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Seahawks Shift into First, Leave It There

The matchup Seattle wants: Its strong safety in space against Steven Jackson.
The matchup Seattle wants: Its strong safety in space against Steven Jackson.

Two posts per quarter this week, notes format--if this game felt particularly boring to you, like a grinding affair in which Seattle didn't lose by a whole lot but was nevertheless blown out, that's exactly how it felt upon re-watching. Anyway, we might as well know the culprits.

  • Seattle blitzes Lawyer Milloy and Marcus Trufant and Milloy times the blitz perfectly, turns the corner, catches Steven Jackson in the backfield and drops him for a loss of three.
  • Kelly Jennings covered Michael Clayton's 13 yard reception. There wasn't anything clearly wrong with Jennings coverage, but Clayton had little trouble shedding him and coming back for the ball for the reception. I think that's the problem: Jennings is always a step behind because he is always reacting to the man and never reacting to the pass itself.
  • Following a stuff by Colin Cole, Milloy blitzed again, threw off the block of Daniel Fells and pressured Sam Bradford into an incomplete pass.
  • Red Bryant forced an incomplete with frontside pressure on the next play.

Seahawks ball.

  • St. Louis is the first 4-3 Seattle has faced all season and no one seemed to suffer like Stacy Andrews. The big, clumsy clubber handles 3-4 ends well enough and is big enough to mask much of his imprecision as a pull blocker, but in a straight skill-to-skill matchup in the trenches, Andrews struggled with Fred Robbins. Steve Spagnuolo imported Robbins this off-season and the long time Giant tackle is big, skilled, active, powerful and capable of exploiting lesser guards.
  • That wasn't the problem on Seattle's first run. There wasn't a problem really, Justin Forsett just didn't do too much with what was given. Chris Spencer blew back Robbins and then stumbled down after he got his weight in front him (Imagine tug of war when someone suddenly lets go. Spencer didn't stumble because he failed, but because he knocked Robbins back quickly enough that when Robbins disengaged backwards, Spencer had overextended.) but neither man factored into the play further.
  • The highlight of the play was Russell Okung locking onto defensive tackle Gary Gibson and walking him right and behind the length off line. That's power. Okung's block created a cutback lane on the left, but Forsett ignored it and plunged forward for three.
  • Gibson then drove back Spencer and tackled Forsett after a gain of one.
  • Tyler Polumbus struggled with Chris Long, testing the theory that Polumbus's quiet play to start the season is sure indication that he will continue to succeed, on Seattle's first passing down. Long walked Polumbus back and pressured Hasselbeck back and right, allowing Robbins to break free and attack around right end. Brandon Stokley lost corner Ron Bartell on the right and Hasselbeck found him just barely in bounds for six and the first.
  • Play-action, seven step drop; Rams rush six on an overload right, and Hasselbeck is free of pressure but doesn't see anyone open and so shuffles his feet. I don't know if anyone was free or not, but knowing that Seattle ran play action, that St. Louis overloaded the right and Hasselbeck rolled free on the left, one would assume someone was free. But, no. Hassebeck shuffled, Robbins released and attacked off left end, Forsett missed his block or decided not to bother, he would have been roadkill, but what looked like disaster worked out. Deon Butler cut in right and Larry Grant cut out left and Hasselbeck found Butler wide open for what resulted in 14 and the first.
  • Blown block by Andrews blows up an end around and nearly gets Hasselbeck sacked attempting the hand off. Robbins tore through Stacy like nobody's business.
  • Michael Robinson flashes wide open between the safety, Craig Dahl, and the corner, Bartell, up the right sideline but Hasselbeck misses him wide, out of bounds.
  • Forsett blows another block in pass-pro. This time, the Rams sent two off right end, John Carlson correctly moves out to block the wide man, does, passes Dahl onto Forsett, but Forsett is caught blocking in and Dahl streaks around him, forcing Hasselbeck into a hurried throw that falls incomplete towards Mike Williams.
  • Punt.

Rams ball.

  • Cole and Junior Siavii hold the middle and Kentwan Balmer finds Jackson after two. Not a stuff, per se, but it'll work.
  • Bradford doesn't cheap out on his play fakes, and that caught Clemons chasing and allowed Bradford to roll right unabated. He found Fells open in the right flat for an easy six.
  • Offsides: Chris Clemons. First down.
  • Jordan Babineaux blows containment on a quick hitter in the right flat but Raheem Brock sprints wide and tackles Mardy Gilyard after four.
  • Another well-sold play fake by Bradford. Mebane was on it, but he fell attempting to redirect against his blocker. Bryant chased Bradford around right end and towards the left, and Clemons eventually recovered to pressure from in front, and the two forced an incomplete towards Clayton. Yay, sort of pressure.
  • David Hawthorne maintained strong coverage underneath preventing the check down.
  • Clayton runs a crossing pattern out of trips and Danny Amendola and Roy Lewis pick Trufant out of coverage. Bradford finds Clayton open for eight and the first.
  • Then, and we'll leave off here until the next post, Siavii attacks the left "A" gap, allows left tackle Rodger Saffold and center Jason Brown to pull forward, the two, for lack of better thing to do, convene at Lofa Tatupu, Brown blocking Tatupu, Saffold, stopping and looking back at Jackson, literally, in the middle of the play, stopping and looking back towards Jackson, before Jackson chugs by. Milloy ends the play, but it's pretty much a complete breakdown of the Seahawks run defense.
  • Saffold pulls forward and blocks out Milloy, and/or Jackson is a faster, and that's probably a touchdown.

On that happy note, this post ends. We'll just have to see how this turns out. Surely good, no?