Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM
We begin a four-day series of previews with an in-depth statistical look at the NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks’ offense. We’ll be back with you tomorrow to study their defense. Then, we’ll take two days to cover the same ground for the AFC Champion New England Patriots. This week’s media barrage will be telling you all sorts of irrelevant things about this Sunday’s Super Bowl. We’re going to tell you what you need to pick a winner!
A lot to talk about today…so let’s jump right into the numbers…
375.8 yards-per-game (#9 in the NFL)
5.9 yards-per-play (#6 in the NFL)
Seattle’s defense usually gets the bulk of media coverage when talking about excellence. Running back Marshawn Lynch makes too many headlines for obscene gestures or not talking to the media rather than his force-of-nature impact at the point of attack. Handicappers can’t make the mistake of overlooking how dangerous and multi-dimensional this offense was last year during its NFL championship run, and again this year in its return engagement. They rank #6 on a per-play basis, which is important here because a slow pace limits their raw volume. This isn’t the Philadelphia Eagles racking up high volume yardage while losing the ball. This is a champion racking up a lot of very important yardage while giving its defense time to rest.
Think about this: Seattle is #6 on a per-play basis even though they don’t throw the ball a lot…and they’re still top 10 per game even though their emphasis is on running the clock. That’s as lethal as it can get in the modern NFL.
172.6 yards-per-game (#1 in the NFL, by a mile)
5.3 yards-per-carry (#1 in the NFL, by a mile)
32.8 carries-per-game: (#2 in the NFL, trailing only Houston)
Nobody runs the ball like Seattle. It’s a traditional smash-mouth offense that seems to have taken things to a whole new level because THAT wasn’t supposed to work any more in the modern game. Defenses know how to build a wall at the point of attack…how to plug the gaps with huge nose guards and fleet linebackers…how to hold running backs to mostly undamaging yards as they worry more about the quarterback. Seattle is blowing holes in those walls and running roughshod over the league. One of your first keys to handicapping Seahawks/Patriots is evaluating New England’s run defense. If they can’t at least contain this element, they don’t have a chance. This is how Seattle beats people, then protects its leads.
203.1 yards-per-game (#27 in the NFL)
7.7 yards-per-pass (#6 in the NFL)
28.4 passes-per-game: (#32 in the NFL, dead last)
Very important data here. Seattle throws fewer passes than anyone else in football, so it’s easy to think of them as a team that “can’t” pass. That’s far from the truth. On a per-pass basis, they’re #6 in the league! This is an effective passing team that chooses not to pass much of the time…rather than an ineffective passing attack whose only hope is to run the ball. Russell Wilson isn’t Tom Brady. He’s not some in-over-his-head scrub either. Be sure you give this passing offense its proper respect.
14 in the regular season (#3 in the NFL)
Seattle (like New England) has always placed a huge emphasis on protecting the ball. What really launched the Seahawks to historic greatness last year was their turnover differential. They had so much going for them…and THEN they also got the best of it in the risk/reward area. The same is true this year. This is why the turnover debacle vs. Green Bay was such a stunner. This isn’t a team that makes those kinds of mistakes. They’d better not do that again or New England will make them pay!
In summary…Seattle has a potent, multi-dimensional offense that protects the ball, wears down defenses, and gives their own defense time to rest. It was a recipe for success last year, and could well be that again this Sunday if the team can regain peak intensity. Please don’t think of your handicapping challenge as “New England’s great offense vs. Seattle’s great defense.” It’s a lot more complicated than that…largely because Seattle’s offense isn’t as respected as it should be.
Now that you have a taste of this format, you can see how important this week’s NOTEBOOK articles are going to be! As you’re gearing up for Super Bowl Sunday, be sure you’re building bankroll every night in the baskets! JIM HURLEY is cashing winners in the colleges and the NBA knowing his clients will let those winnings ride this weekend.
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Here’s the rest of this week’s NOTEBOOK schedule…
Wednesday: Analysis of the Seattle Seahawks’ DEFENSE
Thursday: Analysis of the New England Patriots’ OFFENSE
Friday: Analysis of the New England Patriots’ DEFENSE
Saturday: Super Bowl preview with JIM HURLEY’S key indicators
Sunday: Super Bowl game day notes
Seahawks/Patriots is really going to be something special. We’re confident our analysis will help you make smart choices this weekend. If you still can’t decide what to do…BIG, JUICY WINNERS are always just a few clicks away right here at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!
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