Correlation is not causation. Trends are not facts. One, or four, occurrences do not mean that the fifth will result in the same. But I discovered an interesting stat looking back on the Seahawks games this year.
When the Seahawks score EXACTLY 23 points, they are 4-0.
Sunday, Sept 29th
Richard Sherman, relying on his intense film study of tendencies, directs his defense to pressure Houston QB Matt Schaub into a forced throw which he adeptly picks and returns (shoeless!) for a TD to tie the game at 20. That score finished off a 20-point comeback by the Hawks and Steven Hauschka kicks the game-winner in overtime.
Sunday, Dec 15th
A stifling defense breaks the hearts of Giants fans everywhere (and a car dealership in the PNW) when they shut out Big Blue. 5 Eli picks lead to 23 Seattle points.
23-0, (-$420,000 for Jet Chevrolet)
Saturday, Jan 11th
With time running low, Marshawn Lynch takes a handoff left and doesn’t stop until Skittles rain down from the heavens. The Seahawks (kinda) hold off a late scoring drive attempt by the Saints to move on to the NFC Championship game against the rival 49ers.
Sunday, Jan 19th
As the clock winds down, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick attempts a pass that many have foolishly attempted: the fade/go up the right sideline against Richard Sherman. Sherman times his jump, tips the pass up and watches it fall into the waiting arms of Malcolm Smith to seal the game and a Super Bowl berth for the Hawks.
So what does it mean? It means this team has a damn good defense, an effective offense, and a penchant for closing out close, or not so close, games. It means that the Hawks can shut down opposing offenses to the point that even an average output by special teams and the offense can yield a victory.
And it means nothing.
23 points does not guarantee a victory. If we had scored exactly 23 points in every game, we would have finished the season 14-2 (one better than our actual record). It would have included a loss to the Buccaneers at home, but wins against division rivals San Francisco in San Fran and Arizona in Seattle. But it holds no mystical powers of the cosmos that insures the Trophy of Trophies coming the Emerald City.
But I’d gladly take 23 points and our defense in the snow of New Jersey. And maybe 23 is our number this year.