The Pacific Northwest is pumped and jacked after the Seattle Seahawks unleashed an awesome 58-0 beating on the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.
And who can blame them? Right now, Pete Carroll has built a serious little pigskin powerhouse, here in this third year since escaping USC just ahead of the NCAA posse.
More importantly: his Seahawks (8-5) right now are a threat to win it all. That's right. Seattle is a legit Super Bowl contender, especially if you size them up in our Quality Stats, as we do below.
We're not just reacting to a single game. Carroll's Seahawks have proven they can hang with anybody, they boast an NFL-best five Quality Wins, and they've already proven they can slow down and beat the game's best quarterbacks, including Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
And now they've proven they can take a bad team out behind the woodshed and mercilessly deliver a gruesome execution the likes of which you see only once or twice in a lifetime.
Little red feathers flying everywhere. Larry Fitzgerald’s sports-writing dad in a Twitter meltdown. Ken Whisenhunt shell-shocked surveying the carnage. It was ugly and awesome all at once.
Yes, Arizona has packed it in and given up, losers now of nine straight. But the Cardinals are still an NFL team. And 58-0 beatings at this level are about as common as non-alcoholic IPA at the Pyramid Alehouse.
Seattle is just the fifth team in NFL history (since 1940) to win a game by 58 points or more. Here’s the list:
Dec. 8, 1940 – Chicago 73, Washington 0 (NFL title game)
Nov. 7, 1954 – Cleveland 62, Washington 3
Dec. 4, 1976 – L.A. Rams 59, Atlanta 0
Oct. 18, 2009 – New England 59, Tennessee 0
Dec. 9, 2012 – Seattle 58, Arizona 0
To quote famed football analyst Porky Pig, "That’s all, folks."
Seattle is now a serious team to contend with. At the end of last month, Seattle was something of an oddball: a very good team at home, and a bad team on the road. Hell, they just lost at Miami on Nov. 25 (Week 12).
But they’ve impressed over the last two weeks, first beating a pretty good Bears team, 23-17, on the road – just the second road win of the year for the Seahawks.
And they followed up that game with a historic demolition of the Cardinals, at home, where the Seahawks are 6-0 and where they fear nobody, and should fear nobody.
More importantly for our purposes, Seattle suddenly looks a whole lot more serious today than they did just a few days ago in those indicators, the Quality Stats, that win and lose NFL games.
Sit down, Seahawks fans. You might not want to get up in front of the class after taking a long and, ahem, hard look at the arousing statistical profile of your team right now:
No. 1 Quality Stats Power Rankings – tied with the Houston Texans (pending outcome of Texans-Patriots game)
No. 1 in Quality Wins (five wins vs. one loss) – wins over Green Bay, New England, Dallas, Chicago, Minnesota, loss to San Francisco
No. 2 in scoring defense (15.54 PPG) – only the 49ers (14.15 PPG) give up fewer points per game this season.
No. 2 in Relative scoring defense (-6.79 PPG) – The Seahawks give up 15.54 PPG against teams who score 22.33 PPG against other opponents, second best difference in the NFL.
No. 2 in Bendability (19.38 Yards Per Point Allowed) – our measure of defensive efficiency
No. 3 in Passer Rating Differential (+23.45) – we call this the mother of all stats because champions are usually among the best in the NFL in this indicator; 69% of all NFL champs since 1940 finished in the top 3 league-wide.
No. 3 in Defensive Real Passing YPA (5.35 YPA) – behind only the 49ers and Steelers, a traditional Defensive Pass YPA powerhouse
No. 3 in Defensive Quarterback Rating (65.7) – the Seahawks have allowed 12 total TDs from quarterbacks, while forcing 18 total turnovers out of the position.
No. 3 in Defensive Passer Rating (72.57) – the Seahawks shot six spots up the list after embarrassing the Cardinals.
No. 6 in Offensive Passer Rating (96.02) – Russell Wilson is quietly putting up elite numbers for the Seahawks, including much better efficiency numbers than any rookie other than RGIII.
No. 8 pressuring the passer (9.87 NPP%) – history shows rushing the passer is a critical skill, especially come playoff time. Nearly 10% of opponent dropbacks end in a sack or INT (what we call a Negative Pass Play
No. 8 in rush yards per attempt (4.55 YPA) – if you value the importance of the running game, the Seahawks run the ball about as well as any team in football.
That's a whole lot of awesome, for those of you keeping score at home in Seattle.
The Seahawks visit Buffalo on Sunday, an inferior team that they should beat, even on the road. Then they close out the regular season with two division rivals at home, in front of the 12th Man, where the Seahawks have not lost all year.
Those final two games against San Francisco and St. Louis suddenly look a lot more interesting, especially the Week 16 game against the 49ers. There’s no reason to believe that Seattle right now can’t steal the division away from San Francisco. While the Seahawks visit Buffalo next week, the 49ers visit New England.
This should be a great three weeks in Seattle. It's Pete Carroll's pumped & jacked world, folks. You're just living in it.