Deshaun Watson Will Face His Toughest Test As A Pro: Seahawks vs Houston Preview

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For the last several seasons, there has been no NFL defense better than that of the Seattle Seahawks. Over the course of their current run of five consecutive playoff appearances, the Seahawks have finished each season ranked in the top five in yards allowed, points allowed, and defensive efficiency (with efficiency determined by Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA — or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, which adjusts performance for down, distance, and opponent). They are the only team in the league that has done all three in each of the last five years.

Combining a dominant defensive line with one of the strongest secondaries in the league, plus a wildly underrated group of linebackers, the Seahawks have been able to smother opposing offenses on a regular basis. It’s incredibly tough to run on them, given the quality of players up front; and because they can both generate pressure without having to resort to the blitz, and count on their secondary to cover effectively when they do decide to send extra rushers, it’s arguably even tougher to throw the ball against them.
There is no group of players against whom the Seahawks defense has been more dominant than early-career quarterbacks. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given that most young quarterbacks tend to be ineffective, but the degree to which this group of Seahawks has completely smothered a group of talented young QBs is just preposterous.
Since 2012, 17 players in their first or second year in the NFL have thrown at least 10 passes in a game against the Seahawks. Combined, that group of players completed just 55.9 percent of its passes at 5.8 yards per attempt, while recording a brutally-low 71.8 passer rating. Basically, the Seahawks turned every first- and second-year QB into Blaine Gabbert.

And it’s not like they’ve gone up against a bunch of nobodies — there are some quality players in that group, most of whom found little-to-no success. Cam Newton was shut down. Derek Carr was brutal. Carson Wentz was entirely ineffective. Jared Goff was embarrassed twice. CBSSports


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