So, this idea came out of my love for reviewing film from NFL games for all of the useful tidbits that we often miss when we watch the games. So, of course, I wanted to review the stellar game 1 victory against the New York Giants. But it seems
someone everyone has grown enamored with film review. (This is a great thing for Blogging the Boys, just bad for me).
So all of my favorite plays have already been covered, and put to bed. If I were to cover them I'd just be beating a dead horse.
But fear not my friends, for I have devised a solution. Rather than reviewing our games, I shall review our next opponent's games. Warning: These reviews are not fully comprehensive. I really can't bring myself to watch 60 minutes of any other team's football and so I will be reviewing first quarter film plus any big plays that occur over the rest of the game. Hopefully this will give us a good look at what our opponent likes to do with the football and what works well for them.
Standard Offensive Sets:
So, if this is a surprise to anyone, the Seahawks love to run the Football. They currently feature a Dynamic Duo in the running game with Marshawn Lynch resurrecting his career in Seattle after it was given up for dead in Buffalo and a Rookie QB who is a dual threat. Their Offensive sets and run plays reflect this. Take this first-drive running play that the 'Hawks run:
The Seahawks employ a 2 Tight End 1 Running Back 1 H-Back set with 2 Wide Receivers set out Left. Wilson is under center. The Tight End next to the Right Tackle leads Arizona to believe that Seattle might run Right. They have two run-stoppers on the right side of the offensive line, although blockers dictate it will probably be a left-side run. This is important.
At the start of the play the Line begins a left blocking scheme. All blockers are shifting left. One of the linebackers rushed past the line trying to blow up the play. The other linebacker/safety is well outside of the scope of the play and probably won't be able to get back into the play in time to do anything.
As you can see in the last image of the play, number 22 is completely out of the play. If blockers make their blocks and Lynch breaks a tackle this could go a long way. Rob Ryan should employ Bruce Carter as the weaker side ILB. He has the closing speed to make it back into the play even if he is starting on the opposite side and the play is being run opposite him. Having one more linebacker to make the tackle is going to be important in the running game. The last thing we want is big runs being broken because of a lack of personnel.
Here's an example of another play. This is a designed QB run for Wilson:
The other major formation that the Seahawks like to run is the spread shotgun formation. They line up 3-4 Wide Receivers, and depending on that number, 1 running back beside Wilson. The only real disadvantage with this formation is that the only real effective running scheme is a delayed draw play. However, the Seahawks use this formation in an ingenious way to set up an outside run for Wilson that could easily have gone in for a Touchdown. Barring that, it should have gotten enough yardage for a First Down.
Braylon Edwards is the Wide Receiver at the top of the image. Just before the snap he is going to start jogging to the line of scrimmage to fill the gap between the Slot Receiver and the Left Tackle where a Rushing Defensive End can come in and blow up the play.
When Wilson snaps the ball the Left Tackle is going to wrap around his two receivers to block anyone between them and the sideline. The Running Back will also run that way to try to get as many blockers over there as possible. It is essential that Braylon Edwards makes his block otherwise Wilson is going to take a big hit. The slot receiver just has to seal up the guy in front of him and the play should go for positive yardage.
As you can see both Edwards and the Slot Receiver make their blocks. Edwards manages to take the Cardinals Defensive End to his knees, effectively eliminating him from the play. The Cornerback has actually been pushed towards the opposite sideline a couple of feet. There are only two people left who could stop Wilson from getting the first down. The Left Inner Linebacker and the Cornerback who was supposed to cover Edwards. Obviously with two blockers, the Tackle should attack the Linebacker and the Running Back should attack the Cornerback, right? Wrong:
They both attack the Linebacker, allowing the Cornerback to make a free hit on Wilson. In all fairness, this is a matchup that Wilson might have been able to win, perhaps it would've been better for him to bump out towards the sideline, instead of running straight, but again this is a play that should probably have gone for a first down if blocked correctly. Say what you want about the passing game, and believe me there is a lot to say about it, Pete Carroll knows how to run the football and run it well. If guys execute their blocks then it's going to be deadly against the Cowboys.
So now that I've covered some basic formations and philosophies of the Seahawks offense let's cover the Big Plays throughout the game.I classify a Big Play as a Play in which the Offense scores a Touchdown or in which a play is broken for more than 30 yards.
This week there were only 2 "Big Plays" but I'm only going to cover one because the other one was just a seam route to a Tight End on a Hail Mary play to end the half.
This play features a formation that for lack of a better term I will describe as a Pistol-hybrid formation. After all players are lined up with 3 Wide Recievers and a Running Back 2 yards back to the right of the Quarterback, Wilson runs into the offensive line as if he is making adjustments at the LOS. However, as opposed to running back to his initial position, he instead stays there.
The major routes for this play are a crossing route between Sydney Rice and the Slot Receiver and a seam route by the Tight End. Wilson is going to snap the ball under center, and the Running Back is going to run a dumpoff route.
This is a good read by Wilson. It looks like his first read is the Slot Receiver who has positioning underneath the Defensive Backs near the goal line. While he could make the play and get a Touchdown, it's not very likely and the Seahawks would probably have to settle for a Field Goal. Instead there is a hole in the Cardinals defense that Rice is going to exploit, and Wilson is going to see.
The pass is a little high, but Rice snags it, and could probably fall in for the first down. The Seahawks score a Touchdown on the play and the score becomes 13-10. Is it just me or does the Cornerback behind Rice look terrified in this picture?
I came away from this review apprehensive of the running game, and not that worried about the passing game. It seems like Wilson is content to dink and dunk the football as is evident by the number of Big Plays by the offense. It's possible that the Cardinals Defense, which is admittedly a really good defense, was good enough to prevent any big plays, but I just don't think that's likely. One thing I will give Wilson is that he does seem to be a multi-read Quarterback, which is a good sign for his future as an NFL player. Let's hope that we can give a similar defensive effort to the Cardinals and hold them to small chunks of yardage. That's our best bet.