Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

03 Oct 2013

ESPN Upset Watch: Colts over Seahawks

Interesting notes for this week's Colts-Seahawks matchup: Seattle's cornerbacks have actually given up a lot of yardage to opposing wideouts this year, and the Colts' defense really needs to figure out how to stop Seattle on second downs. Cover Watch looks at the Jets and Falcons.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 03 Oct 2013

13 comments, Last at 09 Oct 2013, 3:46am by Jennifer Herren


by Perfundle :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 4:40pm

Seattle's pass defense breakdown did strike me as odd. 1st against TEs doesn't seem enough to make up for 29th against #1 WRs, 18th against #2 WRs, 15th against other WRs, and 15th against RBs.

by formido :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 5:07pm

Where did those ranks come from? Given Seattle has allowed the lowest passer rating in the NFL, some seem hard to believe.

by Perfundle :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 6:07pm

I think it's because opponents aren't using their #1 receivers in the normal way against Seattle, because they know that putting them on the outside is pretty much futile. So they're running pick routes to free them for short/intermediate passes in the middle of the field.

Also, the ranking are massively dependent on interceptions, so Seattle is #1 again tight ends because 5 of their 7 interceptions have come against passes intended for them (Vernon Davis twice, D.J. Williams, and Owen Daniels twice). This year, QBs rarely throw the ball to a covered #1 receiver against Seattle, so there's not many chances for interceptions (although Sherman almost had one against Smith).

by formido :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 5:08pm

If Unger plays, and it looks like he will, the line is correct. Or closer anyway. Russell Wilson is 24-5 against the spread, including preseason and play-offs, so the lines are generally biased against Seattle.

by Perfundle :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 5:34pm

More precisely, the sharp bettors are biased against Seattle, and getting burnt badly for it. It's strange, because it's usually the sharps that go for advanced statistical methods, and Seattle under Wilson has always rated higher than public perception perceives them to be.

by gotcha (not verified) :: Sat, 10/05/2013 - 1:21pm

Yeah, than the Seahawks will only be missing a left and a right tackle not to mention both guards are new to the offense this year.

by formido :: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 5:10pm

Also, Irvin is playing a different position now, so how he did against the run as a LEO is irrelevant.

by Seattle Fishing (not verified) :: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 7:39am

I'll go for Hawks :)

by keasley (not verified) :: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 11:51am

2 weeks ago, FO ran the ESPN Upset Watch: 49ers over Seahawks. Final score:

Seahawks 29
49ers 3


by Bobman :: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 1:15pm

Yeah, but since you are using the Niners as the yardstick, SEA beat them by 26 in SEA which is generally agreed to confer about 5 pts in HFA--just for argument, call that a 21 pt win. Indy beat the Niners on the road in SF by 20 pts. Adding a 3 point SF HFA to that spread makes that a net 23 pt (or thereabouts) win. Put the game in Indy (3 hour time change for the Hawks plus a relatively noisy home crowd), and without even looking at advanced stats, which kinda seem to favor Indy anyway, it's no stretch to see the Colts winning.

A lot of personnel changes in the short time since these games were played, players lost and added, but there are multiple ways to look at a potential upset.

by DragonPie (not verified) :: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 3:36pm

It's funny because all last year, Colts fans watched as Football Outsiders defamed their team all year because their DVOA rating was much lower than their record. It made sense because other metrics such as Pythagorean wins agreed and nobody could deny that they had a lot of close wins against terrible teams.

But now, these Colts really have shown themselves to be legitimately good this year. For one, both the Seahawks and Colts blew out what we'd expect to be a good 49ers team.

by monkey (not verified) :: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 2:04pm

Bobman, none of that has anything to do with the point that the Seahawks crushed the Niners, after ESPN picked the Niners to upset the Seahawks. That was the point that poster made.

Furthermore, each and every game plays out different ways, and highlights different match ups. So to look at the way two separate games happened to play out, (and do some funky math), then extrapolate from that mess that somehow the Colts will beat the Seahawks...that's what is known as a logic fallacy.
Just saying...

by Jennifer Herren (not verified) :: Wed, 10/09/2013 - 3:46am

Sea hawks are real hawks. I believe they are unstoppable and i hope their are no strong contenders this time to make a big challenge.