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The Seahawks are generating turnovers again, but the offense isn’t capitalizing

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks defense has literally scored more points off of turnovers than the offense.

...Okay, apparently I can’t just publish this article and have everyone let that fact stew in their minds for a little bit, but it’s true. Last season, the Seahawks generated a franchise-low 19 takeaways, and didn’t manage a single interception following Earl Thomas’ injury. With seven games left to go in the 2017 regular season, Seattle’s already at 15 takeaways, which is top-10 in the NFL. Turnovers are often random and sometimes it’s just luck, but it’s good to see the Seahawks defense (and special teams!) being ballhawks again.

Seattle’s defense has turned three of those turnovers into touchdowns, with Bobby Wagner scoring on a fumble return, while Justin Coleman and Earl Thomas have one pick-six apiece. That’s 21 points by the defense, which is the type of valuable secondary scoring Seattle did not get in 2016. As for the offense? Ehhhhhhhh.

Subtracting the three defensive touchdowns, plus the eventual kneeldown on Richard Sherman’s game-clinching interception against the Houston Texans, Seattle’s offense has had 11 possessions off of takeaways. They have scored a grand total of 16 points, which is painfully inefficient. Here are the basic drive stats:

Eleven Seahawks offensive possessions following a takeaway

Opponent Starting field position Plays Yards End result
Opponent Starting field position Plays Yards End result
Green Bay 50 3 8 Punt
San Francisco OPP 36 9 27 Field Goal
LA Rams OWN 20 8 29 Punt
LA Rams OPP 30 3 15 Interception
LA Rams OWN 29 3 -2 Punt
LA Rams OPP 46 3 8 Punt
LA Rams OPP 20 3 3 Field Goal
NY Giants OPP 38 1 38 Touchdown
Houston OPP 08 4 5 Field Goal
Washington OPP 42 3 3 Punt
Arizona OPP 48 3 -3 Punt

You’re reading that correctly! The Seahawks have started at no worse than midfield nine times out of these eleven possessions, and somehow they’ve failed to score any points more often than they’ve actually put points on the board. Six punts, three field goals, one interception, and one touchdown is not going to cut it, especially when two of those field goal drives started in the red zone.

As if those numbers weren’t discouraging enough, Seahawks opponents have scored 34 points off of just nine turnovers, which breaks down to four touchdowns, two field goals, and three punts. That means the Seahawks are giving up roughly 3.78 points per giveaway, which is on pace to be the highest in the Pete Carroll era, and are just +2 in net-point differential despite having a turnover margin of +6.

Seattle’s offense obviously needs to step up more than ever before due to Richard Sherman’s season-ending injury, but the least they can do is not be so wasteful when the defense (or special teams) forces a turnover.