The number that mattered most to the Seattle Seahawks' defense in 2017 was 332. That's how many points Seattle allowed, its most in any season since 2010. The Seahawks finished tied for 13th in scoring defense after leading the league in that category from 2012 to 2015.
But there are many more numbers that tell the story of Seattle's defense in 2017. Here's a look at four of them and what they might mean going forward:
27.9. The percentage of opponents' dropbacks on which Seattle generated pressure on the quarterback, according to ESPN charting. That ranked 18th, while Seattle's 39 sacks were tied for 13th. Each of those numbers was slightly better in 2016, when the Seahawks pressured QBs on 29.8 percent of their dropbacks (seventh) and finished with 42 sacks (tied for third). There were games this past season when Seattle's pass rush dried up almost entirely, most notably in a December loss at Jacksonville, when the Seahawks produced only one QB hit and zero sacks. Losing Cliff Avril to a season-ending neck injury in Week 4 certainly affected the pass rush. Teams also went after Seattle's defense with plenty of shorter, quicker throws designed to mitigate the pass rush. But that didn't happen every week.
Overall, the results were underwhelming based on elevated expectations following Seattle's preseason trade for Sheldon Richardson. He'll be a free agent, Avril may never play again because of his neck injury and Michael Bennett is a potential salary-cap casualty. Then again, the Seahawks need all the pass-rush help they can get, so it might make sense to hang on to Bennett for another season with Avril's future in serious question. Either way, improving the pass rush should be an offseason priority for Seattle.
82.2. Opponents' passer rating over the final seven games, when Seattle's secondary was missing Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. That was 12th in the NFL. Through the Seahawks' ninth game, when Sherman and Chancellor suffered season-ending injuries in the second half, the Seahawks allowed a passer rating of 76.9, which ranked fifth. That the dropoff wasn't bigger despite the loss of an All-Pro in Sherman and a Pro Bowler in Chancellor speaks to how their backups -- Byron Maxwell and Bradley McDougald, respectively -- played as well as anyone could have expected.
Chancellor's future, like Avril's, is in question because of a neck injury, while Sherman will be coming off a ruptured Achilles. Both McDougald and Maxwell are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Re-signing McDougald might end up being a no-brainer depending on Chancellor's situation. Bringing back Maxwell on an inexpensive short-term deal would also make plenty of sense for both sides given how he's been at his best in Seattle's defense.
738. Rushing yards that Seattle allowed after first contact, which was 16th in the league. The Seahawks hadn't allowed more than 650 such yards or finished worse than 10th in that category in any of their previous five seasons. What that shows: Seattle's tackling was uncharacteristically shaky in 2017. That's one reason for the dropoff in the Seahawks' normally strong run defense. Seattle was 14th in per-carry average (4.01) after finishing in the top four in each of the previous three season, including No. 1 in 2016 (3.4).
Chancellor is a big part of Seattle's run defense, often playing close to the line of scrimmage as an eighth defender in the box. But the Seahawks were getting gashed on the ground before he went down, notably allowing runs of 61 yards to Carlos Hyde and 75 to DeMarco Murray in September, so Chancellor's absence doesn't completely explain the dropoff.
241. Combined tackles for Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Wagner topped 100 tackles (133) for the sixth time in his six NFL seasons, while Wright (108) has now done so in each of the past four seasons. For all the uncertainty about the futures of some players on the Seahawks' defense, they still have one of the NFL's top tandems of every-down linebackers. Wagner is a candidate for defensive player of the year and is signed through 2019. Wright, who turns 29 in July, will be entering the last year of his deal, which has been when Seattle prefers to extend its top players. Doing so with Wright would allow the Seahawks to lower his scheduled $8.2 million cap charge for 2018.