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Fast Facts: Fourth Quarter Futility of the Seahawks offense in 2018

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Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

With a crucial Week 11 match up on Thursday against the Green Bay Packers, the Seattle Seahawks are on the brink of falling to someplace they have never been in the Russell Wilson era, and that is two games under .500 in the second half of the season. The past six and a half seasons have been the glory years of Seahawks football, and Wilson and the offense have been a major part of that success.

A large part of the team’s success in that time period has been Wilson’s never say die attitude, and his ability to seemingly throw the team on his back and will them to victory with late offensive scores. Wilson is credited with 15 fourth quarter comebacks through the first six seasons of his career, however, he has yet to lead the Hawks to victory after trailing in the fourth quarter this season. That comes on the heels of a lack of success in 2017 in bringing the team to victory, with close losses in games against the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals and Tennessee Titans putting Wilson’s fourth quarter comeback record for 2017 at 2-5. As Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders notes, so far in 2018 things have not been any better for the Hawks when they get the ball in the fourth quarter down by a single score.

Curious about this, I took a few minutes to look at every possession Seattle has had when down by one score in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie or take the lead, and here is a list of every possession that meets those parameters.

Seahawks offensive possessions in the fourth quarter down one score

Week Opponent Drive Start Time Point Diff at Start Drive Duration Drive Result
Week Opponent Drive Start Time Point Diff at Start Drive Duration Drive Result
1 Broncos 11:11 3 4 plays, 5 yards Punt
1 Broncos 5:04 3 3 plays, -4 yards Punt
1 Broncos 1:00 3 4 plays, 2 yards Interception
2 Bears 8:37 7 4 plays, 11 yards Pick-6
5 Rams 6:05 2 5 plays, 33 yards Punt
9 Chargers 1:33 8 8 plays, 72 yards End of game
10 Rams 14:54 5 9 plays, 60 yards Field Goal
10 Rams 7:34 5 3 plays, -8 yards Fumble
10 Rams 1:24 5 7 plays, 40 yards Downs

In short, if it feels like the Hawks have been in every game this season, it’s because they have been in every game. In fact, they’ve had the ball within one score in the fourth quarter with a chance to tie or take the lead in every game.

And they’ve failed in each and every game.

As for whether there is a pattern that is causing this lack of offensive production in these high leverage situations, I will have to turn to the film over the weekend to see if there is any discernible pattern, or if it is simply the result of randomness.

I’ll be looking at this more in depth over the semi-bye weekend the Seahawks have after taking on the Packers on Thursday, and if any fans have any ideas what could be leading to this offensive ineptitude late in the games, I’m all for putting forth a testable hypothesis.