Saturday, July 18, 2009

How bad were injuries in 2008?

by: Chris Sullivan

It's no secret that Seahawks fans have been complaining about the severity of the injury bug that hit the team last year. It's also no secret that everyone and their mother has been calling us a bunch of whiners. Well, how much did injuries really affect us?

I could do all sorts of research and statistical analysis, but relatively speaking, I'm an idiot. Let's leave the heavy lifting to the always excellent Football Outsiders. One of the measures that the stat-heads over there cover and follow is "AGL" -- adjusted games lost (due to injury). How did the Seahawks stack up in 2008?

We use Adjusted Games Lost to track how badly each team was hurt by injury in any given season, then break it down by offense and defense. We currently have this data going back to 1996, and no offense during that span can touch the 2008 Seahawks, whose starters had 66.3 AGL. No other team has more than 60 AGL from offensive starters; last year’s Bengals come close at 59.8. More than half the teams in that time span came in under 20. Seattle stands well ahead of the curve here

So, not only did it affect us obviously, our offensive injuries were the worst since at least 1996. It wasn't just that we had a ton of injuries -- which we did -- but it was who we lost to injury. I believe Jacksonville and New England both had more injuries than us, but they didn't lose their whole receiving corps, quarterback and offensive line in the same year.

What does this all mean? It means that we're right -- injuries played a HUGE role in us sucking last year. Now lets all agree to be satisfied with that and keep our mouths shut when talking to other fans -- fine, the Hawks sucked last year, fine, New England played well even with injuries, fine, the Cardinals were the greatest team in the history of the world last year. Whatever. It's 2009 now, and it's time for THIS Seahawks squad to re-assert themselves. Let the haters hate, in other words. GO HAWKS!!!

[Data from the Pro Football Almanac 2009 -- buy it here]