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Tight Ends as Tackles

This drive, though short-lived, exposed many of the weaknesses Denver would target all game. Much like week one's contest against the 49ers, the Seahawks did not pressure the quarterback into incomplete passes. The Seahawks did not defend passes*. The Seahawks benefited from inaccurate passes to open receivers.

1-10-DEN 4 (8:43) 27-K.Moreno right end to DEN 3 for -1 yards (92-B.Mebane).

Daniel Graham motions from right to left before the snap, flipping the weak side. Graham sticks with Chris Clemons, but Clemons is not overpowered. It's more like a stalemate. Brandon Mebane works Russ Hochstein. That forces Knowshon Moreno to bubble back and allows Seattle to attack the edge and string the play wider and wider right. Lofa Tatupu and Marcus Trufant arrive off the floating right end and cap the hole. Moreno attempts to cut back and find a hole but Mebane closes and tackles for a loss of one.

2-11-DEN 3 (8:02) 27-K.Moreno up the middle to DEN 10 for 7 yards (51-L.Tatupu).

Very nice play by Tatupu, and a bit more difficult than anyone in Seattle should want.

The problem is, simply, Denver launches two offensive linemen into the second level to lead block. The Broncos accomplish this by blocking Colin Cole with a tight end. Cole is allowed free release into the backfield, but since he doesn't have a ton of lateral agility, it's easy enough for Dan Gronkowski to pull from the left and seal Cole away from the rush lane. So he does, and so Moreno has a hole and lead blockers and a head of steam. Stanley Daniels pulls forward to block Tatupu but Tatupu keeps Daniels out of his body and is able to separate and wrap Moreno before he can pass. It's a saving tackle.

3-4-DEN 10 (7:24) (Shotgun) 8-K.Orton pass short right to 10-J.Gaffney to DEN 19 for 9 yards (23-M.Trufant).

Jabar Gaffney starts in the right slot. Marcus Trufant is in man coverage. Gaffney runs a speed out, beats Tru to the spot and Orton finds him for an easy nine.

1-10-DEN 19 (6:47) 8-K.Orton pass short left to 27-K.Moreno to DEN 32 for 13 yards (36-L.Milloy).

Denver is in a two tight end set, with both Graham and Richard Quinn on the right. The Broncos fake play action right, and Graham, Quinn and Zane Beadles triple team Clemons. Not out of necessity but abundance. Orton and the pocket stretch right and that draws the Seahawks front seven. David Hawthorne, specifically, blows his assignment and allows Moreno to swing wide open on the left. Orton finds him for 13.

1-10-DEN 32 (6:01) 28-C.Buckhalter right guard to DEN 34 for 2 yards (36-L.Milloy).

Graham motions right and single blocks Clemons. Curry throws off a block by Gaffney but does not work into play. Daniels pulls forward and pancakes Tatupu. It looks bad, but Milloy does his Bob Sanders thing. He knifes in and catches Moreno and tackles him after two.

2-8-DEN 34 (5:25) 8-K.Orton pass incomplete short left to 10-J.Gaffney.

Broncos run play-action right. Orton curls left and looks for Gaffney. Curry reads the play and closes, but it would be wrong to imply he pressures Orton. He almost pressures Orton. Gaffney has Trufant beat on a drag pattern run from right to left, but Orton leads him too much and the pass falls incomplete.

3-8-DEN 34 (5:19) (Shotgun) 8-K.Orton pass incomplete short left to 10-J.Gaffney.

Seahawks rush three from a 3-2 and generate no pressure. Orton plants, fires towards Gaffney on the left but the pass errs high and wide left. Gaffney gets his hands on it but drops it attempting to secure.

*The Seahawks only had two passes defended all game: one by Tatupu and one by Hawthorne.