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Seahawks slowly climb up DVOA rankings, Tyler Lockett builds huge lead for WRs

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks had late-season runs to get to the top of DVOA in 2012, 2014, and 2015. That probably will not happen in 2018, but the Seahawks are certainly looking like a team on the rise.

Seattle is now 10th in DVOA after ranking 11th last week and they are ninth in weighted DVOA. Following Week 12, the Seahawks were 11th overall, 11th on offense, 11th on defense, and 11th on special teams (no typo), and are currently 10th, 10th, 16th, and 9th. The concern there is the defense of course, even after a 43-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers, because the Niners are bad and Nick Mullens/Dante Pettis/Jeff Wilson looked kinda good at various times.

Seattle’s next objective: Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, and Adam Thielen. That’ll be much harder to defend, but thankfully Russell Wilson has the offense on the move up.

The Seahawks now rank fifth in passing DVOA and 10th in rushing DVOA. They’ve faced the 14th-most difficult schedule of defenses by DVOA, compared to say, the New Orleans Saints, who’ve seen the 30th-ranked schedule — though Wilson has comparable numbers to Drew Brees in many respects. Just saying.

The number one ranked passing team is the Kansas City Chiefs, who Seattle hosts in two weeks, and the number one ranked rushing team is the LA Rams, who they’ve already faced twice.

Overall, the Seahawks have faced the 10th-hardest schedule by DVOA while the Chicago Bears, a team they could face in the wild card round, has seen the easiest slate of teams this season so far. The Rams could go 15-1 as they face the easiest remaining schedule, while Seattle ranks 22nd in that same category.

If the Seahawks have anything going for them maybe (I’m reaching here) it’s that they’re at least balanced with how average they are on defense: 16th against the pass and 15th against the run. They’d probably like to trade up to be better against the pass, especially if they manage to get to the point where they’re facing Brees or Jared Goff in the playoffs, but this is where they stand now without Earl Thomas. The Seahawks struggle against number one receivers, ranking 26th in DVOA against in that category.

Individually, Russell Wilson is now 8th in DYAR and 6th in DVOA. Chris Carson is 20th in DYAR, 20th in DVOA, and 13th in success rate. Rashaad Penny’s DVOA of 8.3% is the same as Kareem Hunt’s but on significantly fewer attempts. Tyler Lockett is 1st in DVOA among all WRs with a huge lead over number two Michael Thomas. Jaron Brown is 1st in DVOA for WRs with fewer than 50 targets.

Overall, it’s been another nice second half run for Seattle with four games left to go. The next will be a difficult matchup against the Vikings but a big win at home could give them a much bigger push than their blowout win over San Francisco.