Heading into Sunday’s clash, the Seattle Seahawks sit at 3-3. .500. Even. It’s a cross roads of sorts for the defending Super Bowl champions. They’ll be hoping to start a successful run with a win in Carolina against the Panthers like they did to open last season.
One of the main reasons the Hawks’ are at .500 is a pass defense that hasn’t been as vaunted as last year’s group. Teams have been going after Richard Sherman in coverage, but another reason the pass defense may be doing worse statically is that the team hasn’t been able to pressure the quarterback as much as last season.
Speaking of last season, here is a look at some of the Seahawks statistics as a team last year and this year. We’ll start with the defensive side of the ball.
Yards per play allowed- 4.4 5.2
Passing Touchdowns allowed- 16 (16 games) 12 (6 games)
Interceptions 28 2
Opposing QB Passer Rating 63.4 103.9
Rushing yards allowed per game 101.6 85.5
Yards per rush attempt 3.9 3.2
Total Offense Ranking (League) 9th 6th
Average yards gained per play 5.6 6
Rushing yards per attempt 4.3 5.4
Percent of drives ending in a score 40.7 44.4
Rushing yards per game 136.8 153.3
With the exception of being more susceptible through the air (something that partly has to do with the pass rush) and uptick in rushing yards (likely due to Russell Wilson’s increased rushing yardage), Seattle’s stats aren’t that different from last year’s Super Bowl winning team. Now the team just has to win some games to get back to that peak.
All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.