A Look at the Film: Seattle Seahawks Opening Drive Against the Atlanta Falcons

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After trouncing the Detroit Lions in the Wildcard round of the playoffs the Seahawks were set to make a trip to the Georgia Dome and face the red hot Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons opened as three-point favorites over the team they had taken down to the wire in a week six loss. Throughout the season they Seahawks had proved inconsistent on offense. Seattle made a point to march down the field and score on the opening drive but throughout the game again proved inconsistent.

 

A Look at the Film: Seattle Seahawks Opening Drive Against the Atlanta Falcons

On multiple occasions throughout the opening drive, Seattle’s young offensive line was put to the test, from stunting defensive tackles to the “wide 9” front which puts the tackles on an island. Both Garry Gilliam and George Fant struggle but Fant has the hardest time by far dealing with Adrian Clayborn. An interesting wrinkle to the blocking schemes on much of the first drive is a few times tight end Luke Willson is tasked with blocking Vic Beasley, He does an admirable job but is beaten a few times.

For the most part, Seattle was able to move the ball at will whether it be with handoffs to Thomas Rawls, scrambles from Russell Wilson or well-designed route combinations. Rawls was averaging almost 5 yards per carry on the opening drive and looked like the running back that wowed fans in 2015. Doug Baldwin was toasting defensive backs and making athletic grabs to keep the drive alive.  Seattle’s use of stacked formations, play action passing and excellent execution.

The Seattle offensive unit looked as good as it would all day on the opening drive, giving fans a glimmer of hope that Seattle would pull off another underdog win. That wouldn’t last long as mistakes started to pile up on the second drive of the game which resulted in a Seattle safety. The loss of guard Germain Ifedi on the opening drive cannot be understated as replacement Rees Odhiambo was directly responsible for the safety on the next drive.  The Seahawks would fail to score another touchdown until the fourth quarter down by a couple scores.

What Seattle showed on the first drive is promising going into 2017 as the only missing link seems to be a consistent offensive line. With the playmakers for Seattle signed through 2017 and a young offensive line that can only get better, fans should be optimistic going forward that what they saw on the opening drive can be a consistent theme offensively for Seattle going forward.

A Redzone Look: Miami Dolphins (Week 1)

 

 

After finishing the 2016 season red hot on offense as the number one ranked team per DVOA, many expected the Seahawks to pick up where they left off. Things went awry quickly as Russell Wilson was injured in the third quarter and Seattle struggled to put points on the board.  Going just one for three in redzone touchdowns in week one the Seahawks offensive prowess was in question.

A Redzone Look: Miami Dolphins

1st and 10 at MIA 17

(6:42 – 1st) T.Rawls up the middle to MIA 16 for 1 yard (J.Warmsley). 12 personnel.


After rushing for a gain of 12 yards under center, the Seahawks return in a similar formation. Doug Baldwin goes in motion on the line of scrimmage, causing Miami’s safety to drop out of the box, signaling to his teammate to pick up Baldwin in man coverage. While Seattle is still running into a 7 man box, Thomas Rawls is only able to pick up 1 yard between the rushing lane of (#72) Garry Gilliam and (#88) Jimmy Graham. Gilliam’s block disengages at the last second and stops Rawls near the line of scrimmage.

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2nd and 9 at MIA 16

(6:05 – 1st) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete short middle to J.Kearse (R.Jones). 01 personnel.

Miami comes out in a Cover 2 zone look, while Seattle counters with an empty set. Russell Wilson takes a three step drop and throws a tick late to (#15) Jermaine Kearse who is coming out of his break on a dig route, the lack of anticipation results in the defender, (#20) Reshad Jones making a clean break on the ball. Wilson also throws the ball behind his receiver making the catch that much more difficult. (#89) Baldwin is double covered on this particular play in the end zone.

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3rd and 9 at MIA 16

(5:56 – 1st) (Shotgun) R.Wilson sacked at MIA 21 for -5 yards (M.Williams). 11 personnel.

Miami again is playing in a Cover 2, though this time in man coverage. Russell Wilson appears to be wanting (#89) Baldwin here, pump faking and pulling the corner covering Baldwin out of the play, Baldwin flashes open here but the line isn’t able to give Wilson enough time to complete the throw. (#73)  J’Marcus Webb is unable to hold up in pass protection for a longer developing route and as a result his defender sacks Wilson.

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4th and 14 at MIA 21

(5:11 – 1st) Steven Hauschka 39 Yd Field Goal

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1st and 10 at MIA 20

(0:09 – 2nd) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete short left to D.Baldwin. 11 personnel.

The Seahawks effectively have one shot at the end zone here before settling for a field goal due to the small amount of time left. Miami is in Cover 2 Man in an attempt to stop passes into the end zone and force a field goal. Wilson is forced to escape the pocket after pressure off left tackle is too great with only short gains in sight and throws the ball away.

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2nd and 10 at MIA 20

(0:00 – 2nd) Steven Hauschka 38 Yd Field Goal

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After injuring his ankle earlier in the game, Wilson’s mobility was clearly hampered as he hobbled in the pocket for the majority of the game. When his team needed it, he drove down the field for the go-ahead touchdown mostly utilizing the quick passing game.

1st and 10 at MIA 16

(1:28 – 4th) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to T.Lockett to MIA 11 for 5 yards (X.Howard). 11 personnel.

Wilson motions (#32)  Christine Michael out of the backfield against a Cover 1 look by Miami. Wilson audibles to his receivers signaling a change in the play. It’s unclear what Wilson sees on the left side as the route combination with Michael and (#15) Kearse appears to fail, Wilson leaves the pocket and throws to an open (#16) Tyler Lockett on the boundary.

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(1:05 – 4th) Timeout #2 by MIA at 01:09.

2nd and 5 at MIA 11

(1:09 – 4th) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short right to D.Baldwin to MIA 2 for 9 yards (R.Jones; X.Howard). 11 personnel.

Miami returns to their Cover 2 zone shell, with (#41) Maxwell playing almost 10 yards off (#16) Lockett on the bottom left side of the screen. Wilson throws to (#89) Baldwin with excellent anticipation as he flashes open between zones. 

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(0:54 – 4th) Timeout #3 by MIA at 00:57.

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1st and Goal at MIA 2

(0:57 – 4th) (Shotgun) C.Michael left guard to MIA 2 for no gain (N.Suh). 11 personnel.

The Seahawks place their receivers in a bunch formation, pulling possible blockers out of the box for the running play. The Seahawks use a 6 man front against a 8 man box, and are unable to create any sizable rushing lanes.

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2nd and Goal at MIA 2

(0:31 – 4th) Doug Baldwin Pass From Russell Wilson for 2 Yrds. TOUCHDOWN. 11 personnel.

Wilson throws a great touch pass as (#89) Baldwin beats his corner in man coverage. The offensive line actually run blocks here, signalling some sort of audible between Wilson and his receivers. The run action here provides Wilson with ample time to throw as he gets rid of the ball quickly. This is a good play call against man coverage as it utilizes Baldwin’s quickness and ability to find open space.

Outcome

While this was a disappointing and dangerous outing for the Seahawks, with the injury to Wilson, they managed to win the game. As is expected with a week one performance there were issues, going one for three in redzone touchdowns was not comforting for fans. Due to poor execution, bad offensive line play and an injured quarterback the Seahawks were held to 12 points over four quarters as they headed into L.A. to face the Rams in their home opener.