Feb 2, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) celebrates with teammates after a safety in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Seahawks defense be the best ever? (Part 1)

With the recent annihilation of one of the game’s greatest quarterbacks, many have laid claim to the Seattle Seahawks defense as the best ever. Anyone in Seattle will instantly agree with that statement, while a die-hard Bears fan of old may call you crazy. Many analysts are somewhere in the middle and have yet to even label them as they are still beginning their climb to greatness.

I did some digging over at Pro Football Reference and went to the numbers to see just how the Hawks D compared to a few greats: The 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, and the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (I know there may in fact be a few teams I left off this list but these are the ones I choose to compare with).

Defense

Yards/Game

Points/Game

Sacks

Interceptions

Forced Fumbles

’76 Steelers

10-4

237.4

9.9

N/A

22

N/A

’85 Bears

15-1

258.4

12.4

64

34

9

’00 Ravens

12-4

247.9

10.3

35

23

19

’02 Bucs

12-4

252.8

12.2

43

31

8

’13 Seahawks

13-3

273.6

14.4

43

28

24

 

A few things that really caught my attention:

  • While the Hawks gave up the most yards per game of any team in this group, they easily had the most forced fumbles and were third in interceptions reiterating Pete Carroll’s constant focus on taking care of the ball.
  • Other than the ’85 Bears (whose numbers look like they are straight out of Madden), the Seahawks did well in their sack numbers which was a key issue the front office addressed last offseason.
  • Another thing to take into account, the league has recently undergone a pretty drastic change in terms of playing style: the Seahawks (more than any other team on this list) went up against prolific offenses-including the best statistical offense of all time — which seem to be the new norm.

Next week for Part 2, I will look into the Seahawks defense’s Super Bowl performance and uncover a few more noticeable statistics that might help solidify Seattle’s status and promising future.

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