clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How to Beat a Bad Pass Defense

New, comments
It was third and eight following a dropped interception by Gerald Hayes. Seattle was down seven. The pass was flat and Williams had to reach over the corner to grab it. The Seahawks needed an invisible man. Who you gonna call? Greg Toler!
It was third and eight following a dropped interception by Gerald Hayes. Seattle was down seven. The pass was flat and Williams had to reach over the corner to grab it. The Seahawks needed an invisible man. Who you gonna call? Greg Toler!

Seattle stormed down the field and tied the score 7-7. The feat fell on one man, and that man was Greg Toler. If only every team could start Greg Toler, the Seahawks would be unstoppable.

1-10-SEA 23 (12:43) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 11-D.Butler to SEA 25 for 2 yards (27-M.Adams, 24-A.Wilson).

Seattle runs a screen pass to Deon Butler but Ben Obomanu, working from left slot, fails to land his sealing block. That's this play in a nutshell. Butler scrabbles forward for two.

2-8-SEA 25 (12:11) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 86-C.Baker (54-G.Hayes).

Cards rush five. Seahawks counter with six. Hasselbeck throws wide left of Chris Baker and right towards Gerald Hayes but Hayes doesn't intercept it.

3-8-SEA 25 (12:07) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass deep left to 17-M.Williams pushed ob at ARZ 43 for 32 yards (28-G.Toler). WATCH HIGHLIGHT

So, you see, this drive started very poorly for Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks offense. Right here, everything changes.

Enter: Gregory Toler.

Matt's pass is flat and Williams has to reach over and across Toler to snatch it. That's bad. Luckily, Toler has no idea a pass is even coming. That's good--for us. And that's the play. Mike Williams sprints straight up the left sideline, Toler jogs beside him and Hasselbeck throws a low, slow pass that Williams stretches out and snags over the oblivious Toler. Not so sensational in retrospect.

1-10-ARI 43 (11:39) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short left to 17-M.Williams (28-G.Toler).

Williams runs up the left sideline, fakes 'go' and then runs a little hook breaking left. He achieves momentary separation, but it's gone before the pass can arrive. Toler lunges forward and tips the ball away. Not so much good coverage as bad timing by the offense.

2-10-ARI 43 (11:34) (Shotgun) 24-M.Lynch left tackle to ARZ 37 for 6 yards (51-P.Lenon, 55-J.Porter)

Lynch takes an inside hand off from shotgun (!) and  finds a crease around left tackle. Spencer pushes and pulls forward but cannot square and block Adrian Wilson in space. Wilson doesn't land the tackle, but he does force Lynch to move laterally and backwards in space and that allows the Cardinals linebackers to rally and tackle.

3-4-ARI 37 (10:54) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 17-M.Williams to ARZ 27 for 10 yards (28-G.Toler).

Williams runs a slant in front of Toler. Easy.

1-10-ARI 27 (10:22) 24-M.Lynch up the middle to ARZ 28 for -1 yards (93-C.Campbell).

Calais Campbell buries his right shoulder into Tyler Polumbus and rides him right to Lynch and tackles for a loss of one.

2-11-ARI 28 (9:49) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short middle to 87-B.Obomanu to ARZ 23 for 5 yards (27-M.Adams).

Ben Obomanu stops between the tackles and receives and stretches for about half the yardage gained. Yesterday was Obomanu's first career start. Congrats Ben. You have come a long way.

3-6-ARI 23 (9:07) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 17-M.Williams pushed ob at ARZ 12 for 11 yards (28-G.Toler).

Toler loses Williams at the intersection of complementary drag patterns. Carlson runs left from right tight end and Williams runs right from wide left. Toler, for the third consecutive third down, saves the drive. Which sort of makes you wonder about this.

1-10-ARI 12 (8:36) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 24-M.Lynch to ARZ 1 for 11 yards (51-P.Lenon).

Nice swing pass to Lynch. Good to see Lynch get involved in the passing game. Good to see, on a day he defied a lot of trends, Matt throw a pretty short pass that the receiver could run into. Williams screens Paris Lenon, but the ball is in flight, and so he doesn't block Lenon but instead just stands there like a basketball player taking a charge.

1-1-ARI 1 (7:57) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 86-C.Baker.

The pass is high but justifiably so. It's first and one on the one, and Arizona is flooding the end zone. Better high and incomplete than lower and risk the interception. Better still to throw the pass complete, but whatever.

One thing worth mentioning about this play: Hass rolls right and rolls right and rolls right but never draws a defender down. It's a little thing, but it factors. Because Arizona does not respect the scramble, one extra defender is back to crowd a throwing lane, tip the pass or pick it.

2-1-ARI 1 (7:48) 24-M.Lynch left tackle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

And then Marshawn Lynch runs behind Chester Pitts for the score. Spencer pulls forward and cuts Lenon and stops the linebacker from filling the gap.

Pretty easy, really. What is a bad team? It's play after play of losing matchups.