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Notes from a Sunday: A look at where Seahawks stand after Week 6

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NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks beat the Atlanta Falcons 26-24 on Sunday to improve to 3-0 at home this season. It’s a good start for a team that surprisingly went 5-3 at home a year ago and may need a perfect record at Century Link if they even want to think about making the playoffs and grabbing a top-two seed.

For further information on that and what else is going on after five games, here’s some notes and check-ins with the NFL.

4-1

The Seahawks are 4-1 through five games for the sixth time in franchise history. They have never started 5-0. The other times they started 4-1 were 2013 (Super Bowl), 2006, 2003, 1986, and 1984. They’ve allowed 78 points, which is their lowest allowed since 2012, when they gave up 70 through five games. In 2013, they allowed 81 through five, but scored 137. This year, Seattle has scored 105.

Head to Head

The Seahawks had lost four in a row to the Falcons headed into meeting in Seattle in 2013, but won that game 33-10 and then again on Sunday. They lead the overall series 10-6 now, including playoffs. The Seahawks franchise record against the Cardinals is 17-17, meaning next week’s game is for a tiebreaker. Seattle has won five of the last seven in that meeting.

NFC West

With the LA Rams losing to the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the Seahawks open up a two-game lead in the loss column in the division. The Rams are 3-3 while the Arizona Cardinals are 2-3. With Seattle playing in Arizona next Sunday night, a win would bump them to 5-1 and drop the Cards to 2-4 (to 2-5 or 3-4, as they play on Monday night) giving them a massive lead over their supposed biggest foes.

LA plays the New York Giants in London next week.

Conference standings

The 5-0 Minnesota Vikings are the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL and were on a bye this week. Their schedule intensifies now with three of the next four on the road and home games vs the Lions and Cardinals. The Vikings are in the driver seat in the NFC for now.

The Dallas Cowboys improved to 5-1 with Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and a much improved defense. The Cowboys are on a bye and seem well setup with the next four on their schedule: vs Eagles, at Browns, at Steelers with Big Ben possibly out, vs Ravens. Dallas and Minnesota play each other on December 1.

Seattle is currently third in the NFC but have played one fewer game than the Cowboys. Thanks to their victory over the Falcons, they hold a .5-game lead and the head-to-head tiebreaker over 4-2 Atlanta.

Team stats

The Seahawks are ranked 1st in yards allowed per game, fifth in passing yards allowed per game, fourth in rushing yards allowed per game, and tied for third in points allowed per game, at 15.6. Even after going against the top offense and passing offense in the NFL, Seattle is fourth in QB rating allowed (74.9) and tied for second in passing touchdowns allowed (4). They are also allowing just 3.3 YPC, third best in the NFL.

Individual stats

Russell Wilson is pretty quiet in the stats department so far this year. He’s 12th in completion percentage, seventh in yards per attempt, 12th in passer rating, and averaging just one touchdown per game. However, he has just one interception on 170 attempts. For perspective, Cam Newton has six interceptions on 180 attempts. Aaron Rodgers has four on 181. Carson Palmer has five on 153.

Wilson’s “true season” always starts in November and December. Mitigating mistakes is the most important thing in September and October.

Christine Michael is 15th in rushing yards per game but has four touchdowns in five games. As expected, his yards per carry has dipped to 4.4 with a heavier workload.

Jimmy Graham is averaging 71 yards per game, second in the NFL among tight ends behind only Greg Olsen, who has a totally sustainable 101.7 YPG. (I don’t know, maybe it is sustainable.) Graham has caught 22 of 31 targets and could be the second-most valuable player on offense after Wilson. He really shows how much more dangerous Seattle’s offense is when they have an ultra-reliable big receiving target. Don’t you feel more calm knowing it’s 2nd-and-10 or 3rd-and-7 and the Seahawks have Jimmy Graham?

Doug Baldwin is averaging 72.2 YPG and has caught 28 of 37 targets.

Cliff Avril has four sacks, Michael Bennett has three, and Frank Clark has three in four games. It seems like Clark and Bennett could both return next week in Arizona.

Bobby Wagner has 24 tackles in his last two games after having 20 tackles over the first three games.