The Seahawks got the win on Sunday, but most fans, analysts, or anyone watching with a normal sense of good football vs bad football, feels that Seattle only got worse against the Cardinals. That could come from just a gut feeling you had watching the offense struggle to get the ball more than a few yards downfield at a time, but advanced metrics will back your feelings up on that.
Once the kings of DVOA (first overall from 2012-2015), the Seahawks have now fallen below the very middle of the pack.
The Seahawks were 14th in DVOA last week after their decent win at home over the Cowboys, but they’ve fallen to 19th as we approach Week 5. That includes a number six ranking on defense, but almost every expects that to tumble with the loss of free safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season; Seattle is ninth against the pass and surprisingly enough, tenth against the run. However, they’ve faced the fifth-easiest schedule of offense so far, per DVOA.
That will change at home on Sunday against the number one ranked offense of the LA Rams. The Rams are first in passing efficiency and fourth in rushing efficiency. They are ninth on defense by DVOA, including seventh against the pass and 23rd against the run; only fueling Brian Schottenheimer’s fire to keep the ball out of Russell Wilson’s throwing hand.
Seattle is 24th in passing and 22nd in rushing.
My instincts told me that the Seahawks must have some advantages on special teams, and that is actually true: Michael Dickson is first in punting efficiency and by a fairly wide margin. However, Seattle is in the negative on every other phase of special teams except for punt returns, where they are just above average. They (Sebastian Janikowski) are one of the worst field goal kicking teams in the league so far.
Overall, the Seahawks are 14th in special teams, but they could be bottom-five without Dickson. The Rams, long hailed for their special teams prowess under John Fassel, are just 17th in that category so far and Johnny Hekker+punt coverage is only just above average.