The stats show Russell Wilson has regressed in the second half of the season.
At the same time, the Seahawks defense has risen to the occasion. Should Seattle get the best of both worlds — as in productive defense and MVP-caliber play from their quarterback — they can beat anyone in the NFC.
Per Matt Verderame’s Stacking the Box column, the Seahawks gave up an average of 29.1 points-per-game in the first half of the season. A sudden turnaround in the last seven games has seen that average plummet to 13.1 points per contest in their last seven. Such a notable difference has helped carry Seattle as their offense has taken a step back.
In the seven games since, Seattle has permitted 13.1 points per game while amassing 24 sacks. The charge has been led by a preseason acquisition and a mid-season trade piece in safety/blitz-extraordinaire Jamal Adams and defensive end Carlos Dunlap, respectively. The duo has combined for 15.5 sacks, including 12.5 since the start of November.
What’s wrong with the Seahawks offense?
Wilson hasn’t put together a 300-yard performance since Week 9, per Verderame. That won’t cut it against the likes of the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers in the top tier of the NFC. Without much time to work with, the Seahawks should emphasize their rushing attack in hopes of providing Wilson the support he needs and keeping opposing offenses off the field. It’s a win-win for a defense that will be expected to continue its momentum into the playoffs.
It took some time for Adams and Co. to gel, but Seattle’s defense is performing well at the right time. The only question is whether Wilson, a former MVP candidate midway through the season, cares to join them with his stellar play.