Most likely, this game will be forever remembered for "that catch" as opposed to the extraordinary fact that the Seahawks clamped down on one of the league's elite quarterbacks and held him and his offense scoreless for the first half, limiting them to only 87 yards. The defense also racked up 8 sacks in that time period. Consider that if the Seahawks' offense was in second-half (of the season) form, this game likely would not have even been close. You might also want to consider and compare the Seahawks' defensive performance in this game to the 49ers playoff game against the Packers, which was also a home game for them.
It's also notable from the line's perspective that Wilson was only sacked once; however, the offense still struggled mightily to get any kind of rhythm going.
Also, since this article came out recently, might as well note that Richard Sherman again had more shutdowns and in-position plays than blown coverages. However, he was covering Jordy Nelson the majority of the game and he was rarely a factor, as the article notes, not even really trying to lose Sherman. - thursday25
On to the stats:
- Penalties 14/118: This was a game of many mistakes or at least the replacement refs judged it so...(complete BS PI call on nice coverage by Kam was a key play in this game)
- As previously mentioned, an amazing defensive stand against an elite QB, we will get into that more below
- This game epitomized our challenges on offense, which we will also cover below.
Offense - avg yards 4.7
Passing - 10/21 111 5.0 avg
- Wilson 2 TD passes, 130 YDS
- Wilson was sacked once, with no interceptions, but ran 3 times and threw it away 5 different times with nobody open
- His completion stats do not really tell the story of how accurate he was as several times he tried to force it in in the final few minutes of the game with nobody open.
- Tate 3 catches, 2 TD's, Miller 2 catches 12 YDS.
- We simply could not convert on 3rd downs to keep drives going.
- Receivers struggled to get open or make plays and in general were still struggling to really gel with Wilson.
- Rice only caught one (key 22 YD post in final drive)
- If one picture captures what happened early in the passing game it's this one.
- There's an open crosser just releasing in his route, but Wilson's protection completely breaks down on the right side. Giacominni and Moffit blow their assignments
- This is actually interesting, because some QB's fundamentally choose to make this throw, Wilson chooses to bail, and keep the play going rather then take a risky shot under pressure
- The play results in an incomplete, throw away as he rolls right to escape, but this is an interesting theme where as a QB he has a fundamentally different style then many other QB's (even elite ones) in the league that would either make the throw or take the sack if this was the hand they were dealt.
Rushing - 29/127 4.4 avg
- Lynch several times makes something out of nothing, especially a key 4th and 2 at the end of the game, but averaged < 4 yards/carry.
- The running game wasn't great, lots of missed blocks, 4.4 avg is skewed by several Wilson scrambles for good yardage on broken pass plays and a Washington "garbage" 11 yards on 3rd and 30.
- Just an example of everyone holding their blocks and creating/sealing off the gap as Lynch is about to go through for 6. Unger to the left, Robinson and GIacominni on the right
- Look at the movement created on the line off this running play. Unger, McQuesten, Okung allready creating the kind of gaps Lynch is going to crash through
- Notice AJ Hawk (#50) the free MLB who has the best shot at limiting the play
- Also Matthews closing in on the left (#52)
- Everyone holds their blocks, Robinson puts the wood to Matthews. Moffitt and Okung get to the 2nd level and keep Hawk out of the play
- Lynch powers through for 8 on this one.
- Continued terrible play by Sweezy (#64) highlighted here as he tries to tackle his guy that he missed. You can see him just to the right of Breno (#68)
- Sweezy was in for 5 plays, he had 3 missed run blocks (one where he tries to tackle his guy), 1 missed pass protection blocks.
- There was one running play where Sweezy finally gets a solid block and you see the potential that Cable must've seen during preseason.
- You see the result of the Sweezy missed block as there is now a free defender in the backfield
- Also on the left Okung gets called for holding on Matthews (he held the previous play as well and didn't get called). Not a great game for Okung: 2 holding penalties and a false start.
- Giacominni had 4 missed run blocks, 2 missed pass protection blocks. Grade B-. This is Breno's worst performance so far in terms of blocking even without the penalties.
- Moffitt missed 7 blocks, 2 missed pass protection blocks. Grade: D. Coach Cable said he wanted consistency out of Moffitt, this explains it. Last week against Dallas he was brilliant, now he turns in a performance that shows why he was losing playing time to a 7th round DL convert.
- Unger missed 5 run blocks. Grade: B
- McQuesten missed 4 run blocks, 1 holding penalty. Grade B-
- Okung had a False start, 2 holding penalties, missed 1 pass protection blocks, 3 missed run blocks. Grade C. If every game looks like this, no way Okung goes to a pro bowl, not a great game for him
Passing 26/39 184 3.9 avg
- We generated tons of pressure and 8 sacks in first half. Best pass rush performance of the year from the Seahawks D
- Rodgers clearly was faster getting rid of the ball in the 2nd half
- 6-44 yards on RB outlet passes where we played too deep in zone. This is a consistent theme from the Cowboys game as well. Our scheme seems to just give up these type of plays
- We actually made only a few mistakes in the secondary between LB's in zone or Sherman playing off in coverage.
