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The Tape: Big Man/little man

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The highlights package I promised is cancelled for lack of content. I was truly spellbound by the complete lack of good play, even in isolation, by Seattle. Even when the D was 9/10ths to doing something right, it was undone by a blunder or Favrian heroics. The Hawks were beat in about every way a team can be beat. Still, rewatching the tape today something useful jumped out at me.

A few years back, when I lived w/ my best friend Ian, we'd hold regular "parties". The quotes are because as far as parties go, they were pretty pathetic. Rarely more than a dozen people, and almost always people we knew. One of our favorite drinking games was something called "Presidents and Assholes" or "Big Man/little man". The particulars aren't important, but if one suffered early defeat and thus became "little man" not only were the odds stacked against them, but they were likely to get so drunk that they'd have a heck of a time playing back up the chain of command. The Hawks had their own Big Man/little man dilemma on Saturday, one so thoroughly botched, you'd think John Marshall had played a pregame round of Edward 40 Hands w/ Dwaine Board.

Seattle has two basic tackle configurations, Brandon Mebane and Rocky Bernard, their Big Man unit, and Craig Terrill and Howard Green, their little man unit. Green isn't exactly a small guy, but he plays a bit like a small guy, especially from a run stuffing standpoint. Generally speaking, the Hawks' Big Man unit plays most snaps and their little man unit plays third downs and passing downs. Or, that's the thinking anyway. I couldn't tell any particular rhyme or reason to Seattle's substitutions on Saturday, and boy did they pay. The following two lists are of all runs, 1st quarter to the start of the 4th quarter. Apparently, when my fiancé unplugged our home entertainment power strip mid-game, it stopped the VCR from recording. It's too bad, too, because I wanted to relive this nightmare to the bitter end. But seriously, it was all over but the crying by the time the tape cutout, so I don't think I missed a ton. The list includes yardage, whether the run was successful or not, FD and anything else important like fumbles. Goal line carries are omitted because they fit neither category.

Big Man: 8S, 6F (FF), 4S, 7S, 2F, 15 S (FD), 3F, 6S, 0F, 4F, 43S (FD)

little man: 4S, 7S, 26S (FD), 3S (FD), 24S (FD), -1F, 10S (FD)

The Big Men weren't exactly kicking butt, but a 60% success rating allowed is considerably better than the little men could muster. The 15 and 41 yards runs were both off left end. Hardly the tackles' fault. Both of the long runs allowed by the little men were up the gut. The little man group allowed 86% of all rushes to be successful. They were thrown from the line, and, with few exceptions, did more to screen their own linebackers than anything that slowed Ryan Grant. In the Divisional Round of the playoffs, you'd think fixing the tackle rotation so that your pass rushing package was only on the field on obvious passing downs would be a pretty high priority - especially when they were clearly a liability against the run. But, nope, they were out for all sorts of down and distance combinations, and nothing changed after the half.

Not much else to add. Seattle had its brains beaten out for nigh 56 minutes dtraight. I'm taking tomorrow off, and then I'll post the first edition of my offseason checklist on Wednesday.