FanPost

10 Wins away from average: A look back through Seahawks history and how we stack up

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Victory feels good. It’s that happy place to which we can retreat when life gets us down. It’s the romantic flick cliché of long lost lovers frolicking through a sunny meadow of flowers. And for me, it’s Russell Wilson frolicking with a Lombardi trophy. Er, something to that effect.

But, however awesome the "now" is, I want to look at the "then," and compare the "whole."

In 1976, our beloved Seahawks played their first real NFL game. That day was September 12th, note the number 12, and by nature should have been a fortuitous portent for many championships to come. That day was 72 degrees at game time and was probably awesome to everyone who showed up. Jim Zorn passed for 292 yards. Largent caught 5 balls for 86 yards and we fought hard for a narrow loss of a measly six points. Our first game, despite the loss, could have been considered a success for an expansion team’s first game.

Our next game however, we got crushed by the Washington, uh, there was no controversy over the Redskin name back then, right? 31-7. Zorn threw for 128 yards, 2 picks and no touchdowns. We only amassed 205 yards while surrendering 428. This was the ‘70s. 205 was fine, but 428 was a can of smack down, a taste of humble pie, or any other humiliating food analogy.

We would lose our first five games. Our opponents would nearly double our score and our defense seemed to have their heart set on giving up about 30 points in each contest. We did win our 6th game to our expansion brother Tampa by an ugly score of 13 to 10 and man did they suck. I don’t understand the throwback fans of the cream sickle. Our first season ended with a somewhat expected but disappointing 2-12 record and a -200 point differential.

In 1977 we won 5 games. And in 1978 we had our first winning season. We didn’t make the playoffs, but winning sure feels good. We made the playoffs in 1983, won the division in 1984 and by 1990 had more winning seasons than losing ones.

The Seahawks were on the precipice of exceeding .500 for the first time as a franchise. The stink of the first expansion year was still dragging down the numbers. Our overall club record at that point was 112-116. We were oh so close. And then the palindrome year 1991 happened. It was so mediocre that Ground Chuck left us for the Rams. Sometimes you remember something because of its awesomeness, and then . . . the Seahawks 1992 season. It’s as if we were cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon us; the billowing surge conspired against us; fierce winds became our enemy; the heavens gathered blackness, and all the elements combined to hedge up the way; and above all, the very jaws of hell were upon us. Good thing we had Tez, ami-ite?

So then from 1976 through 1998 we had a club record of 164-192 for a .460 winning percentage. That is something that would be hard to overcome. Losing cultures are usually pretty difficult to change. Wow, Dennis Ericson was mediocre. He was 8-8 in three seasons and 7-9 in one other. For some reason I remember him being worse.

Fortunately for Seahawks fans we had an ace in the deck. He was born in Seattle in 1953. He attended the Lakeside School. He is of Seattle. He has the very Puget Sound running through his veins. His name is Paul Caesar Allen. I don’t care what Wikipedia says. All hail Caesar. And Caesar, is not ok with mediocrity. Ericson had to go. Princeps Allen must dominate the empire and acquire only the best. Enter Michael Maximus Holmgren. The great general yielded one Supebowl appearance before decay rotted out our foundation. Maximus didn’t agree with the new management. Caesar was not deterred. His cunning is unparalleled. He knew that he needed more than just a general, he needed a unified front (office.) He needed a charismatic leader and a warrior behind the scenes. At last, he found Peter Themistocles Carroll and John Aristides Schneider to defeat the Persians perception of a losing franchise. He knew that the Frank Miller versions of these guys were for graphic cinematic effect only and the Greek legend version was far greater.

I’m going to post Paul Allen’s record straight from Pro Football Reference.

Year

Tm

Lg

Job Title

W

L

T

W plyf

L plyf

Playoff Result

1997

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

8

8

0

.500

0

0

1998

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

8

8

0

.500

0

0

1999

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

9

7

0

.563

0

1

Lost WC

2000

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

6

10

0

.375

0

0

2001

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

9

7

0

.563

0

0

2002

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

7

9

0

.438

0

0

2003

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

10

6

0

.625

0

1

Lost WC

2004

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

9

7

0

.563

0

1

Lost WC

2005

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

13

3

0

.813

2

1

Lost SB

2006

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

9

7

0

.563

1

1

Lost Div

2007

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

10

6

0

.625

1

1

Lost Div

2008

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

4

12

0

.250

0

0

2009

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

5

11

0

.313

0

0

2010

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

7

9

0

.438

1

1

Lost Div

2011

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

7

9

0

.438

2012

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

11

5

0

.688

1

1

Lost Div

2013

Seattle Seahawks

NFL

Chairman

13

3

0

.813

3

0

Won SB

Total

17 Years

145

127

0

.533

9

8

Seattle Seahawks

1997-2013

145

127

0

.533

9

8

Tear in my eye. A winning record and a Championship.

