Pressure off the right side of the offensive line was a serious problem for the Seahawks' offense on Sunday as normal left guard Paul McQuistan moved to the right to replace injured John Moffitt and RT Breno Giacomini struggled in pass protection badly.
I picked out a few plays to make some notes on, as I believe it's something to really watch in Sunday's matchup with the Panthers. Carolina has one of the league's best young defensive ends in Charles Johnson so Seattle's tackles -- Okung and Giacomini -- should have their hands full. I'm more worried about the right side, so let's take a look at several of the issues they had on Sunday.
Below, you'll note # 68 in these two photos, which show him getting beat off of the snap (henceforth we'll just use his number, as punishment). Russell Wilson salvages the play -- the Rams are running some man-to-man, and as Wilson clears pressure he finds Rice on a simple comeback. This was a common theme on the right side in this game -- guys just getting beat or being in poor position.
Wilson steps up into the pocket and moves right before connecting with Rice.
This is the first 3rd down miss, and I actually liked Russell's reaction to step up. The problem is that #68 whiffs on his man. You can kinda see him laying on the ground by image #2. Mike Martz ignores this fact completely to say "See that kid is #$%@ing blind! Short Short Short"
The thing I love about this play by Wilson was, even though he was deflected he was still able to get the ball off, and it looks like he was going to Ben Obamanu. Even without a clear line of sight, he trusted the play and tried to get it out to the open guy.
It falls incomplete.
On this play-action throw, Russell is shown executing a solid play-action fake. The problem comes, as you can see, from the G/T gap between Paul McQuistan and #68. They essentially both get beat by one guy. Yes, the Seahawks had two blockers for one lineman but neither impedes his rush. Russell gets flushed from the pocket and has to run for a 1-yard gain.
Here's another key 3rd down. I will admit that I don't know what the offensive call is, but somehow the blocking essentially turns Chris Long loose on the strong side edge with a missed Zach Miller chip attempt. Russell quickly scrambles right, but misses Miller underneath as the play develops. He throws out of the back of the endzone.
Perhaps that is a designed play - it looks like Wilson sets first before moving to his right at the sight of unimpeded pressure - but say it were designed, but why on earth would you turn Chris Long, with his speed, loose on a motion play? Can anyone help me understand this?
Good old #68 is matched up 1v1 vs Chris Long, and looks so bad that I'm not actually even sure he was attempting a cut block or it just looked that way because it was such a bad block, similar to an earlier play where he'd just been beaten off the snap.
Russell senses the pressure and gets the throw off quickly.
The poor play of the right side of the line was so absurd at times that I started to pity Russell Wilson -- basic protection on the right seemed so shoddy that it's hard to see any QB being consistent when blocking doesn't even start correctly.