Reviewing the Seattle Seahawks 2009 Season

A challenging end to a challenging year. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The 2009 season started well for the Seattle Seahawks, with a shutout win against the hapless Rams. Unfortunately for Seahawks fans, and Jim Mora, it was pretty much downhill from there. They would win only four more games last year, to finish with a 5-11 record. With Jim Mora taking over for Mike Holmgren, there was hope that some new blood would re-invigorate the team that had made 5 straight playoff appearances in the middle of the decade. The problem seemed to be that new blood was needed in more places than just the HC position. Walter Jones and Matt Hasselbeck had both been battling injuries in recent years, and neither were up to their former standards this year either. Certainly, there were other issues as well, as the defense did not perform particularly well last season. But, that is the purpose of this post. The Seahawks are next in my series of 2009 NFL Season Reviews.

In this post, I will follow the same format as with the other season review posts. The formula is described in this paragraph. First, we will look at the team’s Offensive and Defensive values and ranks for total yards, points, passing and rushing. This will give a general feel for the team’s season. Next, we have a set of tables that compares the team’s points scored and allowed as well as their total yards, and passing and rushing yards, gained and allowed for each game. These values will be compared with the respective opponent’s corresponding averages, with the differences between the team’s value and the opponent’s average calculated. Finally, I included a sum of the differences for the entire season. This should give a good indication of how the team’s various units performed with respect to their opposition as well as which units performed better or worse. (Note: All stats are from Pro-Football-Reference.com)

With that background description, let’s see how the Seahawks performed this season. First, we’ll look at their raw numbers in terms of offensive and defensive yards and league rankings.

Team Offense Value Rank   Team Defense Value Rank
Points 280 25   Points 390 25
Yards 5069 21   Yards 5703 24
Cmp 372   Cmp 374
Att 609   Att 568
Pass Yards 3503 15   Pass Yards 3927 30
NY/A 5.4 24   NY/A 6.6 24
Pass TD 20 20   Pass TD 27 24
Pass INTs 19 23   Pass INTs 13 22
Rush Yards 1566 26   Rush Yards 1776 15
Rush TD 7 27   Rush TD 17 24
Y/A 4 27   Y/A 4.1 13
Sacks 41 23   Sacks 28 T-26

Table 1

As I mentioned in the introduction, Seattle struggled on both sides of the ball, ranked in the bottom third in yards and points scored and allowed. The strengths of the team look to be passing offense and rushing defense, both ranked 15th. But, in just about every other category they are in the bottom third of the league.

Now that we’ve looked at the general overview, let’s look at the game by game statistical tables. Table 2 contains the Seahawks’ points scored and allowed in each game next to the opponents’ average defensive points allowed and average offensive points scored. It also shows Seattle’s points scored minus the opponent’s average points allowed and their  points allowed minus the opponent’s average points scored. For the Diff1 column, a positive number would be good, while for the Diff2 column, a negative number would be good.


Sea Pts Opp D
Opp Pts Opp O
Opp Score Avg Pt Diff1 Score Avg Pt Diff2
St. Louis Rams 28 27.25 0.75 0 10.94 -10.94
San Francisco 49ers 10 17.56 -7.56 23 20.63 2.38
Chicago Bears 19 23.44 -4.44 25 20.44 4.56
Indianapolis Colts 17 19.19 -2.19 34 26 8
Jacksonville Jaguars 41 23.75 17.25 0 18.13 -18.13
Arizona Cardinals 3 20.31 -17.31 27 23.44 3.56
Dallas Cowboys 17 15.63 1.38 38 22.56 15.44
Detroit Lions 32 30.88 1.13 20 16.38 3.63
Arizona Cardinals 20 20.31 -0.31 31 23.44 7.56
Minnesota Vikings 9 19.5 -10.5 35 29.38 5.63
St. Louis Rams 27 27.25 -0.25 17 10.94 6.06
San Francisco 49ers 20 17.56 2.44 17 20.63 -3.63
Houston Texans 7 20.81 -13.81 34 24.25 9.75
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7 25 -18 24 15.25 8.75
Green Bay Packers 10 18.56 -8.56 48 28.81 19.19
Tennessee Titans 13 25.13 -12.13 17 22.13 -5.13
Sum Difference     -72.13     56.69

Table 2

In this table, both the offense and defense were about equally poor. Neither was absolutely terrible, but two below average units will certainly lead to many losses. Table 3 below confirms what we see in Table 2.


