1-10-KC 26 (:25) 25-J.Charles right end pushed ob at KC 30 for 4 yards (59-A.Curry).
Kansas City teased end around out of an identical but mirrored formation in the preceding drive. This time, they cash in.
This was one of my favorite plays of the afternoon. It didn't prevent a four yard run, but it prevented a much longer run. It was an individual effort and an individual effort by one of Seattle's young, supremely talented players.
Matt Cassel motions hand off to Thomas Jones and hands off to Jamaal Charles running an end around. Lofa Tatupu bites hard inside, and takes himself completely out of the play. David Hawthorne bites inside and is lost in the pile. Walter Thurmond is run deep on the right. The defensive line has not created contain and no lineman is moving right to intercept Charles. It is up to Aaron Curry to stop this play.
Tony Moeaki motions to tight end left prior to the snap. He pulls behind the line and around right end and attempts to block Curry. Even a delaying block should be sufficient given Charles speed, but Curry reads it the entire way. He crashes down from off the line through Moeaki and towards Charles, stringing him wide right. Charles has to bubble backwards until his nine yards behind the line of scrimmage. Any kind of assistance produces a huge tackle for a loss. A better angle by Curry produces a tackle for a loss, but he's a little too aggressive and can only manage to hook Charles and fall off before Charles breaks through and falls forward out of bounds.
2-6-KC 30 (15:00) 25-J.Charles left tackle to KC 34 for 4 yards (94-J.Siavii, 51-L.Tatupu).
A lot of the action in this play happens before the snap.
Chiefs start: WR (left/right), 2 TE (left), RB
Motion: WR (left/right), TE (right), I (right)
And then: WR (left/right), TE (right), I (left)
Seattle shuffles its line to adjust, but the final move by Kansas City produces the mismatch the Chiefs are looking for. Barry Richardson lures LEO end Raheem Brock wide and then blocks him by his inside shoulder, setting a very short corner. Curry is there to contain, but KC has a lead blocker to neutralize Curry.
Seattle actually plays this very well. Curry knocks back the lead blocker into Charles, retarding his momentum. Tatupu avoids the cut block by left guard Brian Waters and closes the rush lane, and Junior Siavii throws off center Casey Wiegmann and closes from the right.
Charles plunges forward for four, setting up third and two.
3-2-KC 34 (14:26) 7-M.Cassel pass short right to 82-D.Bowe ran ob at KC 39 for 5 yards.
Thurmond plays off on Bowe and Bowe runs a short out for an easy first.
1-10-KC 39 (13:59) 7-M.Cassel pass short middle to 25-J.Charles to KC 47 for 8 yards (59-A.Curry).
Play-action, seven step, no pressure, Charles slips out of the back field on a curl route and catches and turns up field for eight. Deep routes run off the coverage and space opens underneath, just like earlier.
2-2-KC 47 (13:20) 20-T.Jones left tackle to KC 48 for 1 yard (91-C.Clemons; 51-L.Tatupu).
Chiefs attempt to rush up the gut, but Terrill is able to hold ground and Tatupu is able to shed a cut block and that inspires Jones to begin running horizontally left. I don't know if that is the right decision, but it's defensible. Tatupu closes from the right and Clemons fights through Richardson's block and the two meet to tackle Jones after only one.
3-1-KC 48 (12:44) PENALTY on KC-67-B.Richardson, False Start, 4 yards, enforced at KC 48 - No Play. Due to spot of ball before snap, four yard penalty results
3-5-KC 44 (12:18) 7-M.Cassel pass deep right to 82-D.Bowe to SEA 34 for 22 yards (28-W.Thurmond; 29-E.Thomas).
Seattle breaks in a dime package, dime defensive line, six defensive backs, et cetera.
Kansas City doesn't match personnel, opting for two tight ends instead, and retaining seven blockers against a four man pass rush.
Seattle guessed right, but it just didn't work.
Cassel reads right, left and sees Bowe one-on-one against Thurmond. Thomas is breaking that direction, but too deep to double. Bowe curls. Thurmond continues forward. Cassel places it on Bowe's back shoulder. Bowe receives. Thurmond snaps around, attempts a tackle, and Thomas ends it.
Tolerable growing pains, all in all, but ugly nonetheless.
1-10-SEA 34 (11:42) 25-J.Charles right end to SEA 30 for 4 yards (36-L.Milloy, 94-J.Siavii).
Seattle is able to hold ground against a stretch right and Siavii disengages and hooks Charles, slowing him and starting the tackle.
2-6-SEA 30 (11:04) 20-T.Jones left tackle to SEA 29 for 1 yard (94-J.Siavii).
Seattle overloads the right and run a six man blitz. KC runs behind left guard, and most of the Seahawks front seven is out of position. Curry is way in the backfield. Bane is way to the left, drawing the left tackle. Tatupu smartly abandons the blitz and moves back to contain the run, but he's to the right and Waters is between him and the rush lane. Balmer attacked hard in to set the edge for Curry and Tats, and he's a long shot to tackle Jones.
