Teams can’t gain yards, score points etc. without the ball of course, but it’s other numbers that surprised me. It was clear the offense was having more success and running the ball more often and efficiently.
The defense is fifth in fewest yards allowed which is not surprising when opponents can’t garner more than 60 plays a game (another identical number to that 2014 squad). However, the similarities in other key and critical defensive categories to that 2014 squad weren’t really expected before I delved into it.
Stats such as third-down conversions allowed per game, yards per play surrendered, and third down opportunities allowed per game. In fact, these numbers are either on par with and in some cases surpass that 2014 defense.
How many times have we heard Pete Carroll and others preach third downs? It’s almost a ritual after a loss, get off the field on third down when playing defense, convert third downs on offense. While many understand the premise, it becomes almost white noise to many. However, this year’s squad has matched that 2014 team defense in that regard, allowing an identical percentage of success, 37.5% conversion rate.
This stat is critical to a teams success, and this season the Seattle Seahawks have found the recipe to replicate it. It would be foolhardy to claim this is the only key to a successful defense, so much more goes into a dominant defense but it’s a foundational piece of any great defense.