|Photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks
True dynasties in the NFL require at least two championships. Those, however, are what business folk would call a trailing indicator. Ultimate triumph first requires regular season prowess that puts a team in position to compete for a championship each year. Very few teams in the NFL have managed to do that, especially since the dawn of the salary cap. Seattle has now joined a very short list of teams that have.
To the points
There are many ways to judge a team’s success during the regular season, but one stat that is a must if you are judging dominance is point differential. It is the simplest stat of them all. Your team’s points minus the points your team allowed leaves you with a point differential. The last 25 Super Bowl Champions have averaged a point differential of +148.5 during the regular season. Seattle finished with a differential of +146 this year, good for fourth-best in the NFL behind Carolina (+192), Arizona (+176), and New England (+150).
What is remarkable is that Seattle has now recorded a +140 or greater point differential in four straight seasons.
The only other franchises to do that were:
- 1991-1996 San Francisco 49ers
- 1992-1995 Dallas Cowboys
- 2009-2012 New England Patriots
Each of those teams were dynasties in their own right. Only New England did not win a Super Bowl during their point differential streak. They did, of course, win four over the course of fifteen years, and went to two others.
San Francisco won one Super Bowl during their point differential streak. Dallas won three.
Winning one ring legitimized the Seahawks as a great team. Coming to within a yard of winning back-to-back championships made them more of a punchline than a respected winner. They face the daunting task of needing to win three games on the road to get back to the Super Bowl this year. Winning a second trophy in three years, while making the championship game three years straight would cement their place among the great dynasties in NFL history.
Their fourth straight season of 140 or greater point differential is a leading indicator they have a valid chance of making it happen.