2013 Seahawks Defense vs 2024 Seahawks Defense

RiverDog

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
5,668
Reaction score
3,382
Location
Kennewick, WA
Do any of you think the new look Seahawks defense will surpass the LOB era? My answer is yes, maybe not this year, but definitely within the next 2 years. We basically have the 85 bears 46 defense scheme to a sense. Rex Ryan's Defense started in Baltimore and it's scheme carried through the other D-coordinators that were there.
The short answer is no.
 

AROS

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Feb 23, 2007
Messages
19,369
Reaction score
8,601
Location
Sultan, WA
Like most, just vastly improve upon what we've been seeing out of our defense in recent years and I will be happy. Even 15th ranked will be a stark improvement, but I suspect he will whip our D into a Top 10 defense in no time.
 

chris98251

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
39,824
Reaction score
1,942
Location
Roy Wa.
I agree with most of what you say in this comment, but there's a Mr. Blount on line one for you. Something about being Defensive Player of the Year, the league needing to change the rules because of his utter dominance, him being second-team All-Pro twice and first-team All-Pro once after the rule change, and him still making the league's all-decade team in the decade after the rule change. He says there's a Mr. Ron Woodson, who knows a thing or two about the position, ready to call in and state his opinions about the greatest cornerback ever to play the game.
Oh no doubt, but they talked about Lambert and Mean Joe and the Steel Curtain mostly, game days yes Blount was always in the conversation when they could get Lynn Swann out of their mouth and Franco, he made them talk about him. But in General Conversation it was the toothless grin of Lambert and the Coke commercial with the Jersey of Mean Joe. I mean nobody had done a commercial that was a D lineman especially with his Reputation.

As I said the rest equally important, and that line and LB'S Jack Ham being just as impactful as Lambert with a lot less notoriety outside the people who knew football.
 

NoGain

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
Messages
2,450
Reaction score
2,576
Tell us you didn't see that Bears defense playing without explicitly saying you didn't see that Bears defense playing.

I'd say it was more Buddy Ryan leaving the Bears that made the Bears defense deteriorate than the league "figuring it out." It was an enormously talented defense that Ryan turned into possibly the greatest ever. Ryan became the Bears' DC in the late '70s and started developing his innovative defensive schemes, but it didn't really all come together until a few years after something really important happened in 1981: Mike Singletary was drafted. Having Singletary turned Ryan's defenses from good or even excellent to great, which they were for a few years in a row, culminating in the most impressive defensive performance I've ever seen. Fewest yards allowed in the league ✅ Fewest first downs allowed in the league? ✅ Most turnovers forced in the league? ✅ Fewest points allowed in the league? ✅

The 2013 Seahawks, my favorite single-season team of all time, also allowed the fewest yards and points and forced the most turnovers in the league. Let's compare them.

First, let's get the easy one out of the way. First downs allowed: The '85 Bears allowed the fewest first downs in the league, with 236. Washington was close behind at 244. The league-average defense allowed 306.9 first downs.
The Bears allowed about 23% fewer first downs than the league average.

The '13 Seahawks were tied with two other teams for the third-fewest first downs allowed, with 282. The Saints were the best at preventing opponents from getting first downs that year, with 274. The league average was 319.1 first downs allowed. The Seahawks allowed about 12% fewer first downs than the league average. So in terms of comparison to the league average, the '85 Bears were nearly twice as good as the '13 Seahawks. Now let's move on to comparisons that should be closer.

Turnovers forced
The '85 Bears had 54 takeaways (3.4 per game). The next-best team had 48. A league-average team would have forced 38.2 turnovers (2.4 per game, a whole turnover per game fewer than the Bears). The Bears were 12.5% better at taking the ball away than the next-best team, and 41% better than the league average.

The '13 Seahawks had 39 takeaways (2.4 per game). The next-best team had 36. The league-average team would have taken the the ball away 25.4 times (1.6 per game). The Seahawks were 8.3% better at taking the ball away than the next-best team, and a whopping 53% better than the league average. This one is a much closer comparison than first downs allowed. There are decent arguments both ways.

Yards allowed
The '85 Bears allowed 4135 yards, or about 258.4 yards per game. The next-best team allowed 4320 (270 per game) and the league-average team allowed 5271.1, or about 329.4 yards per game.

The '85 Bears allowed about 4.3% fewer yards than the next-best team in yards allowed, and 18.1% fewer than the league average.

The 2013 Seahawks allowed 4378 yards, or about 273.6 per game. The next-best team allowed 4820, or about 301.3 per game, and the league-average team allowed 5575.7 yards, or about 348.5 per game.

