Without question the Seattle Seahawks are the overall Super Bowl favorites right now, and Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are each a huge reason to why that is! But just how much exactly of an impact does this dynamic duo make, and what is it that makes them so successful? First lets look at this one simple stat below
Seattle is 3rd in league for most rushing yards 1,754 (Wilson and Lynch make up for 1,426 of those yards)
As you can see, Wilson and Lynch combined success on the ground has been key to the Seahawks offensive success. Even when they are having a slow day on the ground, Wilson has made up for it through the air and Lynch has contributed as a reliable receiving target coming from the backfield. (Wilson and Lynch have hooked up 27 times through the air, going for 234 yards and 2 TD's)!
Before I get into the dissection of just how and why they have been successful, I also wanted to list each of their 40 times: Lynch- 4.46 Wilson- 4.55
To quote (and parapharse a little) Inmate Unger from The Longest Yard (2005) "They make fast people look not fast!"
Things of note *Everything as of this writing is as of 12/6/13, which is the day after the Texans and Jaguars game on 12/5/13 but before the remainder of the the rest of Week 14's schedule.
* Team's statistical ranking are also as of 12/6/13
* When account for total offense combined from Wilson and Lynch, receiving yards are NOT accumulated in the duo's offensive production total against their opponents
Seattle has faced some of the toughest defense's(statistically) to date but still were able to be productive offensively thanks to Wilson and Lynch.
Lets take a look at from their first match up against the Carolina Panthers (who as of this writing of this article have the #2 Total Defense and #2 Rushing Defense) Russell Wilson found plenty of success through the air throwing for 320 yards and 1 TD (Wilson also had 7 yds. rushing) Lynch provided 43 additional yards on the ground (and had 9 receiving yards). In Seattle's 13-7 victory over Carolina, Wilson and Lynch combined for a total of 370 yards of offense (Wilson - 327, Lynch 43 *NOTE* Again, receiving yards are not accumulated in the total) Carolina's season average (avg.) to date for total defensive yards allowed is 289.8 per game, surpassing that total immensely! And to date, Carolina's avg. for rushing yards allowed per game is 80.2. Lynch and Wilson did indeed have some trouble on the ground, but Seattle in this instance, showed if they can not beat you on the ground, they will be you through the air!
Up next is the Seahawks upcoming opponent this weekend, divisional foe San Francisco 49ers! San Francisco came into this season with one of arguably the best defenses to begin with. The 49ers currently rank 5th in Total Defense and 3rd in Passing Defense. In their first match up with San Francisco,Wilson had a slow day through the air, only throwing for 142 yards ,but did have a TD Pass to go along with it! (Wilson also had 10 carries that went for 33 yds.) Lynch had a breakout game going for 98 yards on the ground and 2 rushing TD's (Lynch was also the recipient of Wilson's only TD Pass, bringing his TD total to 3 for the game. He also had 37 receiving yards to go with it) San Francisco's season average to date for total defensive yards allowed is 311.7 yards. Wilson and Lynch combined for 310 yards alone in the Seahawks 29-3 win over the 49ers! While Wilson was held to under the 49ers current season average of passing yards allowed per game (206.2), he and Lynch made up for it on the ground (131 yards, besting SF's current rushing yards allowed average of 105.5). In what you can call a complete 180 from the Carolina game, if the Seahawks can not do it through the air, then they will beat you on the ground wish their rushing attack!
The Houston Texans have the worst record in the league at 2-11. Surprisingly however, they have statistically one of the top defense's overall (#3) and #2 in Pass Defense. Perhaps even more surprisingly is the Seahawks were down 20-3 at one point during the game before coming all the way back to tie it and eventually win the game in OT 23-20! Wilson and Lynch combined for a total of 245 yards, way below Houston's (current) average of 302.2 yards allowed per game. The ground game between the two exceeded Houston's (current) average of 118.5 rushing yards allowed per game as they both managed to combine for 175 rushing yards. Despite being trailing by 17 at one point, Wilson, Lynch, and the rest of the Seattle Seahawks sent a message from this game that just because they may be down, does not mean they are out!
