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Cherry-Picked Hope: Seattle's Three Stasticial Saving Graces

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The Philadelphia Eagles' DVOA is 38.6%.

The Seattle Seahawks DVOA is -19.0%.

Advanced Football Stats gives Seattle a 14% chance of winning.

I used to run a series of articles analysing the statistical "matchups" in that week's contest. I've since abandoned it because I don't buy its method or accuracy and think it "succeeded" a bit by throwing it all against the wall and hoping people remember what stuck. But on this day when I haven't the time to do it right, I thought I'd revisit that thinking and offer three stastical "mismatches" that could just save Seattle's season.

First, Seattle's two productive receivers, its tight end John Carlson and fullback Leonard Weaver, match Phillies weakest links in pass coverage.

John Carlson: 20.0% (14th)

Philly D defending TEs: 27.4% (25th)

Leonard Weaver: 42.8% (8th)

Philly D defending RBs: 32.1% (29th)

The short passing game returned last week, and that's a least partly because of Seneca Wallace. People who see Wallace as only the inferior backup to Matt Hasselbeck miss that this season Wallace has outperformed Hasselbeck throwing short, evading pass rush and throwing deep. A week ago, neither Julius Jones nor Leonard Weaver had positive receiving value, now they are the spark that could ignite this dormant pass offense.

And second, not so much a mismatch as get out of jail free card.

Seattle D defending #1 receivers: 60.5% (31st)

No fan needs that stat explained, but here's the twist.

Eagles #1 Receiver DeSean Jackson: -5.9% (54th)

How is it that Jackson, perhaps the most impactful rookie in this year's class, the best receiver on a passing offense that's jumped 10 places and 20.6% DVOA, is a below average per play receiver? Well, it has a little do to with the flawed nature of individual DVOA and a little to do with Jackson's inconsistency and garbage yards. But for a Seattle team that's made every #1 receiver look like Torry Holt circa 2001, hope, however flawed, is sweeter than wild cherries.