But Siavii takes care of business. He forces Wiegmann back. He sheds the center and tackles Jones after one.
3-5-SEA 29 (10:23) 25-J.Charles left tackle to SEA 21 for 8 yards (36-L.Milloy).
This fails because of the defensive line personnel. Seattle guesses wrong.
Seahawks aligns, from left to right: Clemons-Richardson-Mebane-Brock. KC sets their lone tight end left; behind the line an "I" formation.
Clemons and Brock edge rush and run themselves out of the play. Mebane beats back Wiegmann, but doesn't separate. Richardson, a 6'6", 280 pound defensive end, is blown back, turned backwards and taken out of the play. That's where Charles runs. Hawthorne is able to shed a cut block, but the cut delays him enough to force him into a bad angle. Everything else is just Charles running forward and past the first down marker for eight yards.
1-10-SEA 21 (9:46) 20-T.Jones right end pushed ob at SEA 21 for no gain (57-D.Hawthorne).
End around hand-off, as seen in the Charles end around.
Mebane gets an excellent jump, forces Lilja deep into the backfield, and that makes Jones begin moving horizontally-right four yards behind the line of scrimmage. Balmer also gets good push, and this run is just about blown up. Hawthorne flies down and tackles.
Quick note: Tatupu moves right of center prior to the snap and motions to Heater to move wider right. He doesn't, really. He does, but only a little bit. After the snap, he's contending with Moeaki and must shed a block before tackling. That is probably why this play isn't dropped for a loss.
Good play by the line, and good on Heater getting off the block.
2-10-SEA 21 (9:14) (Shotgun) 7-M.Cassel pass incomplete deep left to 82-D.Bowe.
Safety blitz. Seahawks send the Law.
Clemons pressures from left and Milloy pressures from the right and even Siavii is around to pressure from in front. The result: Cassel throws it away.
3-10-SEA 21 (9:08) (Shotgun) 7-M.Cassel pass short right to 82-D.Bowe pushed ob at SEA 10 for 11 yards (34-R.Lewis) [59-A.Curry].
Finally a down and distance Seattle can work with.
KC: 2 WR (left), WR (right), TE (right), RB
(Kansas City calls a time out)
KC: 2 WR (left), 2 TE (right), Rb (left), Shotgun
The play clock had almost run out before the Chiefs called a time out, but I wonder if they didn't spy Seattle's defense and then adjust. It's a critical third and ten, and first half time outs can be spent freely.
Before the snap, Bowe motions right. Roy Lewis follows, and, well, that means Roy Lewis is in man coverage on Dwayne Bowe. Seahawks send six (Tats and Milloy) and Curry and Milloy create pressure up the gut. In that sense, this play is working. Cassel has to throw flat footed, under duress. But he throws to a wide open Bowe running up the right sideline. Lewis arrives to knock him out of bounds, but the first is converted.
Thurmond is on Moeaki. Lewis is over and away from Bowe, and doesn't react fast enough to stop the first. Maybe those assignments should have been swapped.
1-10-SEA 10 (8:44) 25-J.Charles right end to SEA 7 for 3 yards (28-W.Thurmond).
Chiefs motion the tight end before the snap, swapping the strong side and creating a LEO-strongside mismatch. Milloy follows to compensate, and he almost makes a play, but just can't get an arm on Charles. Pope sets the edge against Brock, and things look precarious.
Luckily, Thurmond closes from the secondary and tackles Charles in space. Charles almost escapes the tackle. That would have saved me a couple extra plays to break down.
2-7-SEA 7 (8:04) 25-J.Charles right tackle to SEA 1 for 6 yards (57-D.Hawthorne, 51-L.Tatupu).
David Hawthorne has a 51.4% success rate on tackles. That's not among the league's worst, but it's pretty far down there. I mention this not to indict Hawthorne, but because Hawthorne is Seattle's weakside linebacker. When I see Heater's name listed next to a tackle, I always look to see what kind of tough situation he was up against.
This play, he's actually on Seattle's strong side. Curry is over Terrance Copper. Seattle is matching a 4-3 against a three wide receiver set, and that decision probably saves the touchdown.
Balmer overpursues around right end. Mebane is sealed inside by Lilja. Siavii is out-manned by a double team. Tatupu gets stuck behind Siavii, but does a good job of sticking with his gap and not letting Charles break inside.
Moeaki pulls forward and blocks Hawthorne, and that should end it, but Hawthorne perseveres. He sheds Moeaki and halts a charging Charles. It's a damn good if by no means textbook tackle, and Hawthorne, practically stationary, is able to stop Charles where they meet and save the touchdown.
I don't think this tackle was "successful," but I won't hold that against Heater.
3-1-SEA 1 (7:22) 50-M.Vrabel and 90-S.Smith reported in as eligible. 90-S.Smith up the middle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.
Seahawks get decent push, but Shaun Smith barrels in.
Rich Gannon exults: "Big Sexy! Haha!"
Not to say Seattle couldn't stop it. Mebane could have gotten better push, for one, but that's a lot of newtons to stop and about a half a foot of space to stop it in.