Edit: Most of these numbers are actually wrong because of an error on ESPN which I used for my data, but the error only improves the numbers in favor of my central point not against. Basically scratch one possession from the Panthers and reduce their starting field position to 20.17 yard line
Somethings to consider when railing against this offense
We averaged over 30 yards per drive. (31.62). That is actually higher than what Seattle gave up for the season last year (29.86) and is only slightly below what we averaged last season (33.82) which was good for top 10 in the league (9th). That means that the expected yardage per drive when comparing the two teams is 31.84 YPDs (the average of our offense and their defense from a year ago)
We had an average starting field position on Sunday of our own the 24.25. As compared to last season league averages that would have ranked us 31st in the NFL. If a scoring zone is the opponent’s 33 yard line (50 yard field goal) we would have to outperform our drive expected averages by 9 yards above average or at approximately 125% of expected efficiency just to get a field goal.
So that shows us two things. With that type of field position we were, on average, not going to get into scoring position. And that field position would be most important factor to dictate scoring opportunities in this game by our offense.
It also shows that the offense performed on average about how it should be expected to perform considering past offensive play and Seattle's past defensive play.
When we fumbled the punt, and lost the field position game, we were put in a point where based off of our statistics we were going to have immense trouble putting ourselves in scoring positions.
This is context of a game that does not have anything to do with playcalling or aggressiveness. It is just how the game played out.
When we lost field position, we put ourselves in a crippling position to not be successful or score many points.
Our field position for our last three possessions after the punt fumble was on average our own 16.67 yard line.
So that makes scoring opportunities even less likely. In order to put ourselves in scoring position after the punt fumble we would have had to perform at approximately 160% of expected efficiency.
That is just for FIELD GOALS. Not even considering TDs.
This is why I have said, the fumble on the punt, although Seattle did not score any points off of it, was the play that cost us the game. even more so than the Williams fumble at the end.
7 points is not a lot, and we had opportunities and messed them up.
In a game with only 8 possessions and 50 plays, these minor mistakes become glaring, and result in games where you only score 7 points.
The offense was not unusually conservative, nor did underperform, it played commensurate with what should have been expected based on the conditions of the game, and the opponent in which we played.