Seahawks are a flawed contender

A look at the tape and metrics reveals several weaknesses for Seattle

Updated: November 7, 2013, 11:54 AM ET
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

Richard ShermanAP Photo/Patric SchneiderPete Carroll has Richard Sherman & Co. making big plays, but there are some major flaws.

There is a classic football adage that says in order for a team to win, it first has to keep itself from losing.

From a personnel perspective, the saying means having any number of strengths is a plus, but not having weak links can be just as important, if not more important.

This train of thought comes to mind when reviewing the 2013 edition of the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll's club has the second-best record in the NFL (8-1) and may have the most talented squad in the league, but nearly every section of this team has a significant weakness that makes the Seahawks a flawed powerhouse.

To illustrate this, let's take a look at the main strengths and weaknesses of each part of Seattle's offense and defense.


Passing defense

Strengths: This is by far the most talented section of the Seahawks roster and it shows in their metric totals. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Seattle's defense ranks third in Total QBR (35.4), second in pass yards allowed per game (179.78), first in yards per attempt (5.47), second in interception percentage (4.4 percent) and fifth in sacks per attempt (9.8 percent). Very few teams combine the ability to cover, rush the passer and pick off passes the way the Seahawks do.

Weaknesses: Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner can both dominate in coverage, but their metrics indicate there is an avenue to complete passes against them.