- It's actually interesting reading my play by play comments and simply how many passes were completed because we were playing too deep in zone. It must have been part of our game plan with Rodgers, and it really worked. 3.9 avg per pass is crazy against Aaron Rodgers. From a quick glance at 2012 stats, this is the lowest avg per pass anyone held Rodgers to, and the 2nd fewest points (Giants held them to only 10). Even if you remove sack yardage from the calculation it's 4.71 yards avg per pass attempt.
- Look at this move from Jones (left side) taking on two blockers and freeing up Clemons to rush inside unblocked.
- Nice result, Clemons with the sack but credit Jones with the assist.
- Clemons 4 total sacks, but 2 that really stood out.
- Look at the beastly move by Irvin destroying the right tackle on this bull rush, guy actually falls down and Irvin finishes with the sack.
- Nice finish by Irvin for a big loss on the sack.
- Irvin had 2 brilliant sacks that really demonstrated his potential and athleticism
Rushing 21/84 4.0 avg
- We stuffed the run in the first half pretty well.
- Packers were able to run in 2nd half largely because of over pursuit (especially LB's) and nobody covering the backside.
- Also they spread out the offense to force our nickel package, then ran on it very well
- How much will Hill, Bennet and Winfield help our Nickel package against the run this year?
- Shows Irvin in backfield ignoring running back.
- Irvin doesn't play the run well not because of a lack of strength, he's very strong and even gets into the backfield, but just lacks awareness to get off his block and go after the ball
- Incredible play by Browner to blow up the play in the backfield
- Browner really has the most clutch play of the game on 1st and 10 at the end of the game to pin the packers on their own goal line, unbelievable
- 11 tackles by KJ Wright (9-2), 10 from chancellor (7-3), Wagner 8 (5-3), Clemons 4 tackles (4-0), Bryant 3 (2-1)
In any kind of look back analysis like this we want to not only review "the what", but also understand its relevance to the upcoming season. Understanding what happened in this game is important for looking into the future. Below are some questions and talking points around the conclusions as a result of the in-depth analysis.
- Can Bruce Irvin be an every down player? He has more athletic gifts and tools by far than any other DE/OLB we have on the roster. Anyone that says he needs to bulk up to be a more effective against the run isn't watching his games close enough. The guy is a stud and only a few pounds lighter than Clemens. If only it were strengths or bulk this would be a simpler question. Can you coach the kind of instincts and awareness that Irvin lacks to be effective as an every down player? What kind of progress will you make this upcoming season? It's easy to get into the habit of thinking about players from year to year as known quantities, as opposed to the potential development that can happen and elevation in their game that's possible. If Irvin shows major progress next season, how much better does that make our defense and even our long-term situation going into 2014?
- How important will our new additions on nickel package be for our defense against not only the pass but also the run? The real legitimate drive the Packers had in the third quarter involved more running plays against our nickel defense then passing plays. How much of our drop off in run defense toward the end of the season have to do with opponents changing their strategy against us? Both Bennett and Hill should be very good inside on nickel, and as we know Winfield is a top corner against the run. After watching Clinton McDonald in this game get pushed around so easily I have to wonder if he will even make the roster this season with the additions we made in the draft and free agency. I'm guessing he won't.
- How will our O-line situation evolve the season? To be honest I'm still waiting for the moment where I get why we tried to go with Sweezy at RG. And just a sneak peek to the next week game analysis with the Rams Carpenter doesn't look all that impressive either. It was great to hear coach Cable's explanation of why we didn't pick any O-line in higher rounds of the draft, but to me this will still be the most critical developmental factor going into the new season. There were various rankings of our O-line last year, from what I've seen thus far by week 3 I tend to agree with the ones that had us ranked more mediocre.
- I haven't drawn great attention to the role Robinson has played in our running game in these write-ups, but since Robinson's future with the team has been called more into question on this site with the drafting of Ware, I thought I would highlight it this time. Many of the successful runs out of the I-formation are the result of Robinson picking up a free linebacker in the gap allowing Lynch to continue his downhill momentum/burst. It would not be a great situation to have a rookie in those scenarios as the lead blocker. How much I-formation will we actually run next season? We seemed to have lots of success in the pistol towards the end of the season, but I don't think we will completely shift away from these kind of power running formations. Maybe the fullback role is reduced in the 2013 season, setting up for a different kind of contract negotiation next year.
Extra Points - thursday25
- Not for the first four games he won't! My question is what exactly is stopping Irvin from being an every-down player. He was obviously a complete non-factor in the Atlanta game, so does he need a Justin Smith-type dynamic to be effective?
- The O-line is also my biggest question going into this season. I consider it to be the main factor that determines whether we get to the Superb Owl or not. They were inconsistent and often downright bad last year. And now we're more or less stuck with the same guys. I can only guess that Cable and Co. see a lot of potential that the rest of us don't. At least, I hope so.