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Can you believe there are only two weeks left in the regular season? Where has the time gone?
Looking at the overview, the Seahawks aren’t exactly blowing the NFL away with their numbers. The Seahawks are in the middle or bottom half of the NFL in many categories — which is somewhat comforting.
1. Seattle’s home-field advantage?
Over the years, we’ve been fed some fairly strong storylines about how the Seahawks have one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL — but is this actually true in 2018?
Seahawks Home Record Since 2012
The Seahawks were great at home in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 — but not great in 2015, 2017, and 2018. In three of the past four seasons, the Seahawks have had more than two home losses on the season.
Will playing in Seattle be a difficult contest? The answer is yes.
But should we as Chiefs fans be afraid of playing in Seattle more so than any other location? My answer is “ehhhhh.... no”. The hesitation is because Seattle is still a good team, and they were dominant at home for a time period... but it looks like that time period has faded.
2. Seahawks vs good offenses
One area in which I saw the Seahawks were consistently attacked on social media was their lack of success against teams who have a good offense.
The Chiefs have not scored fewer than 26 points in a game all season.— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) December 19, 2018
In the past 3 seasons, the Seahawks are 2-11 in games where they give up 26 or more points.
The Chiefs must turn this game into a shootout if they want to win, but the numbers above are hard to argue with.
The Chiefs offense is going to force the Seahawks to do some things they may not usually do — such as pass the ball more frequently. If the Chiefs can take the Seahawks out of their game, it could spell good things for the Chiefs.
In 2018 particularly, the Seahawks have had a difficult time against top offenses:
In 2018, the Seahawks have faced 3 top 5 PPG offenses (Rams twice, Chargers).— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) December 19, 2018
They lost each game, and their defense allowed 31.3 PPG.
I know the Seahawks are a great team, and I don’t want to diminish their accomplishments, but all the numbers point to the Seahawks having problems with great offensive teams.
3. The Legion of Whom?
Storylines are consistently changing in the NFL, and oftentimes, old narratives die hard. The Seahawks are not the Seahawks of old, and any expectation of the Seahawks pass defense playing great on Sunday should be thrown out the window.
The Seahawks pass defense has the following ranks:— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) December 22, 2018
- Y/A (24th)
- Y/G (20th)
- Rating Allowed (19th)
- TD% (14th)
- INT% (13th)
After two very tough defensive opponents in the Ravens and Chargers, Mahomes is getting a bit of a breather facing the Legion of Whom.
The Seahawks pass defense of old, is just that — old. This version of the Seahawks defense is attackable, and I’m going to paint a comparison that does a good job illustrating what the Chiefs are up against on Sunday.
I mean, we all know the Chiefs have the worst defense in the history of the universe, amirite??? ... but what if I told you the following:
What if I told you the Chiefs pass defense is better or tied with the Seahawks in key metrics like yards per attempt, passer rating allowed, and touchdown percentage?— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) December 22, 2018
Basically Mahomes is facing a pass defense worse than the Chiefs' in Seattle... let that sink in.
If Mahomes does not light up the Seahawks defense, I will be very worried about the Chiefs’ chances of success in the playoffs. If Mahomes struggles in Seattle, that’s a very, very bad sign.
I’m betting on Mahomes playing well, and the Chiefs offense lighting up the scoreboard.
4. Seahawks offensive tendencies
So what exactly are the Seahawks offensively? If their defense is having as many troubles as listed above, how can they have a winning record (8-6)?
Well, the Seahawks offense has carried the team this year — on a side note, we should all expect a shootout in this game.
The Seahawks run a bizarre style of offense, that somewhat reminds me of Alex Smith’s era in Kansas City:
The Seahawks have a unique offense:— Gary McKenzie (@Super_G_Chiefs) December 22, 2018
- 32nd in pass att
- 2nd in rush att
- 3rd in passing TDs
- 17th in rushing TDs
- 1st in turnovers
This is a really odd blend of offense - it looks like the Seahawks run between the 20s, and then look to pass in the red zone.
One thing about the Seahawks is they don’t turn the ball over. Another thing about the Seahawks is they run an odd run/pass blend.
It appears as though the Seahawks want to run a ball control style offense between the 20s, and then open up the passing game towards the red zone.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, they are not good at stopping the run or holding quarterbacks from throwing a lot of touchdown passes. The Chiefs have allowed the ninth-most touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks, and they also allow a league-worst 5.0 yards per rushing attempt.
All signs are indicating this game will be a shootout, and it will probably be close.
5. Quarterback comparison
Many times in tight shootouts, it comes down to which quarterback can carry his team at the end of the game. This is why I think it’s important to run a comparison between Mahomes and Wilson.
|Wilson||8.0 (8th)||8.2 (2nd)||1.6 (5th)||111.6 (4th)|
|Mahomes||8.8 (*1st)||8.7 (1st)||2.1 (14th)||114.8 (2nd)|
One key stat I normally jump towards is passer rating — because I have found passer rating has the highest correlation to winning football games over the years.
Fortunately for the Chiefs, Mahomes has the edge over Wilson in terms of passer rating. However, Wilson is close to Mahomes in many key metrics — pushing me to believe this game will be a shootout, and we’ll have to subject ourselves to even more Chiefs induced stress.