Seahawks at Chicago: Nate Dogg Retrospective

Somebody forgot to record the game, and my torrent site shockingly came up short this week. So we're doing it Pete King style. Awwwww yeah.....

You Should Probably Be Sitting Down For What I'm About To Tell You

Red Bryant is a bit of a black hole against the pass. How black is he? Let's take a look.

Play 1

2nd and 10 from the 50 yard line, Chicago in a two tight end, one back set:


I've posted this a couple times already. Chicago runs play action with the play side (across from Red) TE releasing out into a route and the other TE staying in to block. Red is lined up in a wide nine for some reason, and the entire offensive line blocks down to their left. This leaves only the running back to block Red, and he's only looking to chip before getting out into his route. That leaves 6 offensive linemen to block the remaining three defensive linemen.

Red has to be able to get pressure in these situations, but he doesn't. He does manage to knock the running back on his ass, killing his route.

Play 2

2nd and 10 from the Chicago 30, Chicago in a two tight end, one back set.


A bit of an opposite of the previous play. Red is doubled by the right tackle and a tight end, with Mebane and Branch also seeing double teams. That doesn't leave anyone to block Clemons, which is a bit of a problem for Chicago.

Play 3

2nd and 9 at the Chicago 51, Chicago in a two tight end, one back set.


Here we have Red being single blocked by a chipping TE. The TE is able to completely stone wall Red with minimal effort before slipping into his route. That leaves the right tackle to help on the defensive tackles, who are effectively double teamed.

Play 4

1st and 10 at the Chicago 37, Chicago in a one tight end, two back set.


Again, Chicago assigns only a tight end to block Red. That gives them seven blockers to block the remaining two defensive linemen and two blitzers.

Play 5

1st and 10 at the Chiacago 15, Chicago in a one tight end, one back set.


It's a little difficult to see here, but Irvin and Red are stunting against two tight ends and the left tackle. Red comes around the corner and the far left tight end peels off to block him, leaving a tight end and the left tackle to double Irvin. Branch is also double teamed, and Clemons is working against the right tackle and a chipping running back. Fortunately Mebane wins his match up against a single block and is able to provide some pressure.

Play 6

1st and 10 at the Chicago 5, Chicago in a one tight end, two back set.


Red is single blocked by the right tackle, with a tight end and a running back available to help. He gets zero push however, so the running back and tight end are available to pick up either Wagner or Wright should they have blitzed. The offensive line has a man to spare against the remaining three defensive linemen, and the full back chips Clemons for good measure.

Again, Mebane is able to win his matchup and shed his blocker. Unfortunately there are just too many offensive linemen, and he's unable to navigate the mess and pressure Cutler before he has time to get rid of the ball.

Play 7

2nd and 8 at the Chicago 41, Chicago in a one tight, two back set.


Cutler has barely completed the play fake to Forte and already Red is completely out of the play. All it took from Chicago was a tight end, who releases into a route after destroying Red in pass protection. Forte is completely free to pick up any potential blitzers, while the remaining five offensive linemen pick up their assignments.

Play 8

1st and 10 at the Chicago 48, Chicago in a two tight, one back set.


Noticing a trend? Here we have Red being blocked by a tight end. An additional tight end and Forte are available to help, but they aren't needed and can look for blitzers.

Play 9

1st and 10 at the Seattle 48, Chicago in a two tight, two back set.


Red Bryant

Chipping Full Back

Zero pressure

That haiku is almost as bad as Red Bryant's pass rush moves. Zing!

There has been a lot of talk about improving Seattle's pass rush by upgrading at the three tech over Alan Branch. It's not a bad idea, any time you can upgrade your team you should consider it. But looking at the above plays it's clear that, on pass plays involving Red Bryant, Seattle is effectively rushing three. The best pass rushing defensive tackles are going to seriously struggle in those situations. If Seattle is serious about wanting to improve the pass rush from it's base package, it would be able to get much bigger gains out of figuring out what to do with Red over making a serious investment in a new three tech.

As The Read Option Goes, So Too Goes The Seahawks Offense?

Two weeks ago, Seattle went into Miami and faced the 10th ranked defense by DVOA. The offense scored 14 points, and floundered an opportunity at a game winning drive. Last week, Seattle went into Chicago and faced the top ranked defense by DVOA. The point output wasn't much better, but they did manufacture two game winning drives.

What was the difference? Well, the success of the read option in the Bears game is no secret. On Seattle's last drive in regulation, Wilson rushed for 20 of the 97 yard drive. In the game winning OT drive, he rushed for 30 of the 80 yard drive. In addition to that, the read option opened up the game winning touchdown (which Danny breaks down here). Against Miami, Seattle ran the read option only two or three times.

It was effective against the Jets and it was a killer against the Bears, where the hell was it against Miami? One of the issues may have been the athleticism of the Dolphins linebackers, or at the very least the lack thereof with the Jets and Bears linebackers. If that's the case, it's possible we'll see the read option disappear again against Arizona this weekend. The Cardinals have some supremely athletic linebackers, Darryl Washington first among them.

What does that mean for Seattle's offense? I don't want to doom and gloom too much, because I'd take even odds that Seattle's defense alone will outscore the Cardinals. But if you consider that against the last two top 10 defenses Seattle's offense faced they averaged 15.5 points, and that the Cardinals rank fourth in DVOA on defense, it's not absurd to think Sunday's game could be closer than the two team's track records would lead you to guess.

Of course, it's a home game. That might make the whole thing moot.

10 Things I Think

  • I think I can't believe I'm doing a Peter King inspired fanpost.
  • I think Marshawn Lynch is hurt, and I think I'm worried about his long term effectiveness.
  • I think Jim Jones would be jealous of the cult of personality that Russell Wilson has built.
  • I think, after doing a single fan post involving writing, that I'm very appreciative of the work that Danny et al put into the site. Video retrospectives are easy compared to this.
  • I think Samuel Smith makes great beer.
  • I think Seattle has little interest in bringing back Jason Jones for next year. The fact that Scruggs would have started over him in the case of Bryant missing a game makes me wonder how much they like him.
  • I think I need to find better ways to spend my Friday nights.
  • I think that I'd be ok with replacing Red with Branch and finding a true three tech in the draft. Especially if that three tech in Sheldon Richardson.
  • I think I'd still ultimately rather have a receiver in the first round. Wheaton or Patterson would make me cream.
  • I think the Rams game at the end of the year is going to decide if Seattle gets into the playoffs or not.
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