Hawks holding opposing offenses to 65% of their usual output in 2013

Jonathan Ferrey

Since the Seahawks are facing a high-octane offense in the Super Bowl, and they've had good games this year against the Saints, I was curious to see how many points the Broncos could be expected to score if Seattle dampened his game to the level that we dampened Brees.

First, I was surprised to find that the Saints' per-game average, excluding games against us, was 27.1 points per game, which is good but not much more than the ground-and-pound 49ers' average: 26.9. (Ours is 25.7 per game.)

None of these are comparable to the Broncos' 36.4 average, which includes the two conservative playoff games. That's a gaudy number. (I didn't hear too many rumblings about the Broncos running up the score this year, but is it possible they were just letting Manning run wild for the record while a different team might have chosen to back off the gas? I didn't watch enough of their games in whole to know if this is the case.)

At any rate, the Hawks held the Saints to 41% of their usual offensive production, with an 11-point average in 2 games. That would put the Broncos' curbed point total at 15 points for our meeting. Cool, huh?

Of course, Seattle did not curb every team so effectively. Our worst game of the year was against the Colts, giving them 143% of the points they scored against the other teams in the league. (Indy's season average was 23.8 points against everyone except us, who spotted them 34.) That kind of performance would give the Broncos 52 points in the Super Bowl. Yuck.

If we take a look at the season overall, though, we find that the Hawks held teams to 65.5% of their usual offensive output:

(Team --- v. Seattle --- v. others -- difference)

Panthers: ----- 7 --------- 23.9 ----- 29%
49ers (x3): --- 13 avg. --- 26.9 --- 48%
Jaguars: ------ 17 ---------15.3 ---- 111%
Texans: ------ 20 -------- 17.1 ----- 117%
Colts: --------- 34 --------- 23.8 ---- 143%
Titans: -------- 13 --------- 23.3 ---- 56%
Cards (x2): --- 19.5 av. --- 24.3 -- 80%
Rams (x2): --- 9 avg. ----- 23.6 --- 38%
Bucs: --------- 24 -------- 17.6 ----- 136%
Falcons: ----- 10 --------- 22.9 ----- 44%
Vikings: ----- 20 --------- 24.7 ----- 81%
Saints (x2): -- 11 avg. ---- 27.1 -- 41%
Giants: ------- 0 ---------- 19.6 ----- 0%

That average, if we extrapolate it, would give the Broncos a probable 24 points for the Super Bowl. That number sounds to mean like a reasonable threshold of what you could expect the defense to hold the Broncos to. (They can't be expected to shut down every drive, after all.)

Which means: Bevell should probably be gameplanning thinking he'll need between 27-32 points to prevail, which will mean opening things up slightly more than we've been seeing as of late. Seattle will need a little more of ol' Big Balls Pete.

(Incidentally, the betting over/under for the game is between 47.5 and 48.5, which means a lot of other people see it the same way: 24 points will either just win it or just lose it.)

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