A lot of criticism has been leveled at the Seahawks run game, currently ranked 31st in the NFL after four weeks.
Did the Seahawks truly have a chance to run versus Atlanta? I examine below:
DRIVE 1 (1st Quarter)
Seahawks receive the ball and open at their own 20 with a 7-yard completion to Michael Robinson on 1st and 10. On 2nd and 3 they, of course, run the ball with Lynch for a 1-yard gain.
On 3rd and 2 the Seahawks bootleg Tarvaris Jackson - sprint right - and no one is open so Tarvaris throws it away. Punt.
So, one failed run so far.
DRIVE 2 (1st Quarter)
Seahawks Defense just surrendered a twleve-play, 72 yard, 7:40 minute drive where they gave up two 3rd and 1 conversions early. Seahawks trail 7-0.
The Hawks start on 1st and 10 with a 23-yard completion to Sidney Rice. On the subsequent 1st and 10 Tarvaris fires incomplete to Mike Williams. On 2nd and 15, following a penalty, Tarvaris fires complete to BMW for 11 yards.
It's now 3rd and 4. Is Seattle really going to run here? I think not. Tarvaris scrambles for 3 yards. Punt. I have no problem with opening up this drive firing to Sidney and BMW, personally.
DRIVE 3 (2nd Quarter)
Seattle still trails 7-0 early in the 2Q when they receive a punt and start a drive on their own 11-yard line. Atlanta just ripped off an eight-play drive to nowhere and ate up 4:39 off the clock.
You are backed up on your goal line. What do most teams do? They run. And the defense knows it.
Lynch runs on 1st and 10 for 2 yards but gets a 15 yard facemask penalty. Play doesn't count but the chains move.
Lynch runs again on 1st and 10, this time from the 28-yard line and Lynch get's stuffed for -3 yards. Not good.
So, two failed runs so far.
Seattle gets an interference penalty on Grimes on 2nd and 13 and gets a first down. On 1st and 10 they run a failed toss to Zach Miller for 1 yard. Now, are you going to run here on 2nd and 9? Nope. They pass to Ben Obomanu for 5 yards. On 3rd and 4 are they going to run? No.
But then Tarvaris throws behind BMW for an interception.DRIVE 4 (2nd Quarter)
Seahawks now trail 14-0 after the turnover and bad run defense.
They still open with a run on 1st and 10 from their own 16 yard line. Lynch gets stuffed for a 2 yard gain. Three failed runs. (Designed runs are now: 1 yard, 2 yards (penalty), -3 yards, 2 yards. Yeesh.)
On 2nd and 8, Tarvaris fires complete to Doug Baldwin before Doug gets blown up. Was he really supposed to run on 2nd and 8? On 3rd and 8 Tarvaris throws, of course, and hits Doug for a 30 yard gain. Huge play. Next play is the go route to Sidney for the 52 yard TD on the offsides.
DRIVE 5 (2nd Quarter)
Now the Seahawks trail 21-7 after the defense gives up an eleven-play, 5:58 minute, 72 yard drive. Sigh.
Seahawks open with 2:48 left on the clock down two touchdowns on their own 17-yard line. Are you going to run here? I wouldn't.
They fire incomplete on 1st and 10 and then on 2nd and 10 fire complete to Sidney Rice for 4 yards. On 3rd and 6 are you going to run? No. Tarvaris fires incomplete to Justin Forsett. Punt.
"DRIVE 6 (2nd Quarter)"
Seahawks receive the ball on their 23-yard line down 24-7 with 0:25 before halftime and they run the ball for no gain. Does that really count as a run?
Sure, the Seahawks need to be more successful running the ball in the first half, -- especially on 1-10,-- but in this game they really didn't have a chance because they were trailing and finding some success with the pass. The O-line is finding itself in very predictable running situations, without a lead nor good field position -- it makes running difficult.
More on the 2nd half later.