Before the season, Brian Schottenheimer said his key for winning offensive football is the number 53: The combination of pass completions and runs that typically result in victory.
“If you rushed the ball, say, 30 times and throw 23 completions, that was like the second determining factor of wins and losses after turnovers,” Schottenheimer told The Seattle Times. “Some weeks, it’s going to be different and it’s going to be 33 completions and 20 rushing attempts. But we are always going to go in with the understanding that we should be able to run the ball, and believing and expecting we can do it at a high level.”
The Hawks hadn’t done that in the first two weeks. They had run the ball just 38 times and completed 41 passes. The combo tally was 35 in the loss in Denver, where they also broke even in the turnover battle. In Chicago, the formula netted 44 and another split in turnovers.
But, in their 24-13 win over Dallas, they ran it 39 times and completed 16 passes — hitting the magic number (Pete Carroll calls it an even 50) and also winning the takeaway battle 3-0.