Aug 11, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; NFL: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn (15) waits for a play call in the huddle against the Tennessee Titans during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Seahawks vs Falcons: An Advanced Look

The big divisional round plaoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons is almost here. One of the things I like to do before playoff games is to look back at my advanced analysis rankings and compare the teams. This time, I thought I’d show you what I’m looking at.

Before we get to the number, I should tell you that I’ve eliminated a lot of the stuff that could have been in this table. For instance, the “offense” index is a composite of 4 offensive stats. The same is true for defense. The special teams index is the product of 8 different stats. Everything is weighted when combined based on the correlation the stat has to winning.

I also threw out a couple where the 2 teams were completely equal, just to keep this short. Lets take a look.











Defense *



Points For



Points Against



Point Dif



Turnover Dif



Special Teams



3rd Down%



Def 3rd Down %





* Lower number is better for defense, since it means the defense gives up less yards per play.

What you can see is that Seattle is better in almost every way. They have the better offense, the better defense, and the better special teams.

In fact, looking at the numbers I was a little surprised to see the Falcons in the top 10. Their defense gives up more yards than their offense, and their special teams are bad. As a team, they are clearly being held up by their +13 turnover differential (which is the same as Seattle’s) and their 3rd down efficiency.

It’s that 3rd down efficiency where the Falcons have their only real advantage over the Seahawks. Their difference (offensive % – defense %) is +4.6, which is 8th in the NFL. In comparison, Seattle’s is only 1.8, which is 13th in the league. It might not seems like it, but that’s a big difference.

I’m still working on tuning the “power” number in my model so that it indicates what the score should be, (There’s just so much variance. I need another decade or 2 worth’s of data I think) but in it’s current form it suggests that the Seahawks should win this by about a touchdown if the game was on a neutral field. Home field sways that number by a field goal.

So the math roughly predicts the Seahawks will win by 4. I’ll take it.

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Tags: Seattle Seahawks

  • Asthmagirl

    I was listening to the predictometer or something like that on my drive home last night. They run the data 50k for each game to come up with a prediction. Apparently they’ve predicted the bet for beating the spread for the last 9 superbowls correctly. The guy on the radio totally sounded linear and geeky! Anyway, he predicted 56% of the time, the data supported a seahawk win. The variance in points was 2-3.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      Interesting. I wonder what they use to “simulate” the games. There are plenty of systems out there, but most are very flawed in their methodology. Still interesting though. Atlanta is one of the weaker #1 seeds the NFL has had in a long time.

  • Hawkman54


  • Scott Collier

    It seems like the second half of the season Seattle got better on 3rd down conversions, along with everything else. I would guess the second half Seattle is as good as Atlanta, or pretty close.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      this is one of the things in my model that I’m not happy about. I can only get season stats in a reliable way. I’d love to use weekly stats and weight the most recent weeks more heavily, but that isn’t something I do at the moment.

  • Prem Kumar

    I think this will come down to the obvious, our running game. BEAST MODE.


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