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Seahawks Tie With a Little Improvisation

Though Cullen Jenkins eventually separated from Ben Hamilton to loop over and get into Hasselbeck's face, Matt had good time and that allowed him to improvise and break down the Packers coverage scheme.
Though Cullen Jenkins eventually separated from Ben Hamilton to loop over and get into Hasselbeck's face, Matt had good time and that allowed him to improvise and break down the Packers coverage scheme.

Josh Wilson sprinted Seattle to the Green Bay 49. Matt Hasselbeck did the rest.

1-10-GB 49 (11:04) 20-J.Forsett right tackle to GB 48 for 1 yard (51-B.Poppinga, 55-D.Bishop).

John Carlson is forced back and shed by Brady Poppinga. That more or less ends the plays.

Of note: Mansfield Wrotto throws a decent but ineffective cut block. Very good push from the Seahawks interior offensive line.

2-9-GB 48 (10:31) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass deep right to 1-M.Williams pushed ob at GB 31 for 17 yards (42-M.Burnett).

Very interesting play, and very close to not working.

Seattle splits three wide and that forces Green Bay into its preferred nickel package: 2-4. The 2-4 is good because pass rush can be generated from about anywhere.

Mike Williams motions in. He gets wide open on a corner route with a little help from Deion Branch. Branch runs up and then shakes and bakes and shakes and bakes and shakes and shakes and that somehow freezes both nickel, Pat Lee, and corner, Brandon Underwood. Al Harris would have injured Branch and been done with it.

Rob Francois times the snap, blitzes from the interior and pops and staggers Spencer, but Spencer quickly recovers and holds ground. This makes the play. Desmond Bishop attempts to loop around and through the gap between Spencer and Max Unger. Justin Forsett mis-reads the blitz and runs into Spencer's back. He needs to be ready for Bishop but blows the block. Luckily, the space is negligible and Bishop trips attempting to navigate it.

Hasselbeck finds Williams free for 17.

1-10-GB 31 (10:07) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 84-T.Houshmandzadeh to GB 17 for 14 yards (33-B.Underwood) [51-B.Poppinga].

Mansfield Wrotto blocks the right defensive end. Quinton Ganther gets the tough assignment but shades and contains blitzing linebacker Brandon Chillar. Sean Locklear is bullied back by Poppinga and Poppinga pushes through Locklear to hit Hasselbeck just after he throws. Matt completes a zippy, accurate pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh curling in front of Underwood.

1-10-GB 17 (9:25) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 1-M.Williams to GB 11 for 6 yards (22-P.Lee, 36-N.Collins).

Williams runs under and opposite play action right. Hasselbeck runs towards the left flat and lobs it to Williams. Not a horse ton to see here.

2-4-GB 11 (8:43) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 83-D.Branch for 11 yards, TOUCHDOWN. WATCH HIGHLIGHT

Housh flashes wide open in the right flat. I still do not understand fully why Hasselbeck chooses not to target Houshmandzadeh, but he doesn't and instead improvises into something better.

Seattle is set: 2 WR (left), TE (right), WR (right), RB

Green Bay: 2-4 nickel

Carlson runs a curls just beyond the first down marker. Housh flashes free underneath and running into the right flat. Hasselbeck looks him off and begins analyzing a developing situation on the left.

Williams has motioned inside prior to the snap. He is just outside and behind Branch. Both run curls routes: Williams towards the hash marks and Branch towards the left flat. Justin Forsett also runs a curl shallow and into the left flat. Judging by the composition of this play, you assume it should be bang-bang with any hesitation leading to an incompletion.

And that, in fact, appears to be the way things are breaking a few seconds into the play. Housh is ignored. Carlson is covered. Williams is double covered. Branch is double covered by Tramon Williams and Nick Collins. Forsett is open, until:

Williams breaks off Branch and covers Forsett. Collins jumps underneath and loses Branch who then breaks towards the back left corner of the end zone. Hasselbeck finds him for the score. Once Branch is behind Collins, the play is sealed.

Perhaps less sexy, but crucial for this play working, is the time Hasselbeck gets. Wrotto engulfs Chilar and that allows Hasselbeck to wander left outside the tackle box. Spencer and Unger double B.J. Raji and Raji is also knocked out of the play. Ben Hamilton occupies Cullen Jenkins, but Jenkins separates and circles outside to pressure, almost hit and nearly sack Hasselbeck. Holding a single block for that length of time is good enough, and through time and coordination, Seattle breaks down the Packers secondary and ties the game.