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November 28, 2014 at 5:04 AM

Seahawks Second Thoughts

Here are 10 quick morning after thoughts on Seattle’s 19-3 win over the 49ers Thursday night — hard to have any real second thoughts following that one.

1. If one way to look at the dominance of a win is disparity in yards gained vs. given up, then this was the most dominant of the season as Seattle out gained the 49ers 379-164. It was the first time this season Seattle doubled up an opponent in yards. Seattle did that twice last season — 490-226 in a win at Atlanta and 429-188 in victory over New Orleans on Monday night.

2. As noted earlier this week, Seattle regained the top spot in the NFL in total defense in terms of yards allowed per game at 296.8. That number dropped a whole lot more tonight, to 285.8. That sets up a delicious matchup next week against a Philadelphia team that ranks No. 4 in the NFL in total offense at 416.2.

3. Here’s another view of Seattle’s defensive dominance of late — over the last seven games, the Seahawks are allowing 252 yards per game. Seattle led the NFL last year allowing 273.6 which was also a team record. For what it’s worth, that string coincided with the Percy Harvin trade, which probably means nothing ┬ábut I guess is sort of interesting considering all the talk of the team being in such turmoil at the time.

Here are the yards allowed total in that span:

St. Louis — 275

Carolina — 266

Oakland — 226

New York Giants — 324

Kansas City — 298

Arizona — 204

San Francisco — 164

4. Russell Wilson’s passer rating, the subject of a lot of consternation a few weeks ago, is beginning to look like its old self again, back up to 94.7 for the season after ratings of 98.2, 121.6 and 118.8. The last two opponents each ranked among the top eight in the NFL this week in passing efficiency defense — the 49ers third at 76.5 and Arizona at 82.2. Wilson’s completion percentage is at 63.9 percent, not quite the 70 percent Pete Carroll tabbed as a realistic target prior to the season but right at his career percentage of 63.3 (64.1 and 63.1 his first two years). And in what Carroll would say is the most important number of all, he has just five interceptions in 336 attempts, 1.5 percent, the lowest of his career so far — 2.1 and 2.5 his first two seasons.

5. Marshawn Lynch now has 956 yards, and barring injury is on course for his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. Shaun Alexander did it for five straight years (2001-2005) and Chris Warren four (1992-95).

6. Not necessarily trying to compare Paul Richardson to Percy Harvin in terms of kickoff return ability — Richardson has a ways to go yet to show he deserves hat. But in terms of just this season and the idea that the Seahawks were losing something big there when they traded Harvin, it’s interesting to see how similar are their numbers. Harvin had 12 returns for 283 yards, an average of 23.6 while Richardson now has nine returns for 232 yards, an average of 25.8.

7. Steven Hauschka is now 27-30 on field goals and 60-65 the last two seasons. He has 110 points, already the seventh-best kick scoring season in Seattle history with four games left — his 143 last year is the team record.

8. Remember how a year ago one sign of how good Seattle’s special teams played was its punt return yards allowed? Well consider that another area that is beginning to look like its old self, even if the numbers will be sort of misleading all season. Seattle is allowing 183 yards on 14 returns, an average of 13.1 that is second-worst in the NFL. But that includes the 90-yard trick play return by St. Louis. It counts, to be sure, but obviously was sort of a fluky play. Take that out and Seattle is allowing 93 yards on 13 attempts, an average of 7.1 that would rank tied for eighth. Just as meaningful is the total yard rankings, since part of being a good punt cover team is forcing fair catches and downing punts. The 93 yards would rank tied for the third-fewest.

9. It’s been pretty well-proven that time of possession doesn’t necessarily matter all that much, especially depending on the style of the play of that team. But I know the Seahawks think it means something, given the way they play — defense, running, etc. And it’s hard to ignore the TOPs of the last few games as the Seahawks have turned things around. Seattle has had a TOP of 33:12 or better in each of its last five games, with five of them 35:06 or better, including 35:19 against the 49ers. For the season, Seattle now has a TOP average of 31:39.

10. Finally, here’s another quiet stat that Seattle has turned around of late — average drive start. Seattle has had the better average drive start in every game it has played since losing at St. Louis — except in the one game it lost, at Kansas City. Against the 49ers, Seattle had an average drive start of its own 33, while the 49ers had an average drive of its own 20. Those are yards that add up quickly.

 

 

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