Wilson and Lynch combined for 4 total TD's in their win over Arizona (Photos by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
In another match up that featured a divisional foe, this time the Arizona Cardinals (who rank currently #4 in Rushing Defense) Wilson and Lynch threw (and ran) all over the Cardinals! Wilson finished the game 18 of 29 for 235 Passing Yards and 3 TD's (0 INT's) and had 29 Rushing yards on top of it. Lynch himself exceeded Arizona's current rushing yards allowed per game avg. of 83.2, by going for 91 yards on the ground and had a TD to go with it! Add Wilson's additional 29 on top of that and those two together nearly produced 40 more yards (120) than Arizona's current season average!
Lynch & Wilson ran circles around the Tennessee Titans Defense!
Seattle also faced a Tennessee Titans team that lately has relied on its defense to be successful and win ball games. Currently, Tennessee has the #9 ranked Total Defense, allowing to this point on average 326.6 yards a game. The Titans also have right now the #7 ranked Passing Defense with an average of 212.6 yards allowed per game. While not a high scoring game (20-13) Wilson and Lynch had a very highly productive day against a Titans team as mentioned, is heavily reliant on it's defense, as the two had 395 total yards between them against Tennessee! That is nearly 70 yards over Tennessee's overall yards per game average! Wilson was 23 of 31 and had 257 passing yards (which is more than the Titans current avg. allowed per game) and 61 yards on the ground with Lynch going for 77 yds rushing himself and 2 TD's!
Russell Wilson continued to prove his critics wrong in the Seahawks 34-7 beat down of fellow NFC powerhouse New Orleans Saints with over 350 yards of total offense and 3 scores!
In this past Monday Night Football showdown against the New Orleans Saints, the Seattle Seahawks took their game to new heights! New Orleans actually have #4 Passing Defense, even after their 34-7 whooping at the hands of Seattle! Russell Wilson threw for 310 yards ( Saints current season average is 206.7) and had 3 TD's (0 INT's) as he picked apart the the New Orleans! (Wilson also had 47 yards on the ground). Lynch hit a speed bump and was nowhere near as productive like Wilson was (16 carries 45 yards, 3 receptions 12 yards). Even if one out of the two duo is slumping a bit, the other is able to carry the load, much like Wilson did in their game against the Saints. (Lynch also did this in the Seahawks 29-3 win over San Francisco when Wilson went only 8 of 19 for 142 yds and 1 TD and an INT. Lynch finished with a total of 135 yards of total offense and 3 TD's!)
Russell Wilson faced a lot of criticism before entering the league and was questioned if he could transition his success from the college level over into the pros. Wilson responded with a successful Rookie Season in 2012 and was named to the Pro Bowl and even had some talk of consideration as Rookie of the Year. Wilson finished his Rookie Season with 3,607 yards of total offense (3,118 Passing Yards, 489 Rushing Yards) and a total of 30 TD's ( 26 Passing, 4 Rushing). Marshawn Lynch has revived his career since coming from Buffalo! Since the beginning of last season (Wilson's first season in Seattle) has 2,990 yards of total offense ( 1,590 Rushing, 430 Receiving) with a total of 23 TD's (20 Rushing, 3 Receiving).
To date as of 12/6 for the 2013 Season (Yes just this season alone!) ,Wilson and Lynch have combined for a total of 4,332 yards of total offense (Wilson- 3,128, Lynch- 1,204) and 34 TD's (Wilson 23, Lynch 11). It is not hard to see why Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch have been a huge reason for the Seattle Seahawks success. Seattle is already the 1st team to clinch a playoff spot this season and is sitting comfortably with an 11-1 record. By themselves, Wilson and Lynch would still do good, but with each other, they're amazing and will continue to cause problems for opposing defenses!
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Stats per ESPN.com and NFL.com