The Sack Argument – Seattle Seahawks Offseason Notes

The 2019 NFL Combine wrapped up this past weekend, and the draft is next month. But I am taking a bigger look at the Seattle Seahawks and what they can do to help themselves next year.

This is The Sack Argument.

Sacks are very important to both the offense and the defense; that is indisputable. If a quarterback is not sacked, then the pass play has a much higher chance of success. And on the same note, if a quarterback is sacked, the pass play failed. So, this is a clear win for either the offense or defense on a given play. I am comparing the sack numbers of the past decade’s Super Bowl winners with the Seahawks over the same time.

I am emphasizing sack numbers because I think they are indicative of the team’s success. That does not mean I think this is the best way to rate teams; it is just an exercise to look at correlation and find ways to improve.

Through the last 10 Super Bowls, eight of the winning teams had more sacks on defense than they let up on offense. The only two who didn’t were the 2013 Seahawks and the 2012 Baltimore Ravens. I think this shows that putting an emphasis on protecting your quarterback and getting to the opposing quarterback can be a good indicator of success.

                       Team                                       Sacks For             Sacks Against                                      

2018-19 New England Patriots              30                         21

2017-18   Philadelphia Eagles                  38                         36

2016-17   New England Patriots              34                        24

2015-16   Denver Broncos                         52                        39

2014-15   New England Patriots              40                         26

2013-14   Seattle Seahawks                     44                        44

2012-13   Baltimore Ravens                     37                         28

2011-12   New York Giants                       48                         28

2010-11   Green bay Packers                    47                            38

2009-10   New Orleans Saints                  35                         20

This is also one statistic that Seattle has been terrible in over the past decade. There have only been two seasons where the Seahawks had more sacks than they gave up, 2012 and 2010. In the other eight seasons, they gave up almost 50 more sacks than their opponents.

                       Team                                       Sacks For             Sacks Against                                      

2018-19 Seattle Seahawks                     43                         51

2017-18   Seattle Seahawks                     39                         43

2016-17   Seattle Seahawks                     42                         42

2015-16   Seattle Seahawks                     37                         46

2014-15   Seattle Seahawks                     37                         42

2013-14   Seattle Seahawks                     44                         44

*2012-13   Seattle Seahawks                   36                         33

2011-12   Seattle Seahawks                     33                         50

*2010-11   Seattle Seahawks                   37                         35

2009-10   Seattle Seahawks                     28                         41

To a longtime Seattle fan this will probably confirm what you have been seeing and hearing about the team. It always seems like the targets during the offseason are the offensive line and the pass rush. This year is no different; both the guard spots on the O-line are in flux and the search is on for another edge rusher. Dion Jordan was supposed to pair with Frank Clark last year, but he massively underproduced and the rookies Seattle brought in were solid but didn’t get many sacks.

So, here goes: I think the Seahawks should prioritize the offensive line and the pass rush this offseason. I know it is controversial, but that is what I think.

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About Tim Kearny 64 Articles
I am a Seattle based sports writer who has lived in Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Washington. I love writing about sports, football in particular. Seattle is home and I love the Northwest. If you like the articles or don’t like them, let me know on Twitter. If you keep reading them you will start noticing I like talking about movies and stuff too.