A statistically significant victory for the Seahawks

The win by the Seattle Seahawks over New England wasn’t just a boost in the standings. There were some statistically significant achievements included as well.

There was a lot to enjoy about the Seahawks’ victory over the Patriots, the play of C.J. Prosise and Kam Chancellor especially, and there’s a good summary of the overall game by fellow writer Andy Larkin; but looking at the numbers in and around the game illuminates just how statistically significant this game was:

  • Since Russell Wilson became quarterback this is the first time the Seahawks have won after being 7.5 point underdogs. The only other time the Seahawks have been 7.5 point underdogs was against the 49ers in 2012, when they lost. ( And this is the first of many entries that need a tip of the hat to Football Outsiders, in particular this article by Scott Kacsmar – which is much more fun to read after the game than it was before the game ).
  • The Seahawks have now led or been within one score in the fourth quarter in 98 consecutive games ( regular season and playoffs ). The second longest streak is by the Green Bay Packers with 69, who the Seahawks lost to 24-0 in Week 2 of 2011 right before their current streak started.
  • The Seahawks have either won, or lost by ten points or less, in their last 92 games – that stretches back to an October 2011 loss to the Bengals; the next closest active streak is only 20 games by the Denver Broncos.
  • This was Russell Wilson’s 21st game winning drive, which is a new Seahawks record; through two colleges and one NFL team Russell Wilson has now gone 111 consecutive games where his team was at least within one score at some point in the fourth quarter. ( Another tip of the hat to Football Outsiders’ the Clutch Encounters column )
  • 348 passing yards by Russell Wilson was a career high, three yards over the previous mark, recorded during that memorable win over the Steelers last year.
  • Doug Baldwin now has three games with three receiving touchdowns in the last season and a half, which leads the NFL over that period. ( Checked thanks to the incredibly useful Pro Football Reference ).
  • Stephen Hauschka has now missed as many Extra Points as Field Goals this season.
  • Jon Ryan only punted twice in this game, the fewest times this season.
  • The Seahawks’ 23 first downs are the most by the team in a single game this season.
  • This is the first time the Seahawks have beaten every team in the AFC they played in the regular season since moving to the NFC West in 2002; and the first time they’ve beaten every team played from the opposing conference since 1987.

As has been remarked by others, the Patriots were very confident going into this game, and expected a win, as did their fans. Again, looking at the statistics, you can see why:

  • ESPN pointed out that this is the first time the Patriots have lost twice at home in the regular season since 2012.
  • Tom Brady’s interception by DeShawn Shead was the first by the New England Patriots this season, meaning that the Patriots failed to equal the 1960 Cleveland Browns’ NFL-record nine consecutive games without an interception. Thanks due to ESPN for that.
  • After this game the Patriots are now 49-2, since 2001, when defending a one score lead at home in the fourth quarter.
  • Cynthia Frelund of the NFL Network highlighted that this is the first time a running back has scored 3 TDs against the Seahawks under coach Carroll.

Of course the most significant statistic is the W in the result column, but more so than any other recent game than I recall, those numbers revealed just how special this win was.

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