It's a little known fact about the Seattle Seahawks, but they're one of the most dangerous passing teams in the league. You wouldn't know it, because quarterback Russell Wilson doesn't post gaudy numbers as a passer, but they're dangerous.
When you think of Seahawks Offense, it's easy to be drawn to Marshawn Lynch, after all he leads the team in yards from scrimmage and makes up over 25% of their yardage.
Here's the Seahawks breakdown of yards from scrimmage (<300 grouped together). pic.twitter.com/MruKGSftwl— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) January 23, 2015
When it comes to stopping the Seahawks, Lynch will understandably be the first target to defend.
But Wilson remains dangerous when throwing the ball.
When looking at plays for 20+ yards, the Seahawks rank 3rd in the league at 7.3%
Those are some of the best deep passing attacks in the entire league and the Seahawks find themselves towards the top. The main beneficiaries of these big plays are Doug Baldwin (18 plays of 20+), Lynch (15), Jermaine Kerse (11), Luke Willson (9), and Russell Wilson himself (8 runs).
Looking at the Patriots defense, they find themselves ranking 10th worst in allowing 20+ yard plays in the league, with 67. Seattle ranks 1st with 43.
Yet the Patriots are still a great match against the explosive Seahawks offense. How does this work out?
The Patriots have had some tremendous leads this season where they have allowed the opposition to pick up chuck yardage plays. When the Patriots are ahead by two or more scores, Patriots have allowed league worst 19 20+ yard plays (tied with Colts).
When looking at times where the Patriots lead is less than 2 scores, the defense rockets up to 6th best, allowing just 48 plays of 20+ yards. Seattle is tied first with 39. This means that when the game is close, New England has done an outstanding job of preventing the other team from picking up quick yards to move down the field- and yes, this is including the playoffs.
Even more important for this game, the Patriots have allowed just two rushing plays of 20+ yards, good for best in the league. The Jets and Vikings tie for second with six each. Seattle has allowed 8 rushing plays for 20+ yards.
The Patriots match-up well against the Seahawks offense. Let's see if it's enough.
Below is the rate at which defenses allow plays of 20+ yards, with the game within 2 scores.
|Tm||Ttl Play||Bust||Bust %|