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Statistical proof that the Seahawks are far and away the NFL’s worst screen pass team

Sometimes the eye tests matches up with the data.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

It is a running joke/the absolute truth that the Seattle Seahawks are uniquely bad at executing screen passes. These are plays typically designed to punish aggressive defenses and get yards after catch, and yet...

Well guess what? We have quantifiable proof that the Seahawks are the worst screen pass team in the league. They run them at a pretty low rate and manage to be far and away the worst in the NFL in terms of success rate. PFF analyst Arjun Menon created this graph and has defined success rate as Expected Points Added (EPA) > 0.

Let’s be honest, 13% even seems a little bit high. No other team in the NFL is even in Seattle’s zip code, which is staggering. This is not some hidden secret but to see this visually laid out is astonishing.

Screen passes being YAC-heavy plays also ties into the fact that Seattle is 30th in YAC/reception and with the odd exception of 2021, have routinely ranked near the bottom in yards after catch. Notice that the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Francisco 49ers, three of the best YAC teams in the NFL, are also three of the best screen pass teams. The Carolina Panthers are numero uno in YAC/reception and run screen passes frequently, with a success rate just under 40%.

I don’t know if or when this will get better, but it sure as hell can’t get much worse for the Seahawks. A dangerous combination of poor execution and receiving targets who break fewer tackles than all but the Atlanta Falcons is a recipe for not getting any extra yardage.

Update: Silly me! To hammer home the point a little further, Seattle can’t defend screens either.