The '13 Seahawks allowed about 9.2% fewer yards than the next-best team, and 21.5% fewer than the league average.

This one goes to the 2013 Seahawks. It really was a great defense.

Points allowed
The '85 Bears allowed 198 points. the next-best team was the 49ers with 263, and the league average was 344.5 points.
When the Seahawks allowed opponents to score 231 in 2013, the Panthers were close behind at 241, and the league average was 374.5.

The '85 Bears allowed 25% fewer points than the next-best team and about 43% fewer than the league average.
The '13 Seahawks allowed 4% fewer points than the next-best team and about 38% fewer than the league average.

This one goes pretty clearly to the Bears.

The '85 Bears was a team that ran roughshod over the entire NFL for a whole season except for one game against the then-good (Dan Marino, Don Shula) Dolphins in Miami during which Ditka, unable to handle the fact that Buddy Ryan was more responsible for the Bears' success than he himself was (and the fact that the players had wanted Ryan to be promoted to head coach when the previous coach was fired), started a fistfight with Ryan, with the Bears players having to separate the two. Despite all the tension between Ryan and Ditka all season, the Bears managed to crush the rest of their opponents, including national-TV curb stompings of the 10-6 Parcells Giants by a score of 21-0 in the divisional round of the playoffs and the 11-5 John Robinson Rams (who for their part had managed to humiliate the 10-6 Landry Cowboys 20-0 on national TV in the divisional round) by a score of 24-0 in the NFC Championship Game. For those of us who saw the games, the domination was even more complete than those scores suggest. Watching the Bears' defense that year, especially in the playoffs, was like watching somebody playing a football video game on a difficulty level about two or three levels too low for his video-game skill.

The Bears ended up 15-1 in the regular season, scoring 456 points and allowing 198, for an average score of 29-13 over the course of the entire season. Can you understand how crazy-different that is from the Seahawks' impressive performance (part of my favorite NFL season of all time, with the distant second place being the magical 1983 season)? It's truly impressive that the 2013 Seahawks scored 417 points (eighth in the league) and allowed 231 (obviously first in the league), but what the '85 Bears did was just nuts.

The '85 Bears is a team that was second in scoring in the league despite having Jim McMahon as its quarterback. Ditka was named Coach of the Year, which was total nonsense, given that he wasn't even responsible for the team's success, as everyone except the Bill Swerski Superfans (and millions like them in the Chicago area, and I know of what I speak here, because I lived in Chicago in 1987-91) could see. Well, everyone except them and the dumbasses in New Orleans who hired Ditka in the late '90s to ruin their team's chances for years.

I still really dislike Buddy Ryan even though he's been dead for years, and I unfairly transferred some of that dislike to his sons except when I thought the Rex Ryan Jets might be a thorn in the hated Cheatriots' side, but what that man did with the Bears' defense in 1981-85 was simply incredible. After Singletary was drafted, the team allowed the 14th-least points, 13th-least points, fifth-least points, and third-least points in the league (notice the trend?) in the 1981-84 seasons. And then came the '85 Bears. It's utter nonsense to say that a team that had had a top-five defense for three years in a row only had one good season. Additionally, Ryan actually did pretty well with the '78-'80 defenses, but it was when they put Singletary in the middle that magic started to happen.



The other way to look at this is that if players from the '80s had had access to the nutritional and training advantages and schematic education of those in the 2010 decade, their performance could have been even more impressive.

Comparisons between eras are difficult, but as dominant as the Seahawks defense was, the Bears' was even more so. Comparison to contemporaries in percentage terms is one way to try to get around the difficulty of cross-era comparisons.

As stated above, the '85 Bears allowed 25% fewer points than the next-best team and about 43% fewer than the league average.
The '13 Seahawks allowed 4% fewer points than the next-best team and about 38% fewer than the league average.

The Seahawks' defense in 2013 was dominant and pretty clearly (to me, at least) the second-best I've ever seen. The Bears' defense in 1985 was otherworldly.

DVOA comparisons are interesting. By defensive DVOA including the playoffs, the '85 Bears defense (-36.9% defensive DVOA, where more negative is better) wasn't even the best in history. Ryan's '91 Eagles defense (-38.0% DVOA) was, but with the "asterisk" that the team's regular-season DVOA and combined regular-season and playoff defensive DVOA are the same because that team didn't make the playoffs 😬. Also better than the '85 Bears in combined regular-season and playoff defensive DVOA are the '02 Buccaneers (-37.9% DVOA). The '13 Seahawks, at -25.3%, are a very respectable tenth all-time. It's also interesting that Vince Tobin was able to operate the Bears' 1986 defense at a level close to what Ryan had achieved with the '85 defense, close behind at -31.2% in combined regular-season and playoff defensive DVOA.




