Gallant: Seahawks can’t really keep up historic TD rate, right? Think again
Think we’re running out of ways to tell you how impressive the Seahawks’ offense has been?
• They’ve scored an NFL-high 23 TDs. That’s two more than any other team – and they’re coming off a bye week!
• They’ve ATTEMPTED just two field goals. That’s five less than any other team in the league. And somehow, 32 other kickers have more attempts than Jason Myers.
• And they have an historic red zone offense. They’re scoring touchdowns on 88.9% of their possessions.
That last bullet point is particularly impressive. Yes, they’ve only played five games, but that’s over 10% more than every NFL leader (averaging a 70.59% TD rate) going all the way back to 2003.
• 2019 Tennessee Titans: 77.36%
• 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers: 73.47%
• 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars: 68.97%
• 2016 Tennessee Titans: 72%
• 2015 Carolina Panthers: 69.44%
• 2014 Oakland Raiders: 71.43%
• 2013 Denver Broncos: 72.73%
• 2012 Green Bay Packers: 68.52%
• 2011 Detroit Lions: 66.13%
• 2010 Indianapolis Colts: 66.67%
• 2009 Arizona Cardinals: 69.84%
• 2008 Indianapolis Colts: 66.67%
• 2007 New Orleans Saints: 72%
• 2006 San Diego Chargers: 69.23%
• 2005 San Diego Chargers: 70%
• 2004 San Diego Chargers: 69.23%
• 2003 Kansas City Chiefs: 76.27%
Better than the historic ’13 Broncos (again, hehe). Better than the historic ’07 Patriots, who were second in 2007 with a 70.24% TD rate. And while the website I used – TeamRankings.com – didn’t keep tabs on red zone stats prior to 2003, it’s safe to assume that five weeks of Seattle’s red zone offense has all of NFL history…
… feeling blue.
“Ugh, Pawl, you’re such a SCHILL.”
Time for the obvious yet depressing question: There’s no way they can keep this up, right?
“Classic Pawl, always talking bad about the Seahawks!”
You’d think so, but offenses have eviscerated 2020. Arizona (80%), Tennessee (78.26%), Tampa Bay (77.27%), Minnesota (75%), Cleveland (75%), Buffalo (73.91%), and even Philly (73.33% somehow) have scored red zone TDs at a super-historic rate too. The league is calling more pass interference and less holding, and it’s resulted in preposterous amounts of offense. Why would that slow down? Especially for an offense featuring Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Greg Olsen and Chris Carson?
The NFC West could bring Seattle’s offense back to the pack. Six games combined against Arizona (the ninth-ranked defense per DVOA), San Francisco (11th) and Los Angeles (13th) will be the biggest tests in Russell Wilson’s 2020 MVP campaign. But I think it’s unlikely. The Cardinals haven’t faced an offense with the Seahawks’ firepower yet (thanks Andy Dalton), the 49ers look nothing like last year’s dominant D, and the Rams have only beaten up on NFC East teams.
The cupcake buffet-esque rest of the Seahawks’ schedule sure won’t challenge them. They still have three more games against the NFC East – Washington, the Giants and the Eagles – plus the Jets, an early candidate for the worst team of all-time. And while the Bills are respectable, their defense (29th) has faceplanted through a folding table in 2020.
The biggest potential road blocks the rest of the way? Injuries – which happen randomly – and the weather. The ’20 Seahawks offense is built to air it out, and as we saw last year against Baltimore and a little over a week ago against Minnesota, Russell Wilson and wintry PNW weather don’t always mix.
The Seahawks changed their offensive approach in 2020. They’ve focused the offense around their best player. They aren’t running the ball in disadvantageous situations seemingly for the sake of running the ball. They won’t play an elite defense the rest of the season. And they have a trebuchet-esque (you thought I wouldn’t bring this back?) offensive connection featuring the MVP favorite and a budding superstar wide receiver.
So to sum up my long-winded answer to that obvious yet depressing question? Wrong. They can.