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Seahawks 3rd Down Notebook: Seahawks impressive on 3rd down, dominant on time of possession

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks were credited with going 7 of 16 (44%) against the Eagles this week, but also benefited from two 3rd down conversions via penalty. One was a defensive holding on Jermaine Kearse, and one was earned when Russell Wilson drew an Eagle offsides on a 3rd and 4. If you factor those in -- the Seahawks converted 9 of 18 on 3rd down (50%), which is quite impressive.

My thinking for this 3rd Down Notebook series falls somewhere along the lines of: if the Seahawks can convert six 3rd downs in a game via any fashion, they should have a good chance to win, whether that number requires 11 attempts or 18 attempts. Either way, the Seahawks are possessing the ball in a way that in the last six games gets somewhere close to the tune of 217 minutes to 143 minutes for their opponents (a 3:2 Ratio).

Read that again: The Seahawks have controlled the ball 217 minutes to 143 minutes over the last six games, a 3:2 ratio.

The Chart:


The Seahawks' median down and distance versus the Eagles was 7.5 yards, and they converted a 13 and two 15 yarders -- all in the first half. The Seahawks had previously gone 4 of 38 on 3rd and 11+ for the season, and two of those conversions had been via penalty. So, the Seahawks converted more 3rd and 11+ via actual official plays against the Eagles than they had in the previous twelve games combined.

The Seahawks also faced a whopping seven 3rd down situations in the 2nd Quarter alone- this would be the number they would face in a typical half.

One of the most impressive 3rd down conversions was right before halftime. Russell Wilson had just taken a sack on 2nd down, and Seattle was facing a 3rd and 13 from their own 30 yard line with 1:08 left to go before halftime (plenty of time for a Chip Kelly Offense to score).

The Eagles Rush three and keep a spy for Wilson. They play man converage on the 3WR with a deep safety, and drop the four underneath defenders into zone.

Perhaps it was the Seahawks route design, but the underneath zone is very shallow -- it seems -- for a 3rd and 13, clearing the middle of the field. Baldwin bursts 10 yards upfield, fakes outside, and then digs inside about fifteen yards past the line of scrimmage. The fake creates separation and Baldwin is wide open in the middle of the field with tons of green grass. Wilson hits him for a gain of 20.