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The story of the 2012 season may best be told by the progress made in key situations on both offense and defense.
One of the benefits of quartering the season as I have in my Seahawks Progress Reports is we can stand back and see where the team has changed the most since the season began. You will not find these trend-based reports elsewhere. Most sites only have the latest cumulative numbers.
Among the most striking areas of progress for the offense has been the team’s ability to convert third downs and score touchdowns in the red zone. The chart below shows the progression through 16 games.
Going from mid-20s to over 40% on 3rd downs is remarkable. The team has clearly been converting at a rate well above 40% to raise the number each quarter of the season.
The progress in the red zone was even more striking. Russell Wilson has always shown a knack for putting points on the board, and just exploded the second half of the season, helping the team go from under 40% to near 60%.
The defense faced similar early season challenges on third down, but has made a big recovery.
The scale is not the same as the offensive chart above, but there has been steady progress in third down defense nonetheless, going from 44% to 37% by year’s end.
The red zone defense improved as well, although still not at the level is was after eight games.
These are key situations for the offense and the defense, and both units have made noticeable strides.