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October 29, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Wednesday morning Seahawks links and notes: SI examines Seahawks’ offense — What do the numbers show?

In the wake of the Percy Harvin trade, there’s an obvious spotlight on the Seattle offense, which looked pretty good in the first game without him, and at least survived in the second game.

There’s some interesting stuff on that topic today from Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop, who spent last week with the Seahawks and wrote a cover story for the magazine as well as this column for the MMQB website.

Bishop quotes one unnamed source saying: “No one is scared of that offense anymore.”

What’s interesting, then, is how similar most of Seattle’s offensive numbers look this season compared to a year ago.

Here are a few comparisons:

Points per game: 2013, 26.02; 2014, 24.5.

Yards per game: 2013, 339.0; 2014, 350.3.

Rushing yards per game: 2013, 136.8;  2014, 148.4.

Yards per rush: 2013, 4.3; 2014, 5.3.

Passing yards per game: 2013, 202.3; 2014, 201.9.

Passer rating: 2013, 102.4; 2014, 98.4.

Yards per play: 2013, 5.6; 2014, 5.9.

Stats can be viewed a lot of different ways.  But the raw, basic numbers appear to show not much of an overall change in the offense from 2013 to 2014. In fact, most are up, with the exception of points per game. And that one could be explained just as easily by the fact that Seattle’s turnovers are down appreciably — 39 for the season last year, seven so far this year. Seattle, for instance, had three pick sixes last season but has none this year (Seattle does have one touchdown via a blocked punt, tying the number of blocked kick returns it had in 2013).

The offensive number that may be the most noticeably different  is the one that speaks the most to the team’s change in style during the Harvin era — Marshawn Lynch’s carries. Lynch last year averaged 18.8 carries per game, for 78.5 yards per game. This year, he is at 15.8 and 68.8. Or, it could be argued, the six carry game against San Diego accounts for that dropoff all by itself.

Lynch has 32 carries for 115 yards in the two games without Harvin, appearing to speak more to troubles getting that aspect of the game going than not handing him the ball, especially considering trailing for almost all of each of those two games.

And speaking of stats, here’s an interesting take stating that the real  issue with the Seahawks right now is their defense.

Just to name two basic stats — Seattle is allowing 5.1 yards per play this season compared to 4.4 last year; and 316.1 yards per game this year compared to 273.6.

Ultimately, the biggest number is this — 4-3 compared to 6-1 last season. It’s that number that’s leading to the heavy examination of the rest.

In other news. …

— Here’s my story on Seattle standing pat at the trade deadline and a look at some key personnel questions going forward.

— Here’s our story on Marysville-Pilchuck practicing at the Seahawks’ facility Tuesday, which also elicited this response from the team:

— says patience was a virtue on the final drive Sunday.

— with a look at the rivalry through the decades.

— USA Today gives the Seahawks a C-minus at the mid-season.

— Former Seahawk Benson Mayowa returns with Oakland this weekend after having his best game as a Raider.

— calls the Seahawks one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL so far.

— Here’s one model that says the Seahawks have an 83.9 percent chance to win this week — sort of surprised it’s not higher.

— According to this ranking, Seattle has the fourth-most difficult schedule remaining in the NFL.


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