So here we are. Back to the present. Let’s see how we stack up against the other franchises in the league. I’ve only included data since 1976, because as far as I’m concerned, the league didn’t exist before that. And it makes for a more level playing field for statistical analysis. ***If you don’t like to look at stats and stuff, you’ll probably just want to skip to the comment section. I’m posting a lot of charts. So look out below.

Team

W

L

T

Win %

Broncos

359

236

1

0.603

Steelers

358

237

1

0.602

Patriots

349

247

0

0.586

49ers

344

250

2

0.579

Cowboys

338

258

0

0.567

Dolphins

333

262

1

0.560

Ravens

158

129

1

0.551

Eagles

320

272

4

0.541

Packers

319

272

5

0.540

Vikings

315

278

3

0.531

Bears

316

280

0

0.530

Giants

307

287

2

0.517

Redskins

307

288

1

0.516

Titans

303

293

0

0.508

Colts

300

295

1

0.504

Raiders

299

297

0

0.502

Chargers

298

298

0

0.500

Seahawks

293

303

0

0.492

Chiefs

286

308

2

0.481

Saints

285

311

0

0.478

Jaguars

144

160

0

0.474

Panthers

144

160

0

0.474

Rams

279

315

2

0.470

Bills

277

319

0

0.465

Jets

273

321

2

0.460

Falcons

270

324

2

0.455

Bengals

261

334

1

0.439

Browns

231

316

1

0.422

Texans

79

113

0

0.411

Cardinals

238

356

2

0.401

Buccaneers

233

362

1

0.392

Lions

230

365

1

0.387

As you can see, we are 10 wins away from a .500 club record. We just need another 13-3 season. That’s completely within the realms of possibility. I don’t know about you, but .500 would feel awesome. It would be new ground on which we’ve never stood. A demarcation of the conquerors and the vanquished. More kills than deaths.

I’m going to pull some nerd out and flop it on the table. I’m a gamer. I try to do it responsibly, but sometimes I let my frustrations out through some headphones and button mashing simulated soldiers to death. I like Call of Duty games because it takes a ton of skill but for the most part is mindless. Once a map is loaded, it’s not unreasonable to run around with a shotgun and rack up 20 kills in 6 minutes. Instant. Mindless. Gratification. And for me, the ecstasy of triumph was the 1.0+ Kill/death ratio. I like the simplicity of it. It’s not wins divided by games played. It is kills divided by deaths. So you can have a positive number rather than all this decimal nonsense. Sometimes I had other stats in mind while playing, but at the end of the day, the only thing that mattered was that I had a positive k/d ratio. I killed more than I died. I look at our beloved Seahawks the same way. I want so badly to point to the boxscore in the sky and shout "Scoreboard!" Do a gangster shrug and walk away. After all, the ‘W’ is all that matters.

Speaking of ‘W’s, I had a little fun with the stats.

Team

W

L

T

Win %

1940s Browns

105

17

4

0.861

The Green Bay Lombardis

80

25

3

0.762

The Regressed Raiders

353

215

8

0.621

The Cleveland Browns began in 1946. In their first 10 seasons they posted that ridiculous winning percentage you see above. Not to mention, they won 7 league championships including their first 5, with an undefeated season in there. They won one other championship in 1964, 3 years before the first Superbowl, and then silence . . . . . And then into the realm of the laughing stock.

The Green Bay Packers only had Vince Lombardi for 9 years. I didn’t know this previously. He is the man after which we name the freaking Superbowl trophy. He did win the first two Superbowls and have quotes like, "Winning isn’t the most important thing, it is the only thing." But he didn’t even compare to those early Browns teams, and I didn’t even bother to look up who that coach was. I guess that would be funnier in context now, because #theBrownsarereallybad.

I guess even a bigger laughing stock than the Browns over the last decade+ is the Oakland Raiders. But it didn’t used to be that way. I regressed the numbers back 10 years on their club record, starting in 1966 and running it over the same 38 year period. It’s easy to forget how good they used to be before this last decade of garbage filth, dead animal pit putridity we have seen lately.

Ok, tangent over. After securing Wins, the next stat worth looking at is point differential. The sample size is sufficient to offer a little context of who has been the most dominant over the last 38 years. Sometimes you’re the foot and sometimes you’re the butt. This stat helps flesh that out a little bit.

