Seahawks Replay Booth: Zach Miller, 28 Yard Reception

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 1: Zach Miller #86 of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by Kurt Coleman #42 of the Philadelphia Eagles at CenturyLink Field December 1, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle won 34-14. (Photo by Jay Drowns/Getty Images)

Welp, let's get right to it, shall we? Following the Two-Minute warning, first half last week agains the Eagles, the Seahawks are situated on their own 35 yard line here, up 14-7 and hoping to add to that lead going into halftime. Darrell Bevell makes an aggressive playcall here on 1st and 10 out of the Seahawks "22" personnel grouping, and for that, me likey.

Seattle has two tight ends, Zach Miller and Cameron Morrah, set to the right with Michael Robinson and Marshawn Lynch in an I-formation. Golden Tate is the lone receiver, set on the weakside to the left.

The Eagles are in a cover two here, cornerback Joselio Hansen is lined up with Tate on the wing, and safeties Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen are patrolling the secondary.

1-10-SEA 35 (2:00 2nd Q) T.Jackson pass deep left to Z.Miller pushed ob at PHI 37 for 28 yards (K.Coleman).

As you can see, I've shown the routes each player will run. Zach Miller is the inside tight end to the right and he's going to run a corner route with a break after ten yards. Golden Tate is going to run a streak route down the field, and Mike Rob and Marshawn are going to run shallow outs after the play-action fake.


As you can see below, in the next two photos, the play-action fake works wondrously. Why, you might ask? Well, I'm sure the Eagles do their homework. This is the NFL. That due diligence would point out that in the "22" personnel grouping in the past two weeks preceding this game, the Seahawks had run 22 times and passed twice. In other words, the last two weeks, in this look, the Seahawks ran it about 92% of the time.

Scouting reports and good coaching tell you what to expect when it comes to different formations and when the Eagles' two safeties saw the Seahawks in "22" they would be smart to expect a run. That's probably why they bite so hard on the play-action fake, particularly free safety Nate Allen, to your left in the picture below.


Above, you can see Allen stepping forward at the snap.

Below, you can see him go "ohhhhhhhh SH*T!!" as he notices that TJack hasn't handed off the ball. He turns immediately to track Golden Tate deep down the sideline. He never even sees Zach Miller release up the middle of the field, as at that point Miller is probably still the responsibility of SS Kurt Coleman.


The pocket is held up beautifully by the Seahawks here, and as I've shown you below, Allen has now completely turned his back to Jackson to try and make up ground down the deep middle of the field in Tate's direction. Zach Miller is circled in red.


Zach Miller runs below Tate and Hansen on a deep crossing route and now Coleman is trailing him. Tarvaris can see Allen's back turned and would know he's not much of a threat - and as an aside, I was watching some Aaron Rodgers interview where he was talking about making a throw into a tight window when the DB has his head turned, and mentioned that the Packers consider those types of plays very high-percentage. I mean, he's Aaron Rodgers, but that's good to keep in mind.

Anyway, as a result of Nate Allen's pursuit of Tate down the field, this becomes a very high-percentage play. All TJack has to do now is hit Miller in stride.


Which he does, beautifully. Pickup of 28 yards and puts the Seahawks on the Eagles 37 yard line. They'd go on to kick a field goal before the half and go up by ten.


Jackson with the smooooooooooooth 28-yard jay.


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