Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Special Teams and Defense

With all the talk about the 42 points last week, the Bear's defense and Shawn's foot, I wanted to talk about some of the OTHER things that may make or break Sunday's game. Neither offence is at 100% so what else could change the game?
First: The Seahawks defense has been good so far, but not great. There is cause for optimism, however. Look:
  • 5 forced fumbles (I love alliteration!) with 3 recovered by Tatupu, Hill and Fisher and 4 interceptions (Boulware and Hamlin each have two) gives us a mighty +1 turnover differential, which is 10th in the NFL.
  • 9 sacks (Peterson and Tapp both with two) has us 9th in the NFL with Cinci.
  • We've committed 26 penalties on defense. That's the second most in the NFL and puts us right next to, well Chicago (27) and San Francisco (26). I can't decide if that's good or bad... but I'm leaning towards bad.
  • We give up a little over 15 points a game, which is in the top third of the NFL.
  • Teams convert on 3rd down about once every three times against us. Again, this puts us at the bottom of the top third of defenses in the NFL.

Conclusion? We're improved from last season but are not an elite unit yet. We have a fairly easy schedule after Chicago, so I'm not looking for the D to get any worse, that's for sure. We're good against the run, especially when teams try to bounce it outside. We're better than the Giants thought in the secondary. The weakness? Running it up the middle. If you can do that, our defense starts to bend. Chicago can't do this.

Second: This whole post started with me thinking about how much our special teams suck. Plackemeier has been an improvement from last year (over 46 yards a punt), but we still suck on returns. My main hope is for Jimmy and Willy to hold onto the damn ball! We only average 8 yards on punt returns for crying out loud.

We're also especially bad at kick-off coverage, giving up over 25 yards every why-the-hell-is-Kaz-in-there time. I think this has the greatest potential to change the game next Sunday. Chicago is in or near the top then NFL teams when it comes to punt and kick returns. Devin Hester has already scored once on a punt return this year. The Seahawks need to keep the Chicago defense and special teams from scoring in order to win this game. Can they? I give them a 50/50 chance.

posted by nach @ 11:47 AM  0 comments

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