Interesting and innovative defensive concepts without the right roster is basically the 1978-80 Bears, before Singletary came along and made the 46 defense lethal, and that's reason for optimism for Seahawks fans in 2024, if we make the (yes, very big) assumption that Macdonald's scheme will be even nearly as innovative and effective as Ryan's was. Before the Bears' roster was right (i.e., pre-Singletary), Ryan still had some top-ten and even top-five defenses, and never coached a below-the-league-median defense for the Bears. The combination of Ryan's scheme and the right player in the middle created something special, something I'm still glad I got to see, even though my favorite team had been the Seahawks for nine years before the '85 Bears happened and I am still a Seahawks fan, without having wavered, to this day.



Sherman not following receivers worked out great in 2012-2016. He was first-team All-Pro three times, second-team All-Pro once, and made the Pro Bowl four times in those five seasons. With ETIII in "center field" taking away huge portions of the field from passers and Sherman totally shutting down one side, Chancellor could stay closer to the line of scrimmage and do his "deathbacker" thing without exposing the team via his decent-but-not-great-for-a-DB coverage skills, the defensive line still had time to punish opposing quarterbacks, and with the extra man in the box, the Seahawks didn't allow teams to rush on them. Just because other people do something (like, say, having the best corner follow the best receiver) doesn't mean it's necessarily the best way to do business.

Please note that I didn't even really get into the Bears' total dominance in the playoffs. They allowed zero points in the NFC playoffs and ten in the Super Bowl, seven of them coming in "garbage time" well after the game's winner had been decided and Bears fans and players were celebrating. At the time, I was living in the town where I grew up in Maine, and it was glorious to hear the total silence about football around there not just the next day, but for months, and to see the Patriots caps, T-shirts, and jerseys disappear from people's wardrobe choices for a good six or seven months. And right about when the Patriots gear was starting to return, it was really nice to go to Foxborough and see the Seahawks pull out the comeback victory in a back-and-forth battle of a game (and see Curt Warner, Largent, Krieg, Easley, and Jacob Green doing their thing, though I'd seen Krieg, Largent, Easley, and Green in Foxborough in '84 too).

That said, I am a Seahawks fan, so I want to be clear that Groundhog Day of 2014 was the best moment of my sports-fan life. The only things that get even close to that day for me are, roughly in order, getting to tell Zorn to his face in 1984, by which time he was the backup QB, that I had had his autographed picture framed on my wall in Kennebunk, Maine for years; following the '94 World Cup with Brazilian friends and even going to three Brazil games (3-0 and 5-0 romps in the group phase and the well-deserved 1-0 semifinal victory against Sweden) and being near the stadium (but unable to come up with $300 for scalped tickets to go in) for the final and the postgame celebration in the streets of L.A.; and following the 2002 World Cup with friends and coworkers here in Brazil, especially the day of the final. And the Seahawks' dominance of the Broncos in XLVIII, while not as complete as the Bears' dominance over the Patriots in SB XX, was against a much better team and especially a much better offense, so I think the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory, at least, was more impressive than the Bears'.

I love the 2013 Seahawks team, especially that loaded defense, where the combination of scheme and players came together to make magic. I just don't try to convince myself it was actually better than the most dominant defense I've ever seen outside of video games or kids imagining their favorite teams dominating the league while screwing around with a Nerf football on my somebody's front lawn (the Seahawks may or may not have gone 16-0 and crushed Super Bowl opponents several times in the imagination of a kid all the way across the continent in the '70s and early '80s).

As you can clearly see in the specifics of the comparisons between the two defenses, making such comparisons isn't ridiculous. The '13 Seahawks were not all that far behind the '85 Bears, but even though I have loved the Seahawks for nearly 48 years now, and even though I dislike both Ryan and Ditka, I just can't put the '13 Seahawks defense ahead of the '85 Bears defense.
This was a really good post. I grew up a rabid Bears fan in Chicago, but eventually switched my allegiance to the Seahawks after I became a permanent resident here. So I really don't see myself as having much of a bias at all when comparing these two great defenses.

I would make the argument that not only was the very best of the Bears defenses ahead of the best LOB defense (as you displayed), but that the 80's Bears defense extended their greatness for a longer period of time than the LOB. I think the stats would bear that out. They remained a top defense even three years after Buddy Ryan left.

