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Seahawks defense rises to #2 in DVOA

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks have played seven games.

K.J. Wright has missed six games; Earl Thomas has missed three games; Bobby Wagner has missed one game; Tre Flowers has missed one game; Mychal Kendricks has been suspended for the last four games; Dion Jordan has missed two games; there’s a new defensive coordinator; the 2018 draft class has only yielded one productive player on defense so far; and yet Pete Carroll once again has this unit as one of the best in the NFL.

On Tuesday, FootballOutsiders’ DVOA rankings for games through Week 7 has the Seahawks ranked second on defense, including third against the pass and sixth against the run. Seattle is sixth overall in DVOA, with them coming in at 18th on offense and 17th on special teams. The Seahawks were 10th prior to their 28-14 win over the Detroit Lions. Offensively they are 10th in passing and 17th in rushing, a fact that may surprise some people who believe that Seattle’s recent rushing success if fueling the offense’s success.

If you want to argue that “a fear of Chris Carson by defenses is causing them to shake their focus on stopping Russell Wilson and his weapons,” that’s one thing, but it’s efficient and successful passing plays that has kept the Seahawks’ offense floating in the middle of the pack by DVOA.

Wilson, on a hot streak as of late, is now ninth in DVOA, 17th in QBR, and 19th in DYAR.

Carson is 21st in both DYAR and DVOA. He’s 24th in success rate.

Tyler Lockett is 19th in DYAR and second in DVOA, meaning he’s not making a high volume of plays (Seattle is 32nd in pass attempts) but when he does catch a pass, it’s for big gains.

DVOA also outlines an incredibly difficult road ahead for the Seahawks in the next four weeks. They take on the LA Chargers this Sunday, the team ranked third in DVOA. Then it’s a road trip rematch vs the second place LA Rams. A short week brings them back home to face the 11th-place Green Bay Packers, followed by another road trip to face the fourth ranked Carolina Panthers. That’s three of the top four teams, with two of those games coming on the road, including a 10 AM start in Carolina.

Seattle is 0-3 against teams with a top-10 pass defense. The Chargers are 15th in pass defense, the Rams are sixth, the Packers are 17th, and the Panthers are 20th. The Seahawks did defeat the Arizona Cardinals, who are 11th in pass defense.