Ten Best Crucial Plays of 2010 #8 - Mike Williams Takes Jabari Greer to the Cleaners

I'll leave it to your imagination what he might be pointing at.

Week 11 vs. Saints

 

1st Quarter 9:18  2nd and 18 at SEA 22 M.Hasselbeck pass deep right to M.Williams to NO 10 for 68 yards (J.Greer).

WP before play:  48%

WP after play:  65%

WP swing:  +17%.

 

This early play was the high point of the first game against the Saints.  It went downhill from there.

Jeremy Bates' playcalling was more aggressive than usual in this game.  The play before our #8 entry was a Flea Flicker attempt that ended disastrously.  With an eight yard loss and no indications of a deep ball threat, the Saints' defense plays it safe.  Their two corners are more than 10 yards back in soft zones, and one of the safeties is barely on the television screen.  The Seahawks line up 3 WRs, with Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu on the right side.  Jabari Greer, camping out in his zone, is assigned to BMW.  Matt is in the shotgun.  It's a relatively simple play; the Seahawks want to get close enough for a manageable 3rd down, and the Saints want to prevent an over-the-top gain.  But as with most football plays, the execution rarely goes according to the script.

The ball is snapped.  The O-line hold down their men, with Cameron Morrah and Marshawn Lynch helping out on the left side.  A blitzing LB manages to get through, but not until well after Matt throws the ball.  He takes the snap, drops back three steps, pump fakes in the middle, and lets it fly on the right sideline.  Whether or not this pump fake threw off the safety is unclear.  It probably didn't matter, because Mike Williams was the hero of this story, with Jabari Greer as the ineffectual sympathetic villain.

After the snap, BMW and Obo run parallel go routes.  Obo keeps going in a straight line, and is quickly blanketed by a defender.  BMW, on the other hand, decides he doesn't want to play fair.  After about five yards, he sees Greer coming in to defend, and makes a quick stutter step.  It's not a subtle double-move by any means, but the sudden stop-and-go routing completely throws off Greer.  He stumbles and nearly falls down.  By this time, Matt has made his pump fake and has a perfect throwing window.  With the other defenders distracted by Obo for some reason, Williams has nothing but the end zone in front of him.

Unfortunately, Mike Williams isn't a speedy guy by any means.  Despite Greer's big slip-up, he's able to catch up with BMW and make a shoelace tackle, saving the touchdown.  It took him 68 yards to get there, but he did. 

With that much yardage gained on one play, and coming this early in the game, it's easy to see why the WP went up so high--that close to the endzone, points are practically a foregone conclusion.  Then again, this is the Jeremy Bates offense we're talking about.  After scuffling in the red zone (yet again), they have to settle for a field goal (yet again).  The Saints spent their next possession grinding down the defense with Chris Ivory, scoring a touchdown, and never looked back.  The game was closer than the scoreboard indicated, but it still wasn't much fun to watch.

Except for this play.  That was pretty cool.

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