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Seahawks fall outside top 15 offenses in new ranking

Seahawks RB Chris Carson rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2018. (AP)

On Wednesday, NFL.com released its list of the Top 10 offenses in the league heading into the 2019 season. Coming in at No. 1 overall? The New Orleans Saints. There’s an argument to be made for the Kansas City Chiefs (which came in at No. 6) and Los Angeles Rams (No. 5) here, but for list-maker Chris Wesseling, the Saints inched into the top spot thanks to hits other teams took in the offseason. Fair.

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Not fair? The Seahawks’ ranking – at least according to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil and Brock Huard.

Seattle fell just outside the Top 15, behind the Dallas Cowboys, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, and New England Patriots.

For O’Neil, that ranking is based more on dated ideas about the team’s strengths, rather than on actual statistics from 2018.

“The Seahawks ranked in the Top 10 in points scored, generally, in the years under (former offensive coordinator) Darrell Bevell when they were going to Super Bowls. And everybody dismissed it and pointed to the defense and it gave them a short porch, all the different things that are there,” O’Neil said. “You cannot use that explanation now. That was an above-average offense last year, paired with a below-average defense. Statistically. If you said they had a below-average offense in 2013, I wouldn’t necessarily agree, but you can make that argument. The idea that they are not in the top half of the league in offense right now flies in the face of every observable fact about it, and it just means that, ‘Well, they didn’t pass as much as other teams did.’ It’s crazy; it’s nuts.”

Seattle led the league in rushing yards per game (160) and total rushing yards (2,560) last season, and saw its first 1,000-plus yard running back in four years (Chris Carson; 1,151 yards). The Seahawks also ranked sixth-overall in points per game (26.8).

“Do you know how hard it is to run the football?” Huard said. “When you do it better than anybody else, and you move people and you dominate people, and you run even when they know you’re going to run? You can mock Brian Schottenheimer all you want for that, but do you know how difficult it is to run in this league and break another man’s will? When you do that — and you accomplish it — it can bear massive fruit. Fruit like going to back-to-back Super Bowls, fruit like winning 10 games when you were supposed to win six, like more explosive plays than anybody else, like top-10 scoring, and fruit like running for nearly 300 yards against the Rams.”

There are certainly weaknesses to Seattle’s offensive philosophy, and chief among those might be an unwillingness to bend – pointed out by O’Neil, who countered, “Fruit like the playoff game against Dallas?” – a nod toward Seattle’s postseason loss. Even with that critique, though, both hosts felt the Seahawks’ offense should be ranked higher. Listen to the full conversation here.

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