But I will allow for the fact that it's difficult to accurately compare different eras. The Bears defense of the 1980's played under a different set of rules than today's NFL. Much of what made their defense so formidable would be illegal in today's NFL. The Bears were a downright intimidating defense for years. They beat the living crap out of you all over the field, especially opposing QB's.

That was quite a show that Bears D put on in the 1985-86 playoffs, shutting out both of their opponents in the NFC playoffs, and, it could be argued, they came *this* close to three shutouts in a row. Like you said, seven of the ten point the Pats scored in the SB were in garbage time. And, if my memory serves me correct, the other three points were scored after Payton fumbled the ball fairly deep in their territory early in the game, and after the D held the Pats, they made an easy FG.

Anyway...interesting trip down memory lane.

PS> If you want to get a refresher on that great Bears D of the 80's, just watch some of that Thanksgiving Day game against the Dallas Cowboys in 85. Not only did the Bears humiliate them 44-0, but it was a display of absolute carnage by their D, and Danny White the Cowboys QB being knocked senseless over and over again till he had to leave the game.
 
Last edited:

LeveeBreak

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2022
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
1,403
Location
Oregon Wine Region
And the Seahawks' dominance of the Broncos in XLVIII, while not as complete as the Bears' dominance over the Patriots in SB XX, was against a much better team and especially a much better offense, so I think the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory, at least, was more impressive than the Bears'.
To me, this is the clincher. The Donkeys weren't just a better offense...they were the top offense of all time...and we SMOKED'em.
 

NoGain

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
Messages
2,450
Reaction score
2,576
If the 80's Bears team had had prime RW as their QB, they would have won at least one more SB, IMO, in spite of Ditka being their head coach. It was pretty much a waste of a great defense, Walter Payton, and a very good offensive line to have had such abysmally inconsistent QB play and unsophisticated passing game.
 

McGruff

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
5,390
Reaction score
135
Location
Tri-Cities, WA
If the 80's Bears team had had prime RW as their QB, they would have won at least one more SB, IMO, in spite of Ditka being their head coach. It was pretty much a waste of a great defense, Walter Payton, and a very good offensive line to have had such abysmally inconsistent QB play and unsophisticated passing game.
Meh. I would take Jim McMahon over Russell Wilson. But that might be because I prefer black quarterbacks.
 

RiverDog

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
5,668
Reaction score
3,382
Location
Kennewick, WA
If the 80's Bears team had had prime RW as their QB, they would have won at least one more SB, IMO, in spite of Ditka being their head coach. It was pretty much a waste of a great defense, Walter Payton, and a very good offensive line to have had such abysmally inconsistent QB play and unsophisticated passing game.
That's sort of a meaningless observation. Half of the starting QB's in today's NFL could have stepped in and done a better job than Jim McMahon.

Besides, that's nearly 40 years ago. Apples and oranges.
 

NoGain

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
Messages
2,450
Reaction score
2,576
That's sort of a meaningless observation. Half of the starting QB's in today's NFL could have stepped in and done a better job than Jim McMahon.

Besides, that's nearly 40 years ago. Apples and oranges.
What I meant was if the Bears had simply had an above average QB who could actually stay on the field (and RW was more than that), I think they would have won at least one more SB, in spite of Ditka being their head coach. McMahon was always injured and couldn't be counted on, and any other QB that played for them during this era was either forgettable, regrettable, or both.

The Bears principle rivals in the NFC during those years between, say, 1983 and 1990 were the 49ers, Redskins, and Giants, all with Hall of Fame head coaches (Walsh, Gibbs, and Parcells). Those Bears teams already had that going against them. But the QB situation...OMFG! It was hair-pulling and eye-gouging as a Bears fan back in those days.
 

chris98251

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
39,824
Reaction score
1,942
Location
Roy Wa.
If the 80's Bears team had had prime RW as their QB, they would have won at least one more SB, IMO, in spite of Ditka being their head coach. It was pretty much a waste of a great defense, Walter Payton, and a very good offensive line to have had such abysmally inconsistent QB play and unsophisticated passing game.
Wilson would have been shipped just like Flutie, Ditka didn't like short running QB's.
 

Kamcussionator

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
491
Reaction score
812
Location
San Diego, CA
This defense isn't going to play like the LOB, so I don't know how appropriate it is going to be to compare them other than by stats.

The LOB ran a simple scheme with long, physical DBs. Teams that played us often lost the following week because they were so beat up. NFL rules were changed, so we may never see another LOB-style defense again.

The MM defense is going to be more of an amoeba defense with multiple schemes run out of the same pre-snap look. They were able to slow the 49ers, but not the Rams. People will be poring over those Rams' games looking for the secret sauce.

