There’s probably not much reason to really go over the 20-6 win over St. Louis all that much. It was interesting for a while. But as long as the Rams had just the six, I’m not sure anyone ever really felt the Seahawks were in great danger.
Was it Seattle’s best game of the season? Certainly not. But the Rams simply seem to give Seattle a lot of trouble, especially with its defensive line (and as a side note, at some point the Rams have to be decent given the talent on that front line — seems like a lot of talent going to waste at the moment). And ultimately, Seattle got the win it had to have (Arizona did lose, so Seattle would have gotten the West anyway. But had Seattle lost it would have been the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, so the win was darn meaningful on its own).
Otherwise, this is a game that won’t be long remembered other than for what it meant — another NFC West title and home field through the playoffs. We know that means the Seahawks will be favorites to get back to the Super Bowl — and consider that the way things break Seattle will have to face only one of Green Bay or Dallas and not both, another huge benefit of having gotten the No. 1 seed.
So, yes, the last six weeks could hardly have gone better for the Seahawks, who were the No. 8 seed in the playoffs on Nov 16 after a 24-20 loss to the Chiefs and now are in the driver’s seat to get back to the Super Bowl, if not become a repeat winner, which means instant football immortality.
With no real rhyme or reason, a few other Monday morning notes and thoughts as the Seahawks complete the regular season 12-4 — tied for the third-best record in franchise history (with 1984 and behind only the 13-3 of the 2005 and 2013 teams) — and head to the post-season.
- Seattle finished the season allowing the fewest yards in team history, 4,274. The previous low was 4,378 by last year’s team. The difference equals 6.5 yards per game — this year’s team allowed 267.1 yards per game and last year’s 273.6. The 4,274 yards allowed by the Seahawks is the fewest by any NFL team since the 2009 Jets allowed just 4,037. And it’s the fewest allowed by an NFC team since Dallas allowed 4,056 in 2003.
- Seattle allowed 1,304 yards rushing, by far the fewest in team history. The previous low was 1,510 by the 2005 team, the franchise’s first Super Bowl team under coach Mike Holmgren. Seattle allowed just 3.4 yards per carry this season.
- And as proof of the way the defense turned around at the end of the season, here are the number of carries and the longest yards per carry in each of the last six games. The first number is the carries, the second the long run: 20/13, 18/12, 22/10, 32/28, 15/6, 19/13. So as you can see, in five of the six games the longest carry was 13 yards or less. The only game in which Seattle allowed a run of longer than 13 yards was in the home win over the 49ers, when the 49ers had runs of 28 (Carlos Hyde) and 22 (Colin Kaepernick) but were pretty much stopped cold in the second half.
- Seattle did not allow a touchdown in the last two-and-a-half games, or last 10 quarters, dating to a 10-yard run by San Francisco’s Frank Gore with 13:22 to go in the second quarter. The Seahawks then shut out the 49ers in the second half and Arizona and the Rams for an entire game. So that’s 133 minutes, 22 seconds without allowing a touchdown.
- Seattle finished the season with 130 penalties, and despite all the talk on that topic it was not a franchise record. That was set in 2011, when the Seahawks had 138. OK, so this still is a Pete Carroll team. It’s also only two more than the 1984 and 2013 teams, which are two of the most successful teams in franchise history. So, to break that down further, three of the top four penalized teams in Seattle history are also three of the four most successful teams in franchise history. The 1984 team won 12 games, as did this year’s team, while the 2005 squad had 13 wins. So Carroll has a point when he says that penalties and winning don’t really equate.
- Russell Wilson finished with a passer rating of 95.0, the lowest of his career. His passer ratings his first two seasons were 100.0 and 101.2. The difference? Essentially that he threw for 20 TDs this year compared to 26 in each of his first two seasons. The formula is heavily weighted toward rewarding touchdowns and penalizing interceptions. Wilson threw for the fewest picks of his career — seven — despite having by far his most attempts — 452. He had 10 interceptions in 393 attempts in 2012 and nine in 407 last season.
- Wilson finished with 849 yards rushing, sixth all time. He had only 7 yards against the Rams, a season low, so he did not move up on the all-time season rushing chart. His previous low this season was 12 against Dallas. Wilson had 106 in the first game against the Rams, so St. Louis did a better job in this game, though historically the Rams have been one of the teams that has done a really good job keeping him hemmed in and not allowing him to run.