Sizing up Seahawks' offense, then and now

The Seattle Seahawks are sticking with their rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson.

With that in mind, I've dialed up the team's yards-per-touch numbers from the first four games this season. I've compared them to the team's averages for the first four games last season. I've also put together a chart showing quarterback stats for Wilson and his predecessor, Tarvaris Jackson, through four games. The quarterbacks operated under a different set of circumstances, so the comparisons are general ones.

A few thoughts on the yards-per-touch numbers:

2011-2012 Seahawks: Weeks 1-4

  • Marshawn Lynch picked up where he left off late last season. He has nearly twice as many touches as he had through four games last season, but only 16 more than he had over the final four games of 2011, when Lynch was gaining momentum. His yards-per-touch numbers are up to 4.8 despite the additional touches. The average was 3.6 to this point last season and 4.3 over the final four games.

  • Golden Tate's long scoring receptions against Dallas and Green Bay have pumped up his average.

  • Wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice have suffered the biggest declines. Baldwin has been hurt. Baldwin has also said he needs time to develop a rapport with new quarterback Russell Wilson. However, Baldwin had relatively little time with 2011 starter Tarvaris Jackson heading into 2011. He still produced at a higher level. Rice had played with Jackson in Minnesota, so those two might have had an advantage.

  • Players with zero touches through four games in 2011 or this season are not listed in the chart below. Justin Forsett had 20 touches and a 4.2-yard average through four games as the No. 2 running back in 2011. Rookie Robert Turbin has 18 touches and a 5.8-yard average through four games this season. Wilson, despite his reputation as a mobile player, has averaged only 3.6 yards per touch on 22 carries. Jackson had 13 carries and a 4.7-yard average through four games.

  • Mike Williams, who is no longer with the team, had eight touches and a 9.9-yard average at this point last season. His replacement on the roster, Braylon Edwards, has five touches and an 8.6-yard average. I would have expected a few more touches for Edwards to this point.

  • This is a run-oriented team. The passing game hasn't gotten into a rhythm. Coach Pete Carroll hasn't wanted to mess with the safer, run-oriented formula. Wilson hasn't thrown the ball freely or with anticipation on a consistent basis. The passing game has perked up in two-minute situations.

Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for the chart data.

2011-2012 Seahawks Through Four Games