While I am optimistic for this season, I'm not predicting a top 5 defense yet. MM's system has been successful, but have we seen if he can adapt when it's not working?

Time will tell.
 

BlueTalon

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
9,179
Reaction score
1,983
Location
Eastern Washington
The LOB was not only the best defense in Seahawks history, they are also one of the top all time defenses of all time, league wide.
As much as I take joy in reading that, part of me hesitates. The 1984 defense can stake an arguably legitimate claim on that title.

But the LOB won a Super Bowl. The 84 defense can't say that.
 

Lagartixa

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
1,878
Reaction score
3,300
Location
Taboão da Serra, SP, Brazil
As much as I take joy in reading that, part of me hesitates. The 1984 defense can stake an arguably legitimate claim on that title.

But the LOB won a Super Bowl. The 84 defense can't say that.

The '84 Seahawks defense was sixth in the league in yards allowed, fifth in the league in points allowed, first in the league in takeaways, and fifth in the league in first downs allowed.

The '13 defense was first in the league in (fewest) yards allowed, (fewest) points allowed, and (most) takeaways, and fifth in the league in (fewest) first downs allowed.

I still put the '85 Bears defense above that of the '13 Seahawks defense, but as I showed in my longer post in this thread, the comparison isn't ridiculous. Both were clearly the best defenses in their respective seasons and even in their respective eras, both of them noticeably better than the next-best defenses and absurdly better than the league averages at the time. The '84 Seahawks defense was pretty damn good, but was also pretty clearly not the best defense in the league. I think that alone puts the '84 defense in another category far from the heights achieved by the '13 Seahawks defense.
 

RiverDog

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
5,668
Reaction score
3,382
Location
Kennewick, WA
What I meant was if the Bears had simply had an above average QB who could actually stay on the field (and RW was more than that), I think they would have won at least one more SB, in spite of Ditka being their head coach. McMahon was always injured and couldn't be counted on, and any other QB that played for them during this era was either forgettable, regrettable, or both.

The Bears principle rivals in the NFC during those years between, say, 1983 and 1990 were the 49ers, Redskins, and Giants, all with Hall of Fame head coaches (Walsh, Gibbs, and Parcells). Those Bears teams already had that going against them. But the QB situation...OMFG! It was hair-pulling and eye-gouging as a Bears fan back in those days.
That may be true. But you can say that about a lot of teams, like the 2000 Ravens who won the SB with Trent Dilfer and the 2002 Bucs who won with Brad Johnson as their starting QB. Both had outstanding defenses not unlike the '85 Bears.

It's one of those "if your aunt had balls, she'd be your uncle" type of proposition.
 

NoGain

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 28, 2022
Messages
2,450
Reaction score
2,576
That may be true. But you can say that about a lot of teams, like the 2000 Ravens who won the SB with Trent Dilfer and the 2002 Bucs who won with Brad Johnson as their starting QB. Both had outstanding defenses not unlike the '85 Bears.

It's one of those "if your aunt had balls, she'd be your uncle" type of proposition.
We will have to agree to disagree on this one. Hell, many Bears fans would have taken Brad Johnson and run with it in 86 and 87, maybe even Trent Dilfer. It was that bad. And there were only a couple of teams in NFL history who had as great of a defense as that Bears team, and had it for a number of years.
 
Last edited:

BlueTalon

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
9,179
Reaction score
1,983
Location
Eastern Washington
The '84 Seahawks defense was sixth in the league in yards allowed, fifth in the league in points allowed, first in the league in takeaways, and fifth in the league in first downs allowed.

The '13 defense was first in the league in (fewest) yards allowed, (fewest) points allowed, and (most) takeaways, and fifth in the league in (fewest) first downs allowed.

I still put the '85 Bears defense above that of the '13 Seahawks defense, but as I showed in my longer post in this thread, the comparison isn't ridiculous. Both were clearly the best defenses in their respective seasons and even in their respective eras, both of them noticeably better than the next-best defenses and absurdly better than the league averages at the time. The '84 Seahawks defense was pretty damn good, but was also pretty clearly not the best defense in the league. I think that alone puts the '84 defense in another category far from the heights achieved by the '13 Seahawks defense.
Fair enough. It was the nostalgia talking. But in my own defense, the 84 defense did have a historical turnover ratio.

I remember reading a newspaper during that season. Someone had written a humorous article about football terminology. About "Field position," the author wrote that the closer you are to your opponent's goal the better the field position is. Usually. But not always. Against the Chicago Bears, you'd probably rather be on your own 2 yard line than the Bears' 2 yard line. Just having the ball means poor field position against the Seattle Seahawks.
 
Last edited:
Top