Sea Yds Opp D
Opp Yds Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Yd Diff1 Gained Avg Yd Diff2
St. Louis Rams 446 372.81 73.19 247 279.38 -32.38
San Francisco 49ers 283 326.38 -43.38 379 290.75 88.25
Chicago Bears 346 337.75 8.25 318 310.31 7.69
Indianapolis Colts 279 339.19 -60.19 431 363.06 67.94
Jacksonville Jaguars 379 352.31 26.69 199 336.56 -137.56
Arizona Cardinals 128 346.44 -218.44 344 344.38 -0.38
Dallas Cowboys 308 315.88 -7.88 362 399.38 -37.38
Detroit Lions 397 392.13 4.88 300 299 1
Arizona Cardinals 472 346.44 125.56 462 344.38 117.63
Minnesota Vikings 212 305.5 -93.5 431 379.63 51.38
St. Louis Rams 265 372.81 -107.81 364 279.38 84.63
San Francisco 49ers 292 326.38 -34.38 356 290.75 65.25
Houston Texans 282 324.88 -42.88 450 383.06 66.94
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 380 365.56 14.44 339 287.5 51.5
Green Bay Packers 291 284.44 6.56 417 379.06 37.94
Tennessee Titans 309 365.63 -56.63 304 351.44 -47.44
Sum Difference     -405.5     385

Table 3

Again, as with the points differentials in Table 2, we see that the cumulative yardage differential for the season is just about equal, with the offensive differential only 20 yards worse than the defensive differential. The next two tables will help to show which aspects of offense and defense were more to blame.


Sea P-Yd Opp D
Opp P-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Pa Diff1 Gained Avg Pa Diff2
St. Louis Rams 279 235.25 43.75 170 167.88 2.13
San Francisco 49ers 217 229.38 -12.38 123 190.75 -67.75
Chicago Bears 243 211.38 31.63 233 217.06 15.94
Indianapolis Colts 230 212.69 17.31 353 282.19 70.81
Jacksonville Jaguars 236 235.88 0.13 161 209.75 -48.75
Arizona Cardinals 114 233.69 -119.69 282 251 31
Dallas Cowboys 229 225.38 3.63 249 267.94 -18.94
Detroit Lions 342 265.56 76.44 186 198 -12
Arizona Cardinals 308 233.69 74.31 340 251 89
Minnesota Vikings 208 218.38 -10.38 271 259.75 11.25
St. Louis Rams 95 235.25 -140.25 251 167.88 83.13
San Francisco 49ers 185 229.38 -44.38 303 190.75 112.25
Houston Texans 220 217.94 2.06 365 290.88 74.13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 252 207.38 44.63 205 185.94 19.06
Green Bay Packers 176 201.13 -25.13 264 261.25 2.75
Tennessee Titans 169 258.69 -89.69 171 189.44 -18.44
Sum Difference     -148     345.56

Table 4


Sea R-Yd Opp D
Opp R-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Ru Diff1 Gained Avg Ru Diff2
St. Louis Rams 167 137.56 29.44 77 111.5 -34.5
San Francisco 49ers 66 97 -31 256 100 156
Chicago Bears 103 126.38 -23.38 85 93.25 -8.25
Indianapolis Colts 49 126.5 -77.5 78 80.88 -2.88
Jacksonville Jaguars 143 116.44 26.56 38 126.81 -88.81
Arizona Cardinals 14 112.75 -98.75 62 93.38 -31.38
Dallas Cowboys 79 90.5 -11.5 113 131.44 -18.44
Detroit Lions 55 126.56 -71.56 114 101 13
Arizona Cardinals 164 112.75 51.25 122 93.38 28.63
Minnesota Vikings 4 87.13 -83.13 160 119.88 40.13
St. Louis Rams 170 137.56 32.44 113 111.5 1.5
San Francisco 49ers 107 97 10 53 100 -47
Houston Texans 62 106.94 -44.94 85 92.19 -7.19
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 128 158.19 -30.19 134 101.56 32.44
Green Bay Packers 115 83.31 31.69 153 117.81 35.19
Tennessee Titans 140 106.94 33.06 133 162 -29
Sum Difference     -257.5     39.44

Table 5

Based on these numbers, the passing defense and rushing offense were the biggest weaknesses on the team. Referring back to Table 1, the pass protection was also not wonderful, but that is probably exacerbated by the lack of a rushing threat. From this, we would expect the Seahawks to target either the best OT or the best DB that they can get with their first draft pick this year. Either way, they obviously need help in both the secondary and on the OL. OL may be the bigger need, because it would help improve both the running and passing offense. At the same time, an improved rushing offense would probably help the passing defense by keeping the players fresher. It will be interesting to see what direction new head coach Pete Carroll will take this team.

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