Seahawks Insider

A clarification — and a question

Post by News Tribune Staff on Nov. 27, 2007 at 3:37 pm with 43 Comments »
November 27, 2007 3:37 pm

The route on which Matt threw an interception at the end of the first half was intended for Nate Burleson. Both Nate and Matt said they miscommunicated, and that the play was intended for Nate to run a corner route. He flattened it out, where Hasselbeck thought he was going hard to the flag.

Take a look at the stats. Anybody have a sense of why one of the better offenses in the NFL, 12th in scoring, has more punts than all but six teams, and those six teams — San Francisco, Carolina, Kansas City, Minnesota, Atlanta, Chicago — are among the worst offensively? Seems like a statistical anomaly to me. The best explanation I can come up with is that the Seahawks convert only 35 percent of their third downs, which is tied for fifth-worst in the NFL.

Leave a comment Comments → 43
  1. Most likely thats it, I would like to see how they rank as far as possessions as well. Passing more means less time consumed, which could equal more posessions, which could mean more punts.

  2. QB_Sneak says:

    Uh, yeah. Here’s an explanation: when the offense is rolling, it’s been fantastic. When it isn’t, it’s HORRIFIC.

  3. Good question. I was thinking along the same lines as PaulieP, with time of possession must be down for the ‘Hawks. They’re scoring quick or off the field quick.

  4. Points and punts are results of possessions. You need to check how Seattle stacks up in total possessions vs. the rest of the league. If we have the ball more often than other teams, the percentage of scoring drives and punts might make more sense.

  5. heffman929 says:


    How does our third down completion percentage compare with the other teams in the league? are we as bad as I fear we are?

  6. heffman929 says:

    FYI I checked on the 3rd down completion percentage and we’re 11th with our 35% rate…the Pats lead the pack at 53%…

  7. Frank Hughes says:

    I just updated the main post, but the Seahawks are, according to, tied for fifth worst in the NFL. The only teams that are worse are San Francisco, Kansas City, Detroit and Minnesota. They are tied with Carolina.

  8. dameon69xx says:

    They’re better than average in turnovers, which will contribute something…

  9. heffman929 says:

    oooooooops…..the ‘hawks aren’t 11th in 3rd down conversion….they’re 6th from the bottom…only SF, KC, Carolina, Det and Minny are worse…sorry for the confusion…

  10. kmccoskery says:

    One other stat I am curious about and could be a reason for the alot of punts… How many punts inside the 20 yard line do we have? It seems like we are good on our side of the field but have quite a few drives stall right outside field goal distance thus punting for field position.

    Just a thought..

  11. Byncelli says:

    The defense leads the league in three-and-outs right? Seems like that would allow the offense to have more possessions.

  12. halfemptyfilms says:

    Good points being made here (esp. Byncelli). I wonder how we rank in starting field position? I can’t think of a recent game that we haven’t started deep in our territory more than once… if you’re consistently expected to trek 90 yards for the touchdown, 65 for a field goal, I can see some punts.

    Anyone got that stat?

  13. I agree with daemon, one contributing factor is probably that we don’t turn over the ball as much, thus we punt more.

  14. Simple – its not one of the better offenses, it is a mediocre offense. The one time they played a great defense in the Steelers, they were destroyed. They have been fortunate to play 5 of their 11 games against the bottom 11 defenses. And they took it to those bottom defenses pretty good.

  15. On a positive note, the Seahawks Defense has allowed just 6 TD passes while intercepting 13 and sacking the QB 35 times! Watching the games, I think most of the credit goes to Trufant, Jennings, Grant, Russell and Mora, Jr. Kearney should give these guys some of his money because the QBs are holding the ball for a while when he sacks them. Maybe these guys are the real MVPs of the team.

  16. martygivens says:

    Don’t most offenses do poorly against good defenses? That’s what makes them good defenses, right?

  17. If you haven’t noticed yet we regularly get blitzed on 3rd downs, can’t pick them up, have no hot reads for Matt, and more often than not have our QB sacked. Same stuff all year plus no running game either. We’ll win the NFC-W but will be eliminated early in the playoffs unless they make some personnel changes on the OLine.

  18. Apparently we get lots of possessions but only turn a small fraction of those into points. But overall, those number of possesions which do turn into points are better than most of the leagure. So that begs the question of why we get a lot of possessions? I think the posts above that suggested three-and-outs and turn-overs our defense creates is the answer. Basically, we owe this season to our D.

