THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: Maybe the stat geeks were right

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Just the numbers should tell you.

The Seahawks were pretty damn lucky to be a 10-win team entering the weekend.

And on Sunday night, the Rams administered the kind of beatdown that seemed to prove the stat geeks were correct.

For much of that lost evening in the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Seahawks looked about as close to a Super Bowl team as Coeur d’Alene High. And I say that without meaning disrespect to Coeur d’Alene.

Let’s go back to talking about numbers.

People who spend their hours and days figuring out these sorts of things already have dismissed Seattle as one of the NFL’s serious contending teams.

Yes, the Rams made that look accurate with their 28-12 victory Sunday night — but honestly, a numbers guru might have told you that was going to happen.

And that’s without tossing in the Rams’ recent offensive numbers against the Hawks, which over the past couple of years add up to something like the circumference of the Earth.

Instead of that, let’s ignore our hearts and just peer with chilly eyes at how the Seahawks have scraped their way to 10 wins.

IF YOU take emotion out of it, the Rams actually seemed perfectly primed to knock Seattle off the top of the NFC West.

Well, at least someone appeared certain to do it — and the Rams happen to be a team finding its mojo just as we hit the stretch run.

Here’s why it was bound to happen…

Seattle teed it up in Los Angeles with a plus-36 score differential through its first 12 games.

If that number doesn’t catch your attention, it’s the lowest plus-minus by a 10-2 team in NFL history.

That’s right.


Say that again: The Seahawks’ point differential through 12 games is the lowest for a 10-win team the league has ever seen.


The Rams, who got to a modest 8-5 Sunday night, now have a higher plus-minus number than Seattle at plus-49.

To put the Seahawks’ number in perspective, the Ravens also began the weekend with 10 wins — but had outscored opponents by 187, along with the Patriots at 177 and the 49ers with 167.

Those are numbers that say you’re pounding people and winning plenty of games.

But the Seahawks?

That plus-36 suggests they’ve been lucky (two different wins came when opponents missed makeable field goal attempts) and that they’ve survived some games with just one or two critical plays.

I know what you’re thinking…

The Seahawks’ record isn’t surprising, because Pete Carroll’s style is to win games in the fourth quarter and, hey, they’ve got Russell Wilson to close the deals.

I’M SORRY, but that logic doesn’t pass the stat test.

The Seahawks are 33-34-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less in the Pete Carroll era.

So you say: “What about Russell Wilson?”


Seattle is 29-29-1 in those close games since drafting Wilson.

I think maybe a lot of us are guilty of selective memory — and especially recent memory, since the Hawks have played nine games decided by a TD or less this season, and they’re 8-1 in those heart-stoppers.

By the way, none of this means that the Seahawks can’t conjure up a Super Bowl run this season.

They still hold their division title hopes in their own hands, and winning the West is almost mandatory to any serious playoff run.

They’d need to win out the rest of the way, and that would do it because the remaining schedule concludes with a rematch against the 49ers at CenturyLink Field.

So it’s not impossible.

Unfortunately, those cold, hard numbers — the Hawks are now just plus-20 with their 10-3 record — suggest that this team is not likely good enough to pull it off.

In case you’re wondering, the Seahawks’ two Super Bowl teams in 2013-14 each averaged eight blowout wins per season.

We’re still waiting for one of those in 2019, but the evidence so far says....



Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Steve also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball each Tuesday.

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