An Investigation: Holding Opponents Under 20 Pts

A funny thing happened when I started examining our defensive performance on the road the past four seasons. I had this hypothesis that the Hawks had rarely held opponents under 20 pts on the road, so I started a little spreadsheet to log every game in the last four seasons that the Hawks held an opponent under 20 pts. What I found surprised me.

Since the beginning of the 2004 season, the Hawks have held 27 opponents under 20 pts (home or away), not including the playoffs. That means we’ve held 42% of our opponents under 20. The Seahawks are 26-1 in those games. That surprised me. Holding opponents under 20 doesn’t seem like that great of a feat, at least not to the point that it would result in such domination.

The only loss in the last four seasons when holding a team under 20 was a 13-10 loss on the road in Carolina last season. None of this is what I set out to investigate, but I certainly will look into this more at another time.

What I did want to know is how often our defense came through on the road. The game @ SF last year was such a vivid memory because I couldn’t remember the last time our defense played with such swagger away from Qwest Field. Of those 27 games with opponents under 20, only 9 have come on the road, or 33%. We’ve held opponents under 15 pts seven times away from home. So if we’re going to hold a team under 20, it’s usually way under 20 because 78% of the time we’ve held someone under 20, we’ve held them under 15.

How many of those strong road defensive performances came in the dreaded Eastern Time Zone? Four. That means nearly half have happened in our most challenging time zone. I would like to spend some time finding out if there is anything that makes these types of performances more or less likely, but on first glance, the quality of opponent is the primary factor. I can’t find a decent team in the lot. I might take a look again just to see what our quality road wins have been, regardless of score.

I’ve included my spreadsheet about the defensive scores below if you’d like to take a look. The Giants don’t seem likely to get added to that list, but we can hope.