Comparing the 2009 New York Jets to the 2013 Seattle Seahawks

Jonathan Daniel

In this year's Super Bowl, the number one offense (Denver Broncos) is going against the number one defense (Seattle Seahawks). In 2009, the New York Jets had the number one defense, and were thirty minutes away from the Super Bowl against the New Orleans Saints, who were, coincidentally, the number one offense in the league. Obviously, the parallel is striking. But do the similarities go deeper than that?

I wanted to take a look and see if there were deeper parallels between how the Jets fared in 2009 during the regular season, as compared to the Seahawks. Both teams were and are built upon a strong running game and a stingy defense. However, as you will see, the Jets had a superior run game while the Seahawks, clearly, have a better quarterback. First, let's look at the numbers:

Jets - 2009 Passing Passing Passing Passing Passing Rushing Rushing Rushing Rushing
PTS YDS CMP ATT YDS TD INT ATT YDS TD Y/A
Team Offense 348 5136 210 393 2380 12 21 607 2756 21 4.5
Team Defense 236 4037 259 501 2459 8 17 420 1578 11 3.8
Lg Rank Offense 17 20 32 31 29 28 1 1 3 5
Lg Rank Defense 1 1 7 1 1 13 11 8 11 4

Seahawks - 2013 Passing Passing Passing Passing Passing Rushing Rushing Rushing Rushing
PTS YDS CMP ATT YDS TD INT ATT YDS TD Y/A
Team Offense 417 5424 267 420 3236 27 9 509 2188 14 4.3
Team Defense 231 4378 309 524 2752 16 28 422 1626 4 3.9
Lg Rank Offense 8 17 31 26 10 3 2 4 13 12
Lg Rank Defense 1 1 7 1 2 1 10 7 1 7

We can see right off the bat that the Seahawks' offense is superior both in points scored and total yardage. Russell Wilson threw twelve fewer interceptions than Mark Sanchez, and threw for 850 more yards on 30 more attempts. However, the Jets ran the ball for around 600 more yards (on 100 more attempts), or about 37.5 more yards per game.

While the Seahawks' defense gave up five points fewer than the Jets in total, the Jets gave up more than 300 yards less, or approximately twice what the Jets averaged per game on average. As you can see, the Jets' defense allowed less passing and rushing yards and half as many passing touchdowns. However, the Seahawks intercepted the ball eleven more times, and allowed considerably fewer rushing touchdowns.

As I said, the Jets were just thirty minutes from the Super Bowl in 2009. Unfortunately they didn't make it. But the Seahawks' appearance this year again makes us question, "What if?"

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