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No defense has allowed more 3rd and 10+ conversions this year than the Seattle Seahawks

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Seattle Seahawks v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Faced with 3rd and 11, knowing full well the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t going to put the game in the hands of Blake Bortles, even with the very good game he had up to that point, the Seattle Seahawks defense (or what was left of it) capitulated and gave up the game-ending 13-yard rush to Leonard Fournette. Seattle only had one timeout remaining, so it was either get a stop or take the L, and needless to say, there have been better “Choose Your Own Adventure” decisions.

Earlier in the year, after Seattle’s 16-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams, I did up a little stats piece on the struggles of the Seahawks defense to get off the field on 3rd and 10+ to go, even dating back to last year. At the time I wrote the article, Cliff Avril was the only notable Seahawks defender out of the lineup.

It is with great sadness that I report that the Seahawks haven’t gotten any better since then. As of Sunday, the Seahawks are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for most conversions allowed on 3rd and 10+ in the NFL this season. Both teams have given up 16 first-downs on 57 plays (excluding kneeldowns, “no plays” due to penalty, and field goal attempts). Seattle has given up at least one 3rd and 10+ conversion in all but two games, and the Fournette scamper was the sixth time the defense gave up the line to gain on a run.

If you go by percentages, Seattle (and Kansas City) are tied for third-highest conversion rate (28.1%, the league average is 20.6%). They’re also among the best at forcing teams into 3rd-and-long situations, buuuuuut that doesn’t really provide much comfort if you ask me. This table shows that Seattle is unique for all the wrong reasons:

Ten worst teams in the NFL at giving up 3rd and 10+ conversions

Team Conversion Rate Number of first-downs allowed Defensive DVOA (as of week 13)
Team Conversion Rate Number of first-downs allowed Defensive DVOA (as of week 13)
Miami Dolphins 29.50% 13 27th
Buffalo Bills 28.60% 14 17th
Seattle Seahawks 28.10% 16 09th
Kansas City Chiefs 28.10% 16 28th
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28% 14 31st
Oakland Raiders 26.10% 12 32nd
San Francisco 49ers 26% 13 30th
Green Bay Packers 23.40% 11 18th
New York Jets 23.30% 14 22nd
Dallas Cowboys 23.30% 10 26th

Literally every other non-Seahawks team that’s in the top-10 in giving up third-and-long has a defensive DVOA ranking in the bottom-half of the NFL. This is completely unacceptable and has been a problem even when the defense was healthier than it is now.

As an aside, the Seattle offense is one of the worst in the NFL at converting 3rd and 10+, ranking a paltry 22nd in first-down percentage (17%). The top two teams are New England and Philadelphia, in case you’re wondering. Do yourself a favor and don’t look at the 3rd down passing stats of Tom Brady and (the now-injured and done for the season) Carson Wentz, then look at Russell Wilson’s.

These are the little things that swing close games against you, and Sunday’s loss in Jacksonville — who rank 28th in 3rd and 10+ conversions — was yet another example of it. Seattle’s three remaining opposing offenses are 20th (LAR), 19th (DAL), and 16th (ARZ) in that category, just for the record.

(Source: Pro-Football-Reference)