The prevailing story about the potential loss of Percy Harvin is that it would be a huge loss. Maybe it would be. Nobody really knows until the team takes the field with him. Anyone that says the Seahawks offense is in trouble without Harvin should take a look at last season.
Seattle finished #4 overall in FootballOutsiders.com offensive efficiency rankings, and #1 overall in their weighted offensive rankings. Weighted rankings take into account the opposing defenses the team faced. No offense in football performed better against better opponents than the Seahawks, without Harvin.
The team finished 9th in the NFL in scoring at 25.8 ppg. They averaged 26 ppg in their two playoff matches. The Green Bay Packers, one of the most feared offenses in the NFL averaged 27.1 ppg. The Atlanta Falcons were at 26.2 ppg.
Seattle averaged 34 ppg in their last eight games of the regular season. The Patriots averaged the most points in the NFL last year at 34.8 ppg.
Seattle’s passing game got more explosive last year, even without Harvin
The Seahawks finished 3rd in rushing yards/game, and fifth in yards/carry.
Seattle averaged 398.3 yards/game in the final eight games. That would be the 4th-best avg in the NFL over the course of a full season. Higher than Peyton Manning’s Broncos.
None of this is to say Harvin is unimportant. He may help the offense be more consistently dominant against a wider variety of defenses. He was a big part of how an inferior Minnesota Vikings team beat up on the San Francisco 49ers last season. His presence simply is not necessary for this to be a Super Bowl-caliber offense. I had not been in favor of making a deal for him prior to the trade, but have been intrigued by how he could make the offense more diverse after. I need to see Harvin super-charging the offense before I shed a tear about his absence. That is not the case for every new addition. It is clear how players like Jesse Williams, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett can help the team vastly improve. Harvin was added to a receiving corps that was already underutilized. He will struggle to get 65 receptions in this offense, but those catches could be game-changers. Fans will have to settle for the trio of Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin that all look ready for stand-out seasons, and an offense that may only average 30 ppg instead of 32 ppg.