  19. I’d look at the 3-and-out stats. Seattle seems to do a bunch of those every game, and then a bunch of drives for TDs. Maybe there’s not a whole lot in between.

  20. waveblasternutcase says:

    this stat needs to be put in perspective. it was mentioned earlier, but we would need to now the average amount of 3rd downs for the rest of the league. also, what is the average yardage for the 3rd downs? teams with 3rd and short should have a better percentage than teams with 3rd and long… it would be interesting to see how teams rank for 3rd down yardage…

  21. I believe part of the reason is conservative play calling, especially late in games. Holmgren would rather run a conservative play late in the game that may not make the first down and rely on the defense. We could call a play that is more aggressive to try to make the first down, but Holmgren would rather run a draw to the fullback rather than risking a turnover. I don’t have all the stats, but I would wonder about punts per half. My arm chair quarterback instincts tell me be we have punted a lot in the second half.

  22. hurst7t9 says:

    Here’s what Mike McAllister from ESPN wrote in the power rankings section of

    In three previous meetings against the Eagles, QB Matt Hasselbeck has been sacked 11 times (including a career-high seven back in 2001) and has a 58.8 passer rating, his lowest against any NFC team. So what’s the over/under for sacks this Sunday?

    I have problems with a lot of what is written here but the one thing that enrages me is within his own facts he points out that in the last two meetings(both Hawk wins) the Eagles have only four sacks. Not to mention the fact that the Eagles got blasted the last time they met. Oh by the way A.J. Feely started that game too.

  23. Sorry to SPAM the blog, but Nate Burleson is an interesting player. From what I can see from the sidelines, he runs poor routes. His cuts are not sharp, he does not stay with the route; he does not get open as often as he should. The guy has tremendous athletic ability and moves when he has the ball in his hands as exhibited by his return skills. It is pretty interesting that he has been in the league this long as a wide receiver and he does not run good routes. The challenge of the coaching staff is to find ways to get the ball in Nate’s hands that is not dependant on him running great routes. To me, the team should use him like Antwan Randall El, except don’t expect him to throw. Use him on end arounds, reverses, flea flicker passes, etc. Use deception to get the ball in his hands because he can go the distance at any time when he gets the ball.

  24. I dont post much but I read this blog every day and it sure seems like we have a LOT of complainers for a winning record. How many of you were in the Kingdome for ALL the games when we were 2-14? I was. I will take this 7-4 team and its flaws any day. At least every game we have a chance and only the Saints and Steelers this year did they tank it. Try to focus on the positives, enjoy the fact we win more than we loose. It will not always be like this and some day the dreaded rebuilding will come back. Be glad we get into the playoffs where anything can happen (Steelers 2005 all road game wins) Yes I get more upset than just about anyone when we loose (at least 24 hours to recover!) but Ive watched every game for twenty years and it has never been more fun to be a Seahawks fan or go to games than it is now. Enjoy it, quit complaining about it. PS Go read the Rams blog if you want to know what bad football is.

  25. Mjhpro – Hallelujah brother. I might have been sitting next to you during that 2-14 season.

    It is fun to try to figure out how to get to the Superbowl rather than trying to figure out where we would pick in the draft if the season ended today. GO SEAHAWKS!!

  26. Maybe longtime fans understand how long it takes to get to a position where the team has strong players, strong coaching and a weak division/schedule/conference. And we also don’t want to see the team squander the time when all those factors come together.

    So, yeah, maybe we don’t get excited about beating the 2-9 Rams because their backup QB can’t handle the snap or abusing Alex Smith when this team has difficulty going on the road to beat a decent team.

    On another note, for the poster with the Eagles notes – huh? The Eagles beat the Seahawks in Seattle in 2002 with Feely, which was the second most recent meeting. They were blowing the Seahawks out before 2 late scores made the game close. And after this game, the Seahawks went on a great run.

  27. A lot of us sat through the 2-14 season. We also sat through 2-12, 5-9, 9-7, 9-7, etc. There was an awful lot of suckiness for some of these years. I saw 12 men on the field give Denver a re-kick in OT, and I saw 24-0 with -7 yards of total offense against the Rams in 1980.

    It’s why I never apologize for lucky breaks like this last week, or the Giant’s kicker missing 3 FG, or Tony Romo fumbling etc. I figure it’s karma baby, and we’ve got about 25 years of catching up to do. It’ll take about 4 consecutive superbowl wins before I start thinking we’re even.

