Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been a huge factor in Seattle’s 5-0 start. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been a huge factor in Seattle’s 5-0 start. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Grading the Seahawks at the bye week

Through five games Seattle is 5-0, and the marks reflect that record.

The Seattle Seahawks’ bye week came early this season. However, the Seahawks can be forgiven for feeling the bye came at just the right time. It’s only been five games, but it’s already been a wild ride for Seattle.

And yet, the roller coaster found itself aimed upward at the end of every twist and turn.

The Seahawks’ 2020 campaign has already had more drama than a season of Mad Men. Of the Seahawks’ five games, four were decided by a single score, and two came down to what was effectively the game’s final play. But Seattle emerged with five victories, making the Seahawks the only team that was 5-0 through the NFL’s first five weeks.

So at this stopping juncture, here’s a report card on Seattle’s season to date:

Offense: A

Points per game: 33.8 (second in the NFL)

Yards per game: 395.8 (ninth)

Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA): 23.6% (third)

Seattle’s offense has been something to behold. Quarterback Russell Wilson has played MVP-caliber football for three years now, but this season he’s reached heights rarely seen in the NFL, and he came into the weekend ranked first in the league in passer rating (129.8) and touchdown passes (19). Second-year receiver DK Metcalf has reached star status, giving Wilson two receivers (along with Tyler Lockett) who are gamebreakers. Seattle’s run game hasn’t been top-five as it’s typically been during Pete Carroll’s tenure as coach, but that’s more a product of the success of the passing game than anything else. And to top it off, Seattle has been nails when advancing into the red zone, scoring touchdowns 16 of the 18 times it drove inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

Defense: C-

Points allowed per game: 27.0 (19th)

Yards allowed per game: 471.2 (32nd)

DVOA: 3.4% (19th)

In many ways this has been a disastrous season for Seattle’s defense. Through five weeks the Seahawks gave up by far the most yards per game in the league, with the pass defense in particular being historically porous. The pass rush, which was the team’s biggest area of concern coming into the season, has generated just nine sacks, and it’s telling that the team’s best pass rusher is safety Jamal Adams. But, in typical Carroll fashion, the Seahawks have been better at preventing points than yards, with DVOA aligning more with the points-allowed metric than the yards-allowed one. And Seattle has helped itself by registering 10 takeaways, which was tied for the league lead.

Special Teams: A

DVOA: 5.7% (4th)

Seattle’s special teams have been about as close to perfect as possible. Punter Michael Dickson is an absolute magician, putting 14 of his 22 punts inside the opposition 20, and he’s performing even better than he did as a rookie in 2018 when he was a first-team All-Pro. Kicker Jason Myers hasn’t been called into action often because Seattle has scored so many touchdowns, but he’s 2-for-2 on field goals, including a 55-yarder, and 21-for-21 on extra points. The Seahawks haven’t generated a lot in the return game, but it hasn’t been silent, and they’ve given up absolutely nothing to opposing returners (5.9 yards per punt return, 17.6 yards per kick return). Seattle even snuffed out the one attempted fake punt it faced.

Coaching: A-

There are things about Seattle’s coaching that can be nitpicked, whether it’s the way the Seahawks have approached things defensively when playing with a lead, or whether it’s allowing inferior competition to stay in contact. But the defining coaching aspect of Seattle’s season is the decision to “let Russ cook” by taking the shackles off Wilson in the first halves of games and on early downs, and it’s been a smashing success. The other huge coaching accomplishment is that in this time of COVID-19, the Seahawks have not had a single player or staff member test positive. Given the outbreaks that have occurred on other teams, forcing the cancellation of games, that is a gargantuan achievement.

Overall: A-

If we were grading based on entertainment value, the Seahawks would earn an A+ as all their games have been compelling, high-scoring affairs that kept one glued to his or her seat until the final whistle. This defense is no Legion of Boom, and it’s fair to feel some concern about Seattle’s inability to blow anyone out, especially considering last season’s 11-5 record was built almost entirely on wins by one-score and that teams couldn’t make it past the divisional round of the playoffs. But in the end it’s hard to argue with 5-0, and Football Outsiders has Seattle with a 92.9% chance of making the playoffs, despite still having 11 games to play, including six against an NFC West that many consider to be the strongest division in the NFL.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Granite Falls' Kaleb Roberts rushes with Sultan's Kaden Harwick closing Friday night in Sultan on February 26, 2021 (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Friday night lights finally back on

Granite Falls beats rival Sultan in OT in the area’s first prep football game in more than 15 months.

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin (0), left, and center Christian Koloko (35) smother Washington forward Nate Roberts (1) as they fight for a loose ball goes to the ground in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP)
Huskies edged by Arizona in regular-season finale

Washington’s difficult regular season comes to an end with a hard-fought 75-74 loss on the road.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, right, talks to quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Seahawks defeated the Dolphins 31-23.(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Reports show growing divide between Wilson, Seahawks

But despite the star quarterback’s apparent unhappiness, a trade in 2021 remains unlikely.

Austin Johnson, 26 years-old, trains on the Centennial Trail in Lake Stevens and is planning to do a 24-hour run to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
24 hours, 80 miles, $23k raised for mental health

Austin Johnson completes a 24-hour run along the Centennial Trail to raise money for suicide prevention.

Everett Silvertips' Jake Christiansen takes a shot on goal during the game on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Silvertips release abbreviated 24-game schedule

Everett will open its season against Spokane at Angel of the Winds Arena on March 20.

Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert passes the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against San Diego in Spokane, Wash., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
Gonzaga’s Kispert finalist for Erving Award

The Edmonds native is among the final five to be the top small forward in college basketball.

Quarterback Tanner Jellison runs a play with running backs Jay Roughton, left, and Trayce Hanks as the Lake Stevens High School football team conducts its first practice, marking the first day of practice for fall sports in the Wesco division, on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 in Lake Stevens, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Wesco high school sports teams’ long layoff finally ends

For the first time in more than 450 days, Wesco fall athletes gathered for official practices.

Arizona Diamondbacks' Travis Snider singles against the Texas Rangers during a spring training baseball game Thursday, March 5, 2020, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Community sports roundup: Ex-Jackson star Snider joins Braves

Plus, a former Monroe QB is excelling at Whitworth, the Silvertips sign a former T-bird, and more.

High School football teams across Snohomish County are closing in on their first game in over a year. (Herald file photos)
Prep football: Key games and the area’s complete schedule

The first H.S. football game in the county in over a year is set to take place this coming Friday.

A law enforcement officer looks over a damaged vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
L.A. sheriff calls Tiger Woods crash ‘purely an accident’

Deputies saw no evidence the golf star was impaired by drugs or alcohol after Tuesday’s rollover.

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto talks about the suspension of second baseman Robinson Cano, before the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Seattle. Cano was suspended 80 games for violating baseball's joint drug agreement. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Mariners doing damage control with players after Mather’s video

GM Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais say the players involved have every right to be upset.

A vehicle rests on its side after a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods along a road in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Tiger Woods seriously injured in single-car crash in L.A.

His agent says the PGA Tour legend was undergoing leg surgery for injuries suffered in the incident.