The Tape: Seahawks @ Chargers 2nd Quarter

The return of Jordan Babineaux led to the exit of Lofa Tatupu.

  • Third play of San Diego's final drive of the half. 3rd and 3 on the San Diego 48. Chargers break 3 WR, SB, shotgun. Seattle in a nickel D. From the slot, Vincent Jackson runs a drag pattern. Jordan Babineaux initiates contact, falls off laggard Jackson, and enters a trailing position. Rivers finds Jackson open, Jackson catches the pass, turns upfield, and is met by Tatupu screaming back into play and Babineaux still holding the veil. The collision, combined with Jackson's forward momentum, toss Tatupu down knee first into the turf. His knee isn't twisted sideways, and though his foot catches, the final position isn't unnatural. Just painful and sudden. I think a bad bruise looks about right.
  • Charlie Frye makes his blocking look bad. Stepping into defenders or not stepping into the pocket; after making some poor decisions under pressure against Chicago, Frye seemed committed to throwing the ball at the first site of a free defender against San Diego. His thirteen yard scramble should have been a sack. Not just in the sense that Jyles Tucker should have completed the tackle, but that Frye's knee was inches from the turf. It's not the kind of play that's repeatable.

    His accuracy isn't repeatable either. Especially on deep patterns, where he's sometimes pinpoint and sometimes in the stands.

    But it'd be a lie to say he didn't play well on Monday, and barring something sucky and unforeseen, that's how he'll end 2008. The implications for Seattle are interesting. Had Frye played like he had against Chicago, Seattle would again be in the market for a quarterback. It's a bit overdue that Seattle drafts a developmental quarterback to refine while Matt Hasselbeck plays out his career. Without another game situation, it's impossible to know if Frye has truly turned the corner and is becoming a good or even serviceable quarterback, or, my guess, that last Monday was an aberration wrought by two cautious contenders.

  • On the second play of the second quarter, on a run to the right B gap, Seattle's Ray Willis flexed back against Igor Olshansky before showing off his immense upper-body strength, shoving Olshanky back, into the pile and onto the turf. Willis is a hell of a strong right tackle, much stronger than Sean Locklear, and matched against a stout 3-4 end, it's little wonder he looked his best, but the fact that Willis was forced to recover after being backed up, and only delivered the knockout block after Maurice Morris had passed him, is further indication that Willis just isn't getting off the line quick enough and if pressed into regular duty a likely liability against speed rushing left defensive ends.
  • After repeated viewings, I'm still not sure what happened that allowed Vincent Jackson to break free and catch a 59 yard Philip Rivers bomb.

    It's 2nd and 19 on the Chargers 32. The Chargers break in a 3 WR (2 left, 1 right), offset I (right). Seattle is in a base 4-3. By the looks of it, Seattle is running a Cover 2. Deon Grant is playing over Jackson on the left. At the snap, the 3 wide receivers run straight upfield. On the right, Marcus Trufant and Brian Russell are playing just off Chris Chambers. On the left, Kelly Jennings is playing tight against, I believe, Legedu Naanee. Leroy Hill passes Jackson off deep, but there's no one there, as Grant is a in a soft shell left, somewhat near Jennings and Naanee. Now, I don't know if Russell mistakenly doubled Chambers, leaving his deep shell derelict or if Grant locked in on Naanee and somehow missed Jackson. Grant was closest and easily able to run down Jackson from behind, but the answer to whom allowed such an ugly, easy completion is a mystery.

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