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The Seahawks became as good on defense as they became worse on offense

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Obviously points are a symptom of other elements going wright or wrong, and the offense had so many successes become struggles.

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?

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