Team

Pts

Pts/A

Pt. Diff

49ers

13744

11613

2131

Steelers

12833

10704

2129

Patriots

13544

11648

1896

Broncos

13552

11844

1708

Cowboys

13130

11770

1360

Dolphins

12738

11659

1079

Packers

13203

12132

1071

Eagles

12430

11477

953

Ravens

6072

5352

720

Chargers

13259

12715

544

Vikings

13116

12606

510

Bears

11747

11330

417

Redskins

12405

12074

331

Giants

11775

11769

6

Chiefs

13552

12430

-70

Seahawks

12470

12609

-139

Panthers

6161

6305

-144

Titans

12437

12678

-241

Jaguars

6141

6386

-245

Texans

3900

4447

-245

Saints

12655

12942

-287

Raiders

12385

12720

-335

Rams

12500

13134

-634

Colts

12478

13192

-714

Jets

11762

12506

-744

Bills

11716

12496

-780

Bengals

12298

13279

-981

Falcons

12061

13339

-1278

Browns

10025

11439

-1414

Lions

11753

13417

-1664

Buccaneers

10437

12501

-2064

Cardinals

11175

13749

-2574

This is another area where we can make a turnaround. Last year we had a conference best 189 point differential. If I'm reading the numbers right, then we can outscore our opponents for the first time in club history. Which opponents? All of them. Collectively. We will be standing on the other side of the butt-kicking line.

I like that the Giants are within one touchdown of having a negative point differential. How the heck do they have 4 Championships in the Seahawks lifetime with such a poor differential? I'll be watching this closely in week 1 to see if they lose by more than an Eli Manning pick 6.

I guess sometimes it's good to be lucky. Like the Colts. That really must be a lucky horseshoe on their helmet. Seriously. They have a winning club percentage (.504) but have been outscored by 714 points? That would be like the 2013 Broncos having their record breaking offensive year against them and not being able to answer a single point. Wait, what? You'll still need to spot them more than 100 points just to break even? Maybe I need to find a lucky horseshoe.

Screw you 49ers and Steelers for having the biggest point differentials.

You know, I feel a little bad for the Cardinals. I don't laugh at them like I do the Browns or Raiders. They have simply just been irrelevant. I do want to kick Darnell Dockett in the man sack, but for the most part, I see them for what they've historically been. Awful. It would take nearly 13 years for them to break even in point differential if they had the 2013 Broncos league leading differential of 202. Every year. For 13 years.

Finally, I noticed that the top 4 teams have a higher differential than the rest of the positive teams combined. Same goes for the bottom 4 teams. They have a worse differential than the rest of the negative teams combined. Take from that what you want.

Then comes Offensive and Defensive ranks. These numbers are compiled relative to the rest of the league for every year from 1976 and then averaged out.

Off Rank

Def Rank

Team

Pts

Yds

Team

Pts

Yds

49ers

11.1

11.3

Steelers

8.7

7.7

Patriots

11.4

12.1

Ravens

9.6

9.3

Broncos

11.6

11.0

Patriots

11.7

16.0

Packers

12.2

12.3

Bears

11.9

13.1

Cowboys

12.3

11.1

Dolphins

12.0

15.1

Chargers

12.6

12.6

Eagles

12.4

12.4

Vikings

12.8

11.9

49ers

12.4

12.6

Steelers

13.0

13.7

Cowboys

13.1

12.0

Dolphins

13.6

14.5

Giants

13.1

12.6

Eagles

14.0

14.2

Broncos

13.2

13.7

Saints

14.5

14.8

Packers

13.9

14.1

Seahawks

14.6

17.5

Panthers

14.1

15.1

Chiefs

14.7

16.1

Redskins

14.4

15.1

Titans

14.8

16.3

Buccaneers

15.3

14.2

Raiders

14.9

15.0

Jets

15.4

16.2

Bengals

15.1

14.0

Browns

15.6

17.5

Colts

15.2

15.3

Jaguars

15.8

16.0

Rams

15.4

15.0

Bills

16.0

15.1

Redskins

15.5

13.6

Chiefs

16.0

17.5

Ravens

16.1

19.2

Chargers

16.3

15.7

Falcons

16.3

16.1

Seahawks

16.5

19.3

Jets

17.3

17.3

Titans

16.7

15.8

Giants

17.4

17.6

Vikings

16.7

16.1

Lions

17.6

18.5

Raiders

17.1

15.3

Bears

17.8

18.7

Saints

17.4

15.7

Bills

17.9

16.8

Colts

17.7

19.3

Jaguars

18.2

16.6

Rams

18.5

15.8

Panthers

18.2

20.6

Falcons

18.9

20.8

Texans

19.3

16.3

Bengals

19.1

17.6

Cardinals

19.8

17.4

Lions

19.3

18.0

Browns

20.5

19.4

Texans

20.9

19.2

Buccaneers

22.2

22.1

Cardinals

21.6

18.4

We rank 12th on offense and 21st on Defense.

