44 take-aways, or 2.75 per game. The Seahawks might just eclipse that number.
Could this defense get even better? They actually could. Scary.