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Seattle Seahawks Defense Walked Down the Field by the Denver Broncos I

An analysis in three parts.

Until word on Chris Spencer's injury is distributed, we won't know if yesterday's game was a win or a loss. Starting with the Denver Bronco's first offensive drive, it was often ugly.

What follows is observations on the first third of Denver's opening 12-play scoring drive. It's not a drive that fans will hold up as proof that Seattle's new defensive coordinators have finally unlocked this team's potential. We know when players aren't executing, but what if the scheme itself isn't working? It looks like this.

4. Brandon Mebane shoots off the snap and clusters and disrupts the Broncos interior line. Patrick Kerney gets under Ryan Clady and bulls him back and towards Kyle Orton. But Orton has little trouble finding a hole in Seattle's zone. He completes a pass to Jabar Gaffney for 16 and the first. John Marshall didn't recognize the value of the first down. He seemed content to allow first downs if those first downs did not gain major yardage. Or maybe it's Jim Mora, since this style of secondary play has taken off under Mora.

3. Cory Redding blew up the next play. He ripped through Ryan Harris, D.D. Lewis sealed the outside by forcing back Tony Schefler and Redding finished the play with a tackle for a loss.

2. Darryl Tapp took next at-bats against Harris. He ran around him and forced Orton to tuck and run. Three plays in and Seattle had forced a third and long.

1. That's when one bad play call unraveled the drive. It was bad, overly aggressive, and also badly timed. Denver had the perfect counter.

3-7-DEN 41 (9:57) (Shotgun) 8-K.Orton pass short left to 19-E.Royal to SEA 33 for 26 yards (55-D.Tapp).

Broncos: 2 WR (left), WR (right), TE (right), RB (left), Shotgun

Seahawks: 4-2 Nickel

Seattle blitzes six into a wide receiver bubble screen.

Expecting more?

From center to Clady, Denver pulls left. Seattle commits its front six allowing Denver to effortlessly position three blockers in front of Eddie Royal. At this point, it's a ball rolling down hill. Josh Wilson is blocked out. Brian Russell attempts to navigate the blockers and whirls. Seattle's saving grace is a good angle by Darryl Tapp. Lofa Tatupu runs up the sideline, but Tapp runs a direct diagonal towards Royal's destination and catches him from behind. Seattle is very lucky Royal was tackled at all.

This is a long drive with a lot of failure to articulate. In the next four plays Tatupu is embarrassed and Craig Terrill does something I still can't wrap my mind around. He looked lost.