Nov 27, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) reacts after recording an interception against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at Levi
The Seattle Seahawks are statistically better than the Carolina Panthers, and it isn’t even close.
The playoffs began a week ago, but the Seattle Seahawks won’t play their first playoff game of 2014 until Saturday evening. The Carolina Panthers beat the Arizona Cardinals last week, and head to Seattle to take on the NFC’s best team.
Examining the two teams statistically side-by-side is startling. It is easy to see that one team is in No.1 seed in the NFC, and the other finished the regular season with a looking record.
Here are the NFL ranks for both teams in a variety to statistical categories:
data taken from NFL.com
As you can see, the Seahawks have the statistical advantage in almost every category. This is especially true on the defensive side of the ball. This should be no surprise, since Seattle has easily the best defense in the league.
Carolina’s defense has been more opportunistic though. The Seahawks struggled to create turnovers early in the season, and thus finished near well below average in that capacity this season.
Carolina had no such troubles, especially over their last four game. Over that span they’ve managed to collect nine turnovers.
Offensively, both team have top rushing offenses. Seattle’s is better statistically, but Carolina was missing their top running back for long stretches this season. They’re healthy now. Jonathan Stewart has been especially effective over a last few weeks.
Neither passing offense has put up a lot of yards this season, but for Seattle that has mostly been because of a lack of attempts. They are among the league’s best in terms of yards per pass attempt. Carolina, on the other hand, has been fairly unimpressive through the air throughout the season.
Overall, Seattle has a clear advantage on both sides of the ball. Combine that with the home-field advantage that comes with the playing in front of the 12th Man, and Seattle should win this game with relative ease.