We tend to focus on the current state of the league. When I think of the 49ers, several punchable faces come to mind, and then I think of them as primarily a defensive brick wall. But, the Bill Walsh years, were as dominant offensively as any dynasty of all time, ever. The Steelers are still the Steelers. That kind of defensive consistency, decade after decade, is impressive. The Ravens are still too new of a team to credit with such longevity, but also impressive.

I enjoyed looking at these stats, but the big picture aspect of this article turned my gears into combining them into one. So I took the offensive ranks from these charts (1-32) and then combined the defensive ranks to come up with my very own "Completeness Ranking." This measures how good a franchise has been on both sides of the ball from the beginning of the Hawks franchise.

Completeness Ranking

Patriots

2.5

Titans

18.0

49ers

4.0

Saints

18.0

Steelers

4.5

Jets

18.5

Cowboys

6.5

Raiders

19.5

Broncos

6.5

Panthers

20.0

Dolphins

7.0

Colts

21.5

Packers

7.5

Jaguars

22.0

Eagles

8.0

Bills

22.0

Ravens

11.0

Rams

22.5

Chargers

13.0

Bengals

22.5

Bears

14.5

Buccaneers

23.0

Vikings

15.0

Browns

23.5

Giants

16.0

Falcons

24.5

Redskins

16.0

Lions

27.0

Chiefs

16.0

Texans

30.0

Seahawks

16.5

Cardinals

31.0


The Patriots have an absurd 2.5 ranking. They were ranked 2nd on Offense and 3rd on Defense. No wonder I'm sick of them winning so much.

The Seahawks on the other hand have been a model of mediocrity, ranking 16th out of 32 teams. At least we're in the top half of the rankings this time. Yay for us.

Finally, the chart you've all been waiting for. The chart of all charts. The one with Superbowls attached.

Team

Win %

SB W

SB L

Broncos

0.603

ii

ooooo

Steelers

0.602

iiii

oo

Patriots

0.586

iii

ooo

49ers

0.579

iiiii

o

Cowboys

0.567

iiii

o

Dolphins

0.560

oo

Ravens

0.551

ii

Eagles

0.541

oo

Packers

0.540

ii

o

Vikings

0.531

o

Bears

0.530

i

o

Giants

0.517

iiii

o

Redskins

0.516

iii

o

Titans

0.508

o

Colts

0.504

i

o

Raiders

0.502

iii

o

Chargers

0.500

o

Seahawks

0.492

i

o

Chiefs

0.481

Saints

0.478

i

Jaguars

0.474

Panthers

0.474

o

Rams

0.470

i

oo

Bills

0.465

oooo

Jets

0.460

Falcons

0.455

o

Bengals

0.439

oo

Browns

0.422

Texans

0.411

Cardinals

0.401

o

Buccaneers

0.392

i

Lions

0.387

So we've come full circle. Back to winning percentage. I decided to use the letters ‘i' and ‘o' to represent wins and losses respectively. I think they look very fitting, and I was getting tired of all the numbers myself. And it's my article so I'll did what I want.

If you look at the top 5 teams, you'll note that they all have a deep winning tradition in multiple decades. If you look at the bottom 5 teams, you'll note the utter futility they've suffered across multiple decades. In fact, the bottom 10 teams could be included in the "it sucks to be a fan of the _____" category.

The top five combine for 18 championships and 30 total appearances out of 38 Superbowls. That's 47.4% of the championships to only 16.8% of the teams. And that's with the numbers properly weighted to account for the expansion teams adding to the total number of teams in the league. There have been on average 29.8 teams while our Hawks have been around.

This list also made me think about how important Championships are. Out of the top ten teams in winning percentage I noticed two that didn't seem to fit. See if we're thinking of the same ones. Go ahead look back up the list. Yep, the Eagles and Dolphins. I always remember them being decent but seriously, the Dolphins have a club .560 winning percentage. I bet if they had a couple Lombardis they would undoubtedly be in the "elite" discussion. I never liked the argument against Hall of Famers like Dan Marino that he doesn't belong in the ‘best ever' discussion because he doesn't have a ring. I mean holy frijoles, that man led a team from Miami to that many wins? But this isn't a discussion of Personal honors. This is a discussion on team success. And Championships are very relevant.

In the coming years, we have an opportunity to make up some of that ground. The trick is to sustain a high level of success for a high number of years. Or in other words, always be good and never be bad. Easy, right? It doesn't matter. After all this talk about the big picture, the "now" is what matters from here on out. We don't have to be mediocre anymore. We don't have to be anything but Superbowl Champions right now. We have a shot in the next few years to look exactly like the Giants. Same amount of winning percentage and championships. Who knows what the future holds, but right now it's pretty darn exciting.

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