Americans consumed, on average, 5000-6000 calories during their Thanksgiving meal this week. Turkey, Ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, pecan pies and pumpkin pies are just a few of the tasty treats enjoyed by many. Seahawks defenders have been feasting on opponent turnovers long before Thanksgiving came and went, and we’re not talking about apple or cherry here. These are the kind that taste even sweeter and may even cause the average fan to burn a few calories jumping for joy. Over the past six games, dating back to the New York Giants game before the bye week, only one team in the NFL has forced more turnovers than the 15 Seattle’s defense has caused.
Seattle’s D is ball Hawkin’
Seattle’s defense currently ranks 13th in the NFL in total turnovers forced with 17. The Top 11 teams all check in with more than 20, but five of those teams have played one more game than Seattle. The Seahawks started the season by forcing only two turnovers in the first four games, pushing them down near the bottom of the NFL. The six weeks that have followed have seen the team force and average of 2.5 turnovers per game. The league-leading 49ers have averaged 2.36 turnovers per game for the season, and forced only 12 in the past six games. The Chicago Bears have forced one more turnover during that six-game time frame, aided greatly by a six turnover game against the Lions a few weeks back.
Seahawks 6-Game turnover spree
Not only have the Seahawks piled up an impressive turnover total, but they have forced at least one turnover in each of the six games. The Green Bay Packers, the Giants and the Houston Texans have forced a turnover in every game this season. Seattle’s streak of forcing a turnover in six straight games ranks as the next longest. Fifteen teams have forced fewer turnovers the entire year than the Seahawks have caused in the last six weeks. If the Seahawks maintained this turnover pace the rest of the year, they would end the season with a total of 32. Seattle’s 2010 defense forced only 22 last year, ranking near the bottom of the NFL. This year’s team, with 17 already, should have no trouble eclipsing last year’s total.
The turnovers are coming both on the ground and through the air. It is that balance that is leading to the recent surge. Seattle’s seven fumble recoveries is tied for 8th in the NFL, while their 10 interceptions rank 16th. Contributions are coming from all across the defense. Kam Chancellor leads the team with four turnovers (3 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery). He also has a forced fumble. David Hawthorne has two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Chris Clemons has forced three fumbles. Roy Lewis has already recovered two fumbles in his short return from the PUP. Everyone else has no more than one forced fumble, interception or fumble recovery.
Earl Thomas continues to be a player that could pop for more turnovers at any time. He has underachieved with one interception and one fumble recovery, but faces a Rex Grossman-led Redskins team this week that has thrown more interceptions than all but two teams. The Redskins total of 23 turnovers is only one behind the worst in the NFL. The Philadelphia Eagles own that throne, and the Arizona Cardinals are not far behind with 20. Seattle’s defense could potentially gain steam in the turnover department as they play these teams the next few weeks.