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How the Seahawks perform in the game after an offensive dud

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Do they usually come back stronger or do they continue to struggle?

Seattle Seahawks v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Newsflash: The Seattle Seahawks offensive showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was atrocious. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. It can be quite discouraging, and calls for giant gameplan changes and #firebevell are inevitable every time something like this happens (far too often this season), but how do they do the week after games like this one?

Since the start of 2013, Russell Wilson and the offense have scored 14 points or less 11 times, including their loss to the Bucs. This season alone, they have scored less than 14 points five times. In 2015 it was only twice, in 2014 it was only once in a defensive battle against Carolina, and in 2013 it was three times.

So what does an average game for Wilson and the offense look like when they score 14 points or less?*

  • Wilson: 19/30 for 215 yards, .8 TD, .7 INT with a rating of 84.6
  • Rushing: Wilson 28 yards, everyone else 62 yards, for 90 yards total & .1 TDs
  • Total Offense: 305 yards, 31% third down conversion rate and 1.4 turnovers, 11 points

*Does not include games from Week 1 and Week 2 of this year, due to Wilson playing with injuries

Biggest thing that stands out, when they do score a touchdown in these low scoring affairs, it’s typically through the air, as the running game doesn’t produce much at all. Also third downs suffer, and they average over one turnover in each game.

Everyone would think that the offense would come back the following week, led by their #NoTime2Sleep quarterback, to correct their mistakes and play lights out and blow up the score board, right? Wrong.

Average game for Wilson and the offense the week after scoring 14 points or less:

  • Wilson: 16 for 28 for 218 yards, 1 TD, .8 INT with a rating of 86.5
  • Rushing: Wilson 24 yards, everyone else 107 yards for a total of 131 yards and 1.5 TDs
  • Total Offense: 349 yards, 38% third down conversion rate and .9 turnovers, 23 points

*Does not include games from Week 2 and Week 3 of this year, due to Wilson playing with injuries

So what does that tell us? Wilson’s play is almost identical, as he doesn’t typically come out uber-efficient the following week after a turd game. Which is a bit surprising. Wilson and coach Carroll are great self evaluators, and you would think they would have the passing game right back on track.

However, the running game picks up a lot. Yards by running backs increase by 44 yards, while also scoring more, at 1.5 touchdowns per game. For some reason, there’s also an average of two extra field goals per game after the examples. (We’d prefer to see touchdowns though, right?)

So if Wilson averages one touchdown, the running game averages another 1.5, and special teams contribute 1.8 field goals, that gets us right to the average of 23 points per game; which isn’t lighting the NFL on fire, but is a definite improvement. That’s a decent output to expect the offense to put up against the Panthers on Sunday. But don’t expect that to be Seattle’s final total. Because more times than not (five times out of eight) the defense has provided a touchdown of their own, adding 4.4 more points on average, bringing the average score up to just over 27 points per game.

That may make even more sense this week given that Earl Thomas, DeShawn Shead, Michael Bennett, and Mike Morgan could all be returning to light a fire under the offense’s collective asses.

Remember, the Seahawks still have not lost by more than 10 points since 2011. That means every one of these games when the offense fails to score more than 14 points, the defense is still doing its job, keeping the team in games. This historically great defense over the past five years, digs even deeper after these offensively inept games, and does everything they can to find a way to do more by scoring themselves.

So history tells us that Wilson is going to play just a decent game, the running game is going to have an increase in production, Steve Hauschka is going to contribute two field goals, and the defense might even add to the score. Here’s the final stat lines to look for on Sunday against the Panthers.

  • Russell Wilson: 16 for 27 for 217 yards, 59%, 8 YPA, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • Thomas Rawls: 85 yards, 1 TD
  • Steve Hauschka: 2/2 field goals
  • Defense or special teams: 1 TD (Tyler Lockett is due)

On another note: Happy 28th birthday to Russell Wilson. May you prove my stat line wrong by quadrupling the touchdowns and erasing the interception.