The Seattle Seahawks completed two monumental turnarounds this year. Unfortunately, both sides of the roster turned in the same direction - less points.
While fans called for the defensive coordinator to be fired halfway through the year, the landslide resulted in offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to be fired, reported earlier this week.
Let’s look at just how bad it was, and some hints whether Schottenheimer deserved to lose his job.
Plenty of teams have done some crazy stuff over the years. The 1987 San Diego Chargers went from 8-1 to 8-7 by the end of the year. But we essentially saw the equivalent of that this year in the Pittsburgh Steelers. This was an in-season double swap that was as impressive as it was devastating.
Or perhaps you feel otherwise.
Which was bigger for the 2020 Seahawks - the defensive turnaround or the offensive collapse?
There are so many metrics we could use and quibble about. My personal favorite metric is when the team I like scores more points than the other team. Let’s start with points, the only metric still undefeated in determining the outcome of a game.
Also, since the team played 17 games total I went ahead and removed the 40-3 against the New York Jets and included the wild card game. It felt more honest.
Seahawks offense first eight games:
34.25 points per game
Seahawks offense final eight games: <without Jets>
20.6 points per game
Seattle defense first eight games:
30.4 points per game allowed
Seattle defense final eight games:
19.4 points per game allowed
The offense lost 13.65 points per game from first half to second half. Meanwhile, the defense improved by 11 points per game allowed.
The 2020 Seahawks scored 89 fewer points & allowed 115 fewer points in the final 8 games of the season compared to the first 8.— Scott Kacsmar (@ScottKacsmar) January 7, 2021
That decline of 204 combined points is the largest of the 1,241 teams to play a 16-game season in NFL history.https://t.co/03zsNDCqri
Obviously points are a symptom of other elements going wright or wrong, and the offense had so many successes become struggles.
There were some extenuating circumstances that to me, might have made them look better than they actually were.— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) January 12, 2021
But even within their control, the red zone success went from historic to 4th. Their early down success rate went from 1st (Games 1-8) to 17th (Games 9-17). https://t.co/pvzxPnC5SK
The following was another interesting indicator. Same rules apply, final eight games but swapping the playoff game in for the Jets game.
Average Offensive EPA (expected points added average)
First half: 13.9 per game
For context, Kansas City Chiefs averaged 15.4 over their first eight games
Second half: 1.4 per game
Average Defensive EPA
First half: -12 per game
Second half: -2.06 per game.
A ten point improvement on defense and a 12.5 point loss for the offense.
It’s close on both fronts, which still just shocks me how much this team changed over three months.
What’s your sense this year?
Which mid-season switch was bigger?
This poll is closed