Projecting Terrell Owens Numbers in His First Season as a Seahawk

Thomas HolmesCorrespondent IIIAugust 22, 2012

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 18:  Wide receiver Terrell Owens #10 of the Seattle Seahawks in action against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on August 18, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Say what you want about Pete Carroll, but the man sure knows how to keep things entertaining.  

Just when things couldn't get any more interesting this preseason, the Seahawks decided to give the keys to the starting job on Friday night against the Kansas City Chiefs to rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.  

I'll confess, when Pete Carroll began discussing the potential of Wilson joining the competition for the starting quarterback job a few months ago, I saw this as wishful thinking or at the very least a smokescreen.  

Yet after two weeks of impressive preseason performances, Wilson will get his chance to prove whether he has what it takes.  

So where does this leave the Seahawks going forward?

Great question to which I have no idea for the moment where to begin.   

But hey, remember the time not so long ago when Terrell Owens signing was the Hawks' hot button issue?

Following his lackluster performance this past weekend in Denver, you could almost wonder whether he will even make it as a starter or even the final roster.  Fair or unfair, both he and quarterback Matt Flynn didn't help each other during the five times the pair tried to connect.

Will Owens rebound this weekend with Russell Wilson at the controls?   

On Friday night in Kansas City if he can make a catch or two to help Wilson's cause it could very well become the beginning of an important shift in the dynamic both inside and outside the locker room.

But isn't this in all likelihood going to be too small a sample size to make such claims?

Fair point, but when you listen to Pete Carroll discuss the decision to start Wilson, it makes you wonder.

"I know there's a conventional wisdom about games three (of preseason) and all of that. And I understand that," Carroll said. "We need to always be in tune with conventional wisdom; however, neither John (general manager John Schneider) nor I believe we have to operate under that guidance system. We haven't been since we got here." 

Similar to Wilson, Owens at first glance left me skeptical, but given the fact that the situation at wide receiver is littered with "ifs" and "buts" for the time being, TO might get the nod based on the simple advantage of experience and health.  

Assuming he sticks, what can he bring to the table in terms of production?

I'm no statistician, but when challenged to come up with an answer, I figured I would give it a try without simply guessing.  

Owens at 38 years old is not the guy that played for the San Francisco 49ers or for that matter the Philadelphia Eagles.  However, in Dallas, well past the age of 30, Owens produced three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with no fewer than 69 receptions, which no matter how you look at it is impressive.

But for the purposes of this exercise I'm going to work with Owens' stats from his last three seasons in the NFL that span across Dallas, Buffalo and Cincinnati and ignore his most recent work with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.

If we take a simple average of those numbers we would get a pretty solid season with totals of 15 games, 65 receptions, 954 yards, 14.7 yards per catch and eight touchdowns.  

I think most of us would be satisfied with those numbers from just about anyone on the roster right now, but can TO actually deliver on those figures?

With his age at 38, we need to figure out some way of factoring this in the equation.  

If we take Owens' career figures and throw away the lowest figures for all of the metrics we've measured, what would Owens "next" worst season would be 14 games, 47 receptions, 754 yards, 13.0 yards per catch and four touchdowns.

Unfortunately those numbers don't work very well unless you decide to opt for calculating receptions (47) multiplied by yards per catch (13.0) which in this case would produce 611 yards receiving, otherwise you'd have Owens averaging 16.0 yards per catch by dividing 754 yards by 47 receptions.  

Taking the conservative route, I'm going with 14 games, 47 receptions, 611 yards, 13.0 yards per catch and four touchdowns.  

(For those of you still following along, I appreciate your patience...)

If we now take the average of his last three seasons and his "next" worst season we would get...

15 games, 56 receptions, 13.6 yards per catch which works out to 762 yards, with six touchdowns.  

For fun I wanted to see what would happen if you took Owens receiving yardage from his past three seasons (954) and both sets of figures from his "next" worst season (754 & 611) added them up and divided by three.  Perhaps it's a strange coincidence, but it actually comes quite close with 773 yards. 

Either way, I still feel these numbers are a bit high for a guy that may not even make the roster...  

What would these numbers look like if we took 10 percent off for having been out of the NFL for a full season?

14 games, 50 receptions, 12.2 yards per catch which works out to 615 yards, with five touchdowns.    

Good I suppose for a guy approaching 40, but not great for a team hoping to make the postseason.  

Could it be enough though for the Seahawks this season?

Sadly, yes as this team needs all the help it can get at the moment given the likes of Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate are both too young and too small to suitably fill the No. 2 spot at receiver or the No. 1 role if Sidney Rice isn't healthy enough to go.  

Does this mean Owens will make the final roster?

If he can improve upon last week's performance—which in theory shouldn't be too hard—then there is certainly a chance. If he makes the cut, expect him to play a meaningful role as the team will almost be forced to rely on him if any of the major players fail to improve upon last year's stats.   


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