A little more than a month ago, the Seahawks’ playoff chances didn’t look all that great as a squad with six wins and four losses.
Now, expert data geeks are saying Seattle could be the greatest team of all time.
Nate Silver, the well-known statistician and founder of FiveThirtyEight, wrote today that if the Hawks — which can grab home-field advantage for the playoffs with a win on Sunday — repeat as Super Bowl champions this year, “they should be in the conversation about the greatest team ever — at least according to Elo.”
The “Elo” ratings crunch data and use formulas to rate the quality of NFL teams and Silver uses them to help predict the outcome of games. Here’s Silver’s explanation of why the Seahawks would be considered one of the best teams of all time if they win out:
In the 32 percent of simulations we ran this week where Seattle won the Super Bowl, it finished with an average Elo rating of 1799. That would rank as the third-best end-of-season Elo rating since 1970, behind only the 2007 Patriots (who hold the top spot despite having been upset by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII) and the 2004 Patriots — and just ahead of the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 1989 San Francisco 49ers.
Silver cites overall consistency, success against a tough schedule, and strong end-of-season performances from the Seahawks in the past few years — particularly quarterback Russell Wilson — as reasons why the Elo system likes the Hawks.
Like I noted above, as long as the Seahawks beat the Rams at home on Sunday — and the Packers vs. Lions game doesn’t end in a rare tie — then Seattle will nab the No. 1 seed in the NFC. That means they’ll play all their playoff games in front of the rowdy 12th Man at CenturyLink Field — that is, unless they win twice and travel to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX.
We’re looking forward seeing how Seattle’s tech companies show off their Seahawks support in the next few months.