By Matthew Asher
So far it’s been a great season to be a member of the 12th Man: the Seahawks are 4-0 for the first time in franchise history and just one of five teams to still be undefeated after the first quarter of the season. But even with everything that’s been going well, there is always room for improvement.
The defense has been dominant
The Denver Broncos may be leading the league in scoring with 179 points, but Seattle is doing the next best thing: limiting opponent scoring. Denver has almost allowed twice as many points scored against them (91) as the Seahawks (47) over four games.
Regarding point differential, Denver leads the league at plus-88, but Seattle is in second place with a plus-62 differential. The 11.2 points surrendered each game is the second best in the league and the 47 total points given up is third only to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Carolina Panthers (who have played just three games).
One of the reasons the Seahawks have such a great point differential is because the defense limits not only points, but yards as well. Giving up just 300.2 yards of offense a game, only four other teams have allowed less yardage, and none of those teams have a winning record. The 191.2 passing yards allowed is the fourth least in the league.
The Seahawks strength on offense is their running game
Just like against the Houston Texans, Seattle probably wouldn’t be winning if it wasn’t for the ground attack. With Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson leading the way, Seattle’s 144.2 rushing yards a game is the fifth best in the league. That’s great because the passing attack of Seattle has been pedestrian at best. Averaging just 208 passing yards a game, the Hawks have the eighth worst aerial offense so far this season.
The Seahawks limit turnovers
Seattle currently has the third best turnover ratio in the league at plus-7. The surprising undefeated Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans currently are at plus-9 each.
Third down conversion needs improvement
It’s a good thing Seattle’s defense has been so good, because they’re getting a lot of work. The Seahawks have converted just 34 percent of their third down attempts. That’s the ninth worst percentage in the league, and none of the eight teams with a worse conversion rate have a winning record. Of those eight teams, only the Detroit Lions have the ball for more than 30 minutes each game, which means Seattle’s defense gets on and off the field quickly.
Seattle commits a lot of penalties for lots of penalty yards
For the time being, Seattle has been able to survive but if this happens in the playoffs, it’s going to come back to bite the Hawks when it matters the most. Seattle has committed 32 penalties, the fifth most in the league, for 269 penalty yards, the eighth most in the league.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.