Thursday, July 13, 2006
No, I'm not talking about Anthrax.
But the 2005 Seattle Seahawks certainly "moshed" their way to a 13-3 record and a NFC Championship. On the surface, you can look at Shaun Alexander's MVP-season and say that he was the main reason why the 'Hawks went to the Super Bowl. In football, however, it's never about one guy.
See the 2005 Seahawks defense.
Lost in all the offensive shuffle is the defense of the 2005 Seahawks. Ray Rhodes suffers a stroke just prior to the season opener in Jacksonville and linebackers coach John Marshall takes over as interim defensive coordinator (he's now the full-time DC). A defense full of young talent and veteran leadership goes on to lead the NFL in sacks with 50 and allowed just 5 rushing touchdowns, best in the NFC.
Out of all the stats that were accumulated by the 2005 Seahawks, this was the most impressive one to me. The 2004 Seahawks allowed 17 rushing touchdowns, so for the 2005 team to allow just 5 was amazing. The incredible thing about this stat is that I didn't even realize it until a few days ago. That's how underrated the 2005 Seahawks defense was.
The 2005 schedule included the following running backs:
Fred Taylor (JAX), Warrick Dunn (ATL), Clinton Portis (WSH), Steven Jackson (STL), Tiki Barber (NYG), Edgerrin James (IND)
Those six running backs are considered to be in the NFL's Top 15. And how many of those backs scored against the Seahawks? Only Jackson was able to breakthrough into the end zone against the Seahawks defense.
2005 SEAHAWKS RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS ALLOWED (5)
Week 2 ATLANTA
(T.J. Duckett 1-yard run, 4th quarter 3:58)
Week 5 at St. Louis
(Steven Jackson 4-yard run, 3rd quarter 0:26)
Week 11 at San Francisco
(Maurice Hicks 1-yard run, 4th quarter 0:28)
Week 15 at Tennessee
(Jarrett Payton 3-yard run, 2nd quarter 6:05)
Week 17 at Green Bay
(Noah Herron 11-yard run, 2nd quarter 8:22)
Notice that just one of the five rushing touchdowns allowed by the Seahawks defense came at Qwest Field (Week 2, Atlanta). So, from September 25 (Week 3, Arizona) to January 22 (the day of the NFC Championship Game against Carolina), the Seahawks did not allow a rushing touchdown at home. In contrast, Alexander scored 15 touchdowns at Qwest Field during that span.
Yes, the Seahawks allowed 2 rushing touchdowns in the Super Bowl. But make no mistake, the Seahawks were as formidable against the run as any team in the National Football League. And to think, the Seahawks' run defense can only get better with the offseason acquisitions in LB Julian Peterson and DT Russell Davis.
Training camp is in two weeks. Time goes by so fast when I'm not posting nearly as much as I used to here. Heh.