LB K.J. Wright was certain the Seahawks would dominate the pass-happy Broncos, and metrics make his point that the pass defense was among best in NFL history.
The Seahawks have never been bashful about speaking up. Now that they’ve walked their talk, there’s no reason to stop now. In a phone interview with NBC’s Pro Football Talk Friday, LB K.J. Wright was asked what the outcomes would be if the Seahawks and Denver Broncos played 100 times.
“Probably 90 — I’d probably go 90 out of 100,” Wright said of the Seahawks’ win probability. “They might’ve got lucky those other 10 times. They’re a good football team. But you know the way we play, our style of play most teams just can’t match up with it.
“We are really good at what we do. We run the ball really well, we stop the run, and we just out-hit guys. You know most teams just can’t match up with our style of play.”
Wright, who had seven tackles in the 43-8 beatdown, knew the Seahawks would prevail after the first play, when the Broncos blew the snap, which turned into a safety for the quickest score in Super Bowl history.
“The first play of the game, I was like, ‘All right, man. We got these boys,’” Wright said. “If you start the game off like that, something’s not right.
“When that happened, I was like, ‘All right man, I got my nerves calmed down.’ And I was like, ‘OK, I believe we got this one.’”
Wright’s talk isn’t just bravado. With speed and a detailed scouting report that included studying Manning’s eyes for pre-snap tells, the Seahawks shut down what metrics established as the most productive offense in the history of the NFL.
The analytical mavens at Football Perspective, using a formula called Z-Score, calculated the regular season stats that show the Seahawks’ pass defense was the fourth best since 1950, trailing only 2002 Tampa, 1988 Mnnesota and 1970 Minnesota. That was before three playoff wins over New Orleans, San Francisco and Denver, arguably the best three teams in the league.
Presuming the financial ability to keep the defensive core together under the salary cap, there is a reasonable possibility to get better in the 2014 season, purely because of youth.
Football Perspective had another tabulation that, as youngest team by average age to win a Super Bowl, the Seahawks are are well positioned to shut down the league again.
And the offense is positioned to grow.
Seattle is full of young players, which is not surprising because the Seahawks were the youngest team in the NFL in 2012. This year, Seattle had the youngest offense in the NFL, and all of that unit’s contributors were under the age of 28. Russell Wilson (24.8), Marshawn Lynch (27.4), Max Unger (27.4), Golden Tate (25.1), Doug Baldwin (24.9), and J.R. Sweezy (24.4) form a young core that should compete for years. The only long-term questions for the offense are figuring out how to keep Percy Harvin healthy (he doesn’t turn 26 until May) and making sure that Robert Turbin (23.7) or Christine Michael (22.8) can handle the load when Lynch declines.
Unlike the Baltimore Ravens and other recent champions whose key players are mature veterans at or near retirement, the Seahawks are well-positioned to, well, beat the Broncos 90 out of 100 times.
Beating the 49ers twice a year, however, would more than suit Seahawks fans.