How Good is the Legion of Boom?


Sep 29, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels (81) has a pass broken up by Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor (31) and cornerback Brandon Browner (39) in the first quarter at Reliant Stadium. The ball was intercepted by Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas (29) on the play. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It has been well known since at least midway through the 2011 season that the Seattle Seahawks have themselves an excellent secondary. More recently, it has become fairly widely acknowledged that this is probably the best group in the NFL. The hype has been building from some time now and the legend has been growing at an exponential rate such that this foursome now has their own title, “The Legion of Boom”. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner are all Pro Bowl caliber players and it is no surprise that they have been effective again in 2013. The Seahawks have the 5th ranked pass defense in the NFL at this moment, but whenever there is this much hype it is reasonable to ask oneself whether that hype is justified. With the help of the fine folks of Pro Football Focus I decided to ask just that question. In the chart below I have combined that statistics of the entire Seahawks starting secondary in order to quantify exactly how good the Legion of Boom have been in 2013:

Thrown AtCompletionsCompletion PercentageYardsYards per AttemptQB Rating AgainstTouchdowns AgainstInterceptionsINTYards










Those numbers are downright unbelievable. The fact this quartet has over half as many yards in interception returns as they have in yards allowed is sort of mind blowing. This is a bit misleading because Browner has only played in two games and Walter Thurmond has more snaps than him this season. However, I’m not trying to paint the most thorough picture of the quality of Seattle’s secondary here. Instead, I want to address the legend of the “Legion of Boom”. For now I think it’s safe to say that legend is firmly grounded in fact. This unit is absolutely the elite force that they are thought to be, and they are absolutely essential to the continued success of this team going forward.

It is in my nature to be skeptical when it seems like too much praise or too much fault for a teams’ results is thrown on the shoulders of very few. However, there is undeniable quantifiable evidence to suggest that the attention this group has garnered is completely and utterly justified. If anything these numbers suggest that the Seahawks maybe have a bit of a problem with the underneath coverage their linebackers are providing, but that’s another post for another day. For now it is enough to know that anyone who wants to say that the Legion of Boom is overrated has no idea what they are talking about.