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The StatHawk, Week 16: Ten True Tall Tales

A deca-post full of stats so unbelievable, you'll have practically no choice but to believe it.

3/11 of an opponent's nightmare
3/11 of an opponent's nightmare
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Dear and Esteemed Reader:

You'll be tempted to doubt some of the preposterous claims below. Don't do it. Instead, marvel at what the Recent Hawks have done in the last four games, much of which is outright ridiculous. In a quarter of a season, they've put up numbers that defy reasoning, the NFL record book, and the fabric of math itself.

[NOTE: all quoted stats are post-merger unless otherwise specified.]

1. Did you know...

The Recent Hawks have given up 27 points in their last four games? 108 for the season would shatter the record of 165, authored by the 2000 Ravens. Second best is 189, by the '86 Bears.

If the Hawks were forced, for whatever MachiaGoodellian reason, to play a 48-game season,  they'd allow 324 points at the above rate. 324 points would've still been good for seventh place, last year, in scoring defense.

2. Were you aware...

The Hawks have allowed a puny 51 first downs? That projects out to 204. The season record for a defense is, wait for it but not too long, 204. 1991 Eagles set that one. We're going to hear more from that distinguished crew in a moment.

3. Don't forget that...

The Hawks' opponents at kickoff of the four games had a combined record of 32-14. That's a winning percentage of .696. Or the equivalent of facing an eventual 11-5 team each week.

Context, now. The St. Louis Rams, last season, played in a division sporting one 13-3 team, a 12-4 team and a 10-6 team. Their 16 opponents, at kickoff, were a combined 67-49, or .578 winners.

To look at it another way, the 2014 Raiders, before the season began, also faced a slate of .578 opponents. That included games against all three AFCW playoff teams, two NFCW playoff teams, and the recently 10-6 Cardinals.

Those are nasty schedules. Well, waaah. The Hawks' opponents during this dominant double-fortnight have been 20 percent tougher than what either those Rams or Raiders faced.

4. Enough about that. In case you were wondering...

Sacks are up. 16 registered in the last four games, which projects to a season's worth of 64... good enough for ninth all-time. Yes, all-time. The 1984 Bears logged 72. Last year's leader, Carolina, had 60.

Actual picture of actual sack

5. So that's partially why...

Opponents' drives are dying early, and they are scoring on an impossibly low percentage of their possessions. 5 of 39 drives, to be exact, so 12.8 percent of the time. In the past three years, no team in the NFL has cracked the 25 percent wall in this category. So, to phrase it one way, the Hawks are twice as good right now at limiting scoring drives as the best teams of the last three years.

In the past quarter-century, the 2000 Ravens are the leader here: they posted a scoring drive percentage against of 16.0. Typically, in the '90s, 20 percent would lead the NFL; that rose to 22 percent last decade and 25 percent this mini-decade. (Semi-decade? Quintade? Quintadito? Help me out here.)

6. This makes sense if you realize that...

Opponents aren't getting yards.

The 2013 Denver Broncos, who built themselves quite an offensive reputation through their first 18 games, got 6.3 yards per play call, and allowed 5.3, for a differential of 1.0. Good for second in the league. Second's pretty good.

The 2013 Seattle Seahawks, who built themselves quite a defensive reputation through their first 19 games, were tops, as their 5.6 ypp on offense and 4.4 on defense yielded a 1.2 differential. Go Hawks indeed.

Well, the Recent Seahawks are riding a snazzy 1.6 YPP differential, higher than any team in the last 25 years, besides the Greatest Show On Turf teams of 1999 and 2001 (1.9 and 1.7 respectively).

This is because the Recent Seahawks are allowing an avaricious 3.72 YPP. Only the 2008 Steelers (3.90) and the 1991 Eagles (3.93, toldja) come close.

7. If you're looking for sputtering offenses...

Then opponents' rushing game is a good place to start. You're familiar with backup Seattle RB Robert Turbin, yes? His four-game stat line compares very favorably to the combined stats of each starting RB the Hawks have faced in this glorious quarter-season.

Turbin: 22 touches, 124 yards, 5. 5 avg, 1 TD

Ellington-Gore-McCoy-Gore: 54 touches, 178 yards, 3.3 avg, 1 TD

Yep. Turbo props.

Sorry about that last despicable pun.

8. Digging deeper...

The opponents' deep passing game has been annihilated. Stanton, Kaepernick, Sanchez, and re-Kaepernick have combined to complete 3 of 16 deep passes for a total of 99 yards and one touchdown. In four games. Less than one deep completion per game.

Meanwhile, the Recent Hawks have completed 12 such passes for a total of 311 yards, and also one touchdown.

9. In fact...

The opposition's entire passing attack has essentially ceased to exist for four games.

Their 4.54 Y/A = so laughable

Their average of 107 yards per game through the air = so embarrassing

Their prorated 1708 yards passing over the season = so historically awful. It's 60 percent of what last year's passing yardage loser, Tampa Bay, accomplished.

9. At the risk of CSC-ing y'all to death...

One more yards-related comparison. Since that's an easy one to find matching stats from era to era.

'91 Eagles: 3,549 yards allowed

'08 Steelers: 3,795

'00 Titans: 3,813

Those are the three most impressive defenses, by yardage allowed, of the last quarter century.

Recent Seahawks: just 754 in four games... or 3016 yards over a full season.

Not only does that beat everyone, but it's also 1,362 yards better than the pretty-decent 2013 Seahawks.

10. One last one...

The Hawks have allowed just 10 second half points in four games. You'd think that 40 second half points allowed in a season would lap the field. Well, while the 40 points would set an all-time record, the 1996 Panthers actually carried out something like that level of dominance for an entire season, when they permitted a paltry 56 second-half points.

That's it for now...

Scary thing is, I could go on. Passer rating differential. Third-down conversions. Ball security. All are off the charts. The statistical domination may cease when quality quarterbacks reappear on the schedule, sure. But this is a run of success that doesn't get seen very often. The Seattle Seahawks are combining the best traits of the mid-eighties Bears, the Buddy Ryan Eagles, the '96 Panthers, the early-millennium Bucs, the underrated '08 Steelers, all into a single defensive unit. And often even eclipsing the different standards set by each of those legendary teams.

Yes, it's just for four games. But what a four games it has been.