Seattle defense made a fundamental turn

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks defensive statistics this season are impressive, leading the league in fewest points allowed (14.4 per game), fewest total yards (273.6 per game), fewest passing yards allowed (172 per game) and most interceptions (28).

But the last five games have been spectacular (statistically speaking) even though Seattle lost two of those games.

Over the final five regular-season games, the Seahawks defense allowed an average of 10.4 points per game, with a high of 19 at San Francisco. Seattle had 12 interceptions in those five games.

The Seahawks allowed an average of only 230 total yards per game and only 153.6 passing yards per game.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll pointed to one thing that helped the defense get better down the stretch.

"Fundamentals," Carroll said. "It's was tackling and the fundamentals of the game, the pursuit, all of the things that make up the high level of play that you've seen. We really stressed it. I don't know what week that was, but that was probably the time where we made the turn.

"We realized that we were going into the wrong direction. We were not playing really good, solid football fundamentally. It wasn't scheme wise, although that was part of it. It was really running and hitting and tackling and leverage and pursuit and block protection and all of those things that are so necessary. We wanted to try and be the best fundamental team in the league. We're going to try to win with fundamentals and see if that doesn't show up here at the end."