Monday, November 19, 2012

Seahawks Secondary Remains Underrated

Seattle has the best secondary in the NFL. The evidence continues to mount that this is a unit that no quarterback wants to face, even if the national recognition remains elusive and the local attention is inconsistent.

Many Seattle radio stations have belittled the last two Seahawks secondary efforts, as they came against questionable competition. Christian Ponder is just a second year player, and Mark Sanchez is a disaster, right? All Ponder did the week after his loss to the Seahawks was go 24-32 for 221 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions in a 34-24 win over Detroit. The week before the game against Seattle, Ponder threw for 251 yards and a touchdown. Sanchez followed his game against the Seahawks by going 15-20 for 178 yards, 1 touchdown and zero interceptions for a 118.3 rating. Elite secondaries punish weaker opposition. Ponder and Sanchez are more than capable of rising up and winning a game. The fact that the did not do that against Seattle deserves praise, not indifference.

The Seattle secondary has not just prayed on the weak. They have faced three of the top four rated passers in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Alex Smith. Rodgers and Brady had their lowest-rated games of the year against Seattle, and Smith had his second-lowest. Brady had another stellar game yesterday when he threw for another three touchdowns with zero interceptions. He has thrown one interception all season when playing teams not named Seattle. The Seahawks intercepted him twice, and certainly should have had at least one more when Earl Thomas dropped a pick-six in the end zone. Brady's touchdown-to-interception ratio against the rest of the NFL is 19:1 this year, and was 2:2 against the Seahawks. His passer rating is 106.6 against the rest of the league, and was 79.3 versus Seattle.

Rodgers has 27 touchdowns on the year, for an average of 3.0 in games against the rest of the NFL. He had a goose egg in Seattle. Say what you want about the Golden Tate touchdown at the end of that game, but it there was nothing controversial about the Seahawks shutting Rodgers out of the end zone. His rating against Seattle was 81.5. It is 110.5 against the rest of the NFL, including 93.3 against the 49ers, 85.3 against the Bears, and 133.8 against the Texans.

Smith is completing 71.1% of his passes against the rest of the league, but managed just 61% versus the Seahawks. His rating was 74.5 when facing the Seahawks, and 107.6 against the rest of the NFL.

This Seahawks secondary is worth every ounce of hype they had going into the season, and deserve more recognition for what they have done. The one element that has been missing has been more takeaways, and there is reason to believe quarterbacks like Ryan Tannehill, Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick and John Skelton/Ryan Lindley/Kevin Kolb will be in a giving mood in the coming weeks.

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