With the Seattle Seahawks first actual game since the Wild Card Round loss to the Dallas Cowboys just a day away, the excitement surrounding the team’s offense under second year offensive coordinator is reaching fever pitch. The team returns a strong ground game, and will look to work in multiple dangerous rookie receivers as the team looks to continue to build on the offensive performance it posted during the 2018 season.
Given that the Seahawks tied with the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers for the sixth highest scoring offense in the league, should fans expect that to improve in the coming season? The offense lost only two starters, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and left guard J.R. Sweezy, both of whom missed time during the season due to injury. So, should an offense that is slated to return nine of eleven starters be expected to improve from one season to the next? Or should regression be expected?
As with any question in the real world, the answer to that likely depends on how one wishes to approach it. Through at least one methodology, the Seahawks offense would be expected to regress significantly in 2019.
In 2018 the Hawks scored a total of 50 touchdowns over the course of the regular season, joining a group of just 30 teams that have reached that level of performance over the last ten years. Now, of those 30 teams, six of them reached that level of performance in 2019 as NFL scoring reached all time highs, leaving just 24 teams that scored 50 or more touchdowns in a single season from 2009 through 2017. In order to attempt to project how much the current Seahawks might score, here is a look by Mike Clay of ESPN at how many touchdowns each of those 24 teams scored in the season following their 50 touchdown performance.
Complete list of the 30 offenses that have reached 50 TDs in a season over the past decade. Only 3 increased their total the next season and all 3 were the Patriots. Average drop of everyone else was 13.3 TDs. #RegressionAlert pic.twitter.com/izlxcuCYRq— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) April 7, 2019
In short, of the 24, 21 of them scored fewer touchdowns the next season, and as Mike Clay points out, all three of the teams that saw the number of touchdowns scored increase were named the New England Patriots.
Obviously, with scoring being up during the 2018 season, a decrease of the average of 13.3 touchdowns would not necessarily be expected. A decreases of even half that amount, however, would have put the Seahawks scoring in the mid teens in the rankings, in the neighborhood of the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers.
So, whether the offense is able to capitalize on the addition of several new receiving weapons this upcoming season, or whether the Hawks will have some growing pains as those weapons adjust to playing in the NFL, we’ll have to wait and see. In any case, the important thing is that the first Seattle preseason game against the Denver Broncos is just a day away.