    In fact I didn’t even feel bad within the context of this last Rams game. They had 2 fumbles bounce right back to them, and one of our fumbles (Burleson) bounce right to their guy in between 2 of ours. If Rocky picks up the fumble in the 1st quarter, there’s no safety and it’s probably a 9 point swing.

    Anyway, we’re coming along. The defense is playing pretty well, and the offense gets it going enough in most games to win. We may well be getting it together at the right time. Given our schedule, we have a decent chance to run the table if we can get by Philly. 12-4 is still very possible.

  28. FBGHooper says:

    I don’t have any data, but I believe that the Seahawks are one of the worst in short yardage situations. 3rd or 4th and short plays have been horrid to watch.

  29. FBGHooper says:

    Answered my own question.

    16 47 2.94 7 1

    16 running plays on third or fourth and one. They have 7 first downs and one touchdown.

    50%. That blows.

  30. FBGHooper says:

    Well, I ran the report for all the teams using the data dominator. Came up with different numbers this time, but still 50% for Seattle.

    Your query returned 32 records.

    1 2007 IND 21 87 4.14 19 0 20.95
    2 2007 NYG 23 56 2.43 19 2 23.90
    3 2007 HOU 22 87 3.95 18 1 21.45
    4 2007 PHI 18 65 3.61 17 1 18.05
    5 2007 JAX 26 60 2.31 16 1 24.70
    6 2007 NO 17 57 3.35 14 1 33.65
    7 2007 MIA 17 49 2.88 14 1 21.05
    8 2007 CAR 18 27 1.50 13 0 6.95
    9 2007 OAK 16 75 4.69 13 2 53.15
    10 2007 ATL 20 49 2.45 13 2 19.45
    11 2007 SD 17 63 3.71 13 2 27.90
    12 2007 BUF 20 22 1.10 13 0 18.80
    13 2007 STL 19 39 2.05 13 2 17.40
    14 2007 ARI 12 33 2.75 12 0 43.65
    15 2007 WAS 19 46 2.42 12 0 4.60
    16 2007 PIT 13 57 4.38 12 0 15.85
    17 2007 MIN 16 42 2.62 11 0 5.75
    18 2007 TB 16 34 2.12 11 1 11.20
    19 2007 DAL 12 64 5.33 11 2 25.75
    20 2007 NE 14 30 2.14 11 3 38.65
    21 2007 NYJ 17 19 1.12 11 0 12.95
    22 2007 CHI 13 31 2.38 11 1 23.00
    23 2007 CIN 15 30 2.00 10 0 7.15
    24 2007 SEA 18 52 2.89 9 1 24.35
    25 2007 CLE 12 32 2.67 9 0 32.10
    26 2007 SF 13 74 5.69 8 2 29.55
    27 2007 KC 14 62 4.43 8 1 14.50
    28 2007 TEN 15 8 0.53 7 0 12.75
    29 2007 BAL 8 17 2.12 7 0 6.90
    30 2007 DEN 10 10 1.00 6 0 21.65
    31 2007 DET 9 65 7.22 5 1 17.75
    32 2007 GB 10 5 0.50 5 0 1.30

  31. hawkdawg says:

    Anybody know where the Hawks rank on the flip side–how teams fare against the Hawk’s defense on third down? My impression is that we are pretty bad, but recently I heard we are close to the top of the NFC on three and outs. Maybe we’re just bad when the other team has a long way to go on third…

  32. kriegtoskansi says:

    Anybody know how many of Hass’ interceptions were intended for Burleson? It seems like he is missing routes or giving up on them more than he should…

  33. mibuttiznum says:

    probably as many as Pollard is responsible for

  34. ejones_sea says:

    Hawkdawg –

    According to ESPN, the defense has been pretty good on 3rd and 4th down, only giving up the 1st 38% and 22.2% of the time, respectively. Not sure exactly how this ranks, but considering that 35% on the offensive side (for 3rd down) is 5th worst, I would guess top 10 for sure. This stat obviously got beat up in the Cleveland game, where Browns picked up 1st downs at will. The D has been huge especially considering how poor the time of possession mix seems to be.

  35. I so agree to be thankful for this team…bite my A$$!&* fair weather fans!

  36. Sck Fumb Int 1.Down 3.Down 4.Down FG TD Punts
    HAWKS 35 22 11 217 52/148 3/9 21/26 26 59
    OPPONENTS 24 7 9 191 60/158 2/9 16/18 19 67

    Well, it is look like we Punts less then our opponents. But opponents are 1.SF 4.CHI 7.ARI. 11.STL… We have good defense and special team, and not so good offense. And we play high punt game. But we win :)

  37. I think some of you may be mistaken about others being fair weather fans. A lot of us who are not happy with a 7-4 record have seen the 2-14 season etc… the reason is that we know we can do better than this and have. It’s what good football franchises do. They EXPECT to win EVERY game and when they don’t, something is wrong. I want for these Seahawks to be like the now Patriots and the past Steelers. I want for people to look Northwest and see OUR DYNASTY. I’m tired of being the team that people say is lucky right now but will be bad in a couple years again or have to rebuild. I want other teams to play us and feel lucky if they get the win. So while I am thrilled that we will be winning the west again this year at 7-4. We could easily be 10-1 (no chance in the Pitt game).

  38. I keep on thinking of the Holmgren quote:

    “Our best football is ahead of us.”

    So far I’m waiting and waiting and despite thankfully our winning record this team seems to be grinding it’s gears on O. Props to Pilot for recognizing that it is the D that is keeping this team winning as the O has remained horribly inconsistent all season. It’s so frustrating to watch because I know they could be so much better.

    I hope we see their best football soon.

  39. I complain and am proud of it. I am also a 15 year season tix holder. Some people say an ugly win is better than a pretty loss but those ugly wins aren’t why I follow this team. That is why I complain. I want to see us strive for perfection. The rest of you who don’t like complainers can be happy with mediocrity.

  40. PapaHawk says:

    The Hawks possessions are faster than most teams, as they usually do not use as much clock to snap the ball as most teams. The go with fast tempo and sometimes, as we’ve seen, no-huddle. Plus, you look at the three-and-outs of their opponents, and you get more possessions. More possessions equals more punts. Add in the fact that the Hawks haven’t turned the ball over much, and you get even more punts. Part of the reason why Plackemeier’s punting average is low is because of all the short-field punts he makes. Punting from the 50 yard line frequently. He uses that Aussie football technique where he kicks the end of the ball…makes the ball fly weird and bounce high without rolling.

    As for complaining: Its the team’s job to seek perfection, not mine. While I’d love to see a perfect team and a perfect game….football is purely entertainment for me. So, getting bent out of shape over being 7-4 doesn’t really fly with me. This Seahawks team is not mediocre. They are pretty good. They need to play better though in order to be great.

  41. PapaHawk;
    I agree:

    “This Seahawks team is not mediocre. They are pretty good. They need to play better though in order to be great.”

    Unfortunately I don’t think they are playing anywhere near close to the level they should be playing at. This season the OLine has lost the ability to run block worth a darn and they are vulnerable to a blitz. The same guys who played well at the end of last season are the guys that are starting and they seem unable to get it together. Something is amiss, and the coaches can’t seem to find any solutions.

    The O has sputtered along all year with no run game to be depended upon and a parade of players at WR because of the inability of are starters to remain healthy. Sadly as well we have not had the contribution of solid play from the TEs either. Matt seems to be able to make something from nothing quite frequently.

    I am totally pleased with the play of our ST and D as they as units are getting the job done effectively. The O on the other hand is hit and miss, miss and hit. I want more and to see some consistency. They can do that, the talent is there but they aren’t all on the same page for some reason or another. It all seems to me to come back on the OLine, but certainly it is a team thing that allows consistent play to happen.

    It is frustrating because this team instead of just being a reasonably good team could easily be an elite team if the O would become more consistent and they could find the missing bits that allowed the run to work last season.

  42. The loss of Mack Strong is bigger than we realize. When he left the Bears playoff game, the Seahawks offense went downhill. When he left the Steelers game, the Seahawks offense, especially blitz pickups and run blocking, went downhill.

  43. hurst7t9:

    Regular Season:
    12/5/05 Hawks 42 @ Eagles 0. Hass was not sacked. McMahon and Detmer were each sacked twice for total loss of 16 yds. Westbrook got 17 yds on 9 carries.

    12/8/02 Eagles 27 @ Hawks 20. Hass was sacked 4 times for -28 yds. A.J. Feeley under center for Eagles, was not sacked. Deuce Stahly ran for 100 yds.

    9/23/01 Eagles 27 @ Hawks 3. Hass was sacked 7 times for -41 yds. McNabb was sacked 5 times for -41 yds, also. Buckhalter got 52 yds on 18 carries.

    Don’t remember any other regular